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St. Louis Traffic Accident Reconstruction • PO Box 29537 St. Louis, MO 63126 All rights reserved © 2015 Home

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Left turns and yellow lights….

We always miss 100% of the things we aren’t looking for.  Here’s a left turn scenario that should seem familiar….

A vehicle waits to turn left at a 4 way intersection.  The driver pulls forwards into the intersection but sees a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction in the left lane and waits.  The light turns yellow and this vehicle slows and stops prior to entering the intersection.  After the vehicle stops, the driver proceeds with the left turn only to be struck in the right quarter panel by a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction in the right lane. The other vehicle was traveling 35 mph and didn’t brake.

We all have a mental picture of the collision that just occurred.  I’ve even posted a diagram below to show you the situation at impact.  As you’re processing the information, you’ll probably consider the fact that the left turning vehicle had an obligation to yield the right of way.  You’ll also consider that the other vehicle was approaching on a yellow light and should have exercised caution.   And exactly how many of you are starting to think about how far the left turning vehicle traveled within the intersection and how it almost cleared the path of the approaching vehicle?

Give some thought about how you would approach your liability analysis and reach a conclusion.  After you’re comfortable with your decision, take a look at the video and see how much of the available information you actually used.

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