You may not be aware that making a u-turn has some restrictions. This article will give a brief definition of a u-turn, the driver’s responsibilities and safety reminders.
You are driving down the roadway and suddenly you realize you need to go the opposite direction so you slow down a little, “bust” a u-turn and drive along your merry way. All of a sudden, you see red lights flashing in your rear view mirror; it’s the Police, Johnny Law, pulling you over. The Officer walks up to your car and you ask with a meek tone in your voice and all the innocence’s in the world, “did I do something wrong Officer”? To which the Officer responds, “You made an improper u-turn back there, I need to see your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance please”.
Sound familiar, I thought so.
Definition of u-turn
A u-turn is exactly what it says, a “u” shaped turn. A driver, driving in one direction negotiates a u-shaped turn to drive in the opposite direction from the original direction.
In most states, you cannot make a u-turn in a business district. Most drivers are unaware of this rule and wind up completely thrown off guard after the Police stop them, issue a citation and leave you with being confused. The same applies for making a u-turn in a residential area 200 feet of oncoming traffic or making a u-turn across other lanes of traffic.
How to make a proper u-turn
If you are driving in a business-district and need to turn around to go the opposite direction then use a “three-point turn”. This means you make a left turn and pull into a driveway or entrance way, back out, and then proceed in the opposite direction you were originally driving.
The legal place to make a proper u-turn when you are in a business district is at an intersection, unless there is a sign that says “No u-turns”.
Make your u-turn from the closest lane to the center.
Safety reminders: Do not cross over another lane when negotiating a u-turn. For example, when parked at curb or driving in the second or third lane do not turn across other lanes to u-turn.
You cannot hinder any traffic going either in the same direction or opposite direction when making a u-turn.
All drivers understand that making u-turns is part of driving. However, be advised that when a car makes an abrupt, unsafe or improper move on the roadway that it causes other drivers to react in a defensive manner that may cause problems.
Article also posted on Triond by Scott Hallock