In earlier posts on the Road Safety Blog I made special mention to U-turns. I will always remember that my last conversation with my late father dealt with his concerns regarding the U-turns made in Oudtshoorn. Since then I have paid special attention to these risks and have heard and read many reports where U-turns contributed to the accidents.
Accidents from U-turns do not only contribute towards car insurance claims –but are most often fatal – especially so when performed on highways where vehicles are travelling at high speed.
How can we avoid U-turn accidents?
- Always obey the Rules of the Road and Traffic Signs
- It is always best to take a turn-off away from the busy and faster traffic, to make the turn there and then head back to the busy road, using traffic signs at intersections!
- Avoid U-turns and sudden changes in the direction of travel of your vehicle
- Never take for granted that your vehicle is seen or that your indicators are in working order
- When approaching a vehicle parked at the side of the road, slow down and be cautious – expect the unexpected!
- When approaching a vehicle that is reducing speed, be cautious to the eventuality of this vehicle changing direction without indicating its intention!
If You HAVE to make a U-turn, we would like to advise the following:
- Switch on the turn signal that indicates the direction of your turn.
- Check for traffic in both directions
- Be patient – Rather wait a few minutes to ensure that you have open road in both directions to perform the turn.
- Make sure that a U-turn is not illegal in this location. U-turns should not be made across a double yellow line or where signs indicate that they are against the law.
- Also avoid making U-turns near twists and turns in the road or at an uphill – rather drive a few hundred metres further where you are able so traffic from far on an open road.
- Be sure that you have enough room to make the turn without hitting the curb or any parked cars.
- Be mindful that if you cannot complete the turn , the 3 point turn will leave the vehicle stationary for longer and increase the risk.
- Press the accelerator lightly while turning the steering wheel as far as it will go in the direction you want to turn.
- The speed must be swift but responsible as you coast through the turn.
- Enter your new lane and begin driving.
May we be more aware of other road users and potential risks on the road!!
Visit the Arrive Alive Road Safety Website to gain more awareness of Road Safety in South Africa!