Anyone who has ever driven in New York understands that the traffic can be difficult to navigate. Additionally, parking can be hard to find.
These factors make U-turns a common, but risky, maneuver that New York drivers must execute. These tips can help you stay safe.
Be aware of potential dangers
Accidents often happen when a driver attempts a U-turn and either underestimates the speed of oncoming traffic or doesn’t see another motorist attempting to turn on a crossroad. Additionally, drivers sometimes fail to check for pedestrians crossing in crosswalks or cyclists.
Know the rules
U-turns are legal in New York unless specifically prohibited by signs. However, there are restrictions. You can only make a legal U-turn from the left lane closest to the centerline of the roadway. You must have a green arrow or traffic signal and you must yield to other traffic.
U-turns are not permitted near the tops of hills, on curves or at any location where other drivers can not see you from 500 feet away in either direction. It is also illegal to make U-turns on limited-access expressways or in school zones.
Before attempting a U-turn, make sure your traffic signal is green and check for oncoming traffic. Look for pedestrians and cyclists. Be familiar with your vehicle’s turning radius and do not attempt U-turns if you are not sure you have enough room.
There are times when U-turns are necessary. However, it is important to take the time to execute them safely to avoid accidents.