Welcome to April, as we further consider one of the unsafe driving behaviours on the road; previous editions focused on improper speed, thrill we enjoy from it, limitations it places on the ability to properly read the road and attendant consequences which most times are very fatal. I deliberately chose improper speed as against over speedingas it stronglyput in proper perspective the gravity of the driving behaviour.
There are thousands of serious crashes every year that are caused by improper turning, which put a car directly in front of or into the path of an oncoming vehicle, improper turning would rank close to improper speeding considering frequency of associated incidents and severity this behaviour portends. Right turn, left turn, U-turn are very basic road and can do without manoeuvres we engage in everyday across different road types.
Improper turning includes turning when there is a “No Turn on Red” sign at a red light, making a left at a red light where doing so is prohibited, turning without signalling, turning without having the right-of-way and turning at a stop sign or red light without coming to a complete stop or yielding to traffic or pedestrians.
The reason that we have turn signals, and lanes designated for moving either right or left as opposed to straight is because when drivers ignore the rules, car crashes are often the result. To prevent such, it is very important to always look for signs and obey the proper right-of-way before we make a turn.The Highway Code highlights proper turning procedures on different road types; turning at an intersection on a single or double lane, a round-about and making a U-turn.
Right turning from an overtaken lane (inner left)on a dual lane, cutting in front of a moving vehicle on a right lane to negotiate a left turn or U-turn, wrong turning while approaching or exiting a round-about, initiating wrong traffic indicator and or leaving a turning indicator on after a turn are all improper turning.
Tips to avoid improper turning involve turn in one single, smooth motion, take your time and slow down avoid rushing especially when making the actual turn.Do not let other drivers intimidate you into making an unsafe turn by their actions. Only turn when you believe it is safe, if it is illegal to make your intended turn at a particular spot, look to the road signs as indicators and follow them completely.Turn on your turn signal at least 40metres from your intended turn where applicable.Always look for oncoming traffic before turning.