What are the leading causes of car accidents in Sacramento?
According to the Sacramento Police Department, the five most common traffic violations that cause accidents are:
- Following too close
- Failing to stop for red signal lights
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Left Turns
The last one may be the most unexpected. So, why are left turns more dangerous than right turns?
There are a variety of factors:
- Crossing Oncoming Traffic: When making a left turn, drivers typically have to cross one or more lanes of oncoming traffic. This increases the risk of collisions, especially if the driver misjudges the speed or distance of approaching vehicles.
- Limited Visibility: Left turns often require drivers to navigate through intersections or make turns from side streets. Visibility can be limited in such situations due to parked cars, buildings, or other obstructions.
- Driver Error: Left turns involve complex maneuvers that require precise judgment and coordination. Drivers may misjudge the speed and distance of oncoming vehicles, fail to yield right-of-way or make errors in turning at the correct time. Mistakes by the driver making the left turn or other drivers sharing the intersection can lead to accidents.
- Time Pressure: Left turns typically require drivers to wait for gaps in oncoming traffic, which can lead to impatience and risky behavior. Drivers may feel pressured to make the turn quickly, leading to inadequate observation or failure to yield, increasing the chances of accidents.
- Pedestrian Hazards: Left turns to pose a higher risk to pedestrians crossing the street as drivers making left turns may not see pedestrians or fail to yield to them. Pedestrians are more vulnerable when traveling in front of left-turning vehicles.
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