Turn Signals & Making Turns Safely
Turn movements by motor vehicles are regulated by law, and failure to observe or comply is a violation. Drivers must know and understand the law in order to turn safely and avoid accidents.
A turn signal must be given whenever a turn is made to the right or the left. You must give a continuous turn signal for an adequate distance to alert other drivers before turning. Never decide to make a turn at the “last minute.” Turning quickly or erratically can be dangerous to you and other drivers.
It is against the law to flash turn signals as a courtesy or “do pass” signal to other drivers in the rear.
How To Make A Right Turn
- Using appropriate signals, and giving drivers ahead of and behind you adequate notice, activate your right turn signal;
- Approach the intersection in the right lane, staying as close as practicable to the curb or edge of the roadway;
- If there is a bicycle lane on the road on which you are traveling, you must yield to bicyclists traveling straight through the intersection before making a right turn;
- Make the turn in such a way as to end up in the right lane of the street into which you have turned and avoid entering any other lane of traffic. If there are multiple turning lanes on the street you are turning from, complete the turn so that your vehicle ends up in the corresponding lane on the street you are turning onto.
How To Make A Left Turn
- Using appropriate signals, and giving drivers ahead of and behind you adequate notice, activate your left turn signal;
- Move into the far left lane of the direction in which you are traveling, or into the turning lane if one is provided;
- Keep your wheels straight until you begin making the turn;
- Yield the right-of-way to all vehicles, including bicycles, which are approaching from the opposite direction, and pedestrians crossing either roadway;
- When safe to do so, and when traffic signals/signs permit, make your turn so that your vehicle ends up in the lane closest to the center lane(s) in your direction of traffic on the street you turned onto, or closest to the center line if there is no center lane;
- If there are multiple turning lanes on the street you are turning from, complete the turn so that your vehicle ends up in the corresponding lane on the street you are turning onto;
- Once you have entered an intersection to make a left turn, you cannot change lanes in the intersection;
- You must stop and remain stopped for any pedestrians in the crosswalk of the road you are turning onto until they have cleared the lanes of traffic that you are traveling on.
Watching for Pedestrians When Making Turns
At most intersections where there is a pedestrian signal, the “Walk” signal of the crossing street corresponds to the green light of the roadway you are traveling on. This means that when you are authorized to turn, pedestrians are authorized to cross the street onto which you are turning at the same time. Therefore, before making your turn, you must stop and remain stopped for any pedestrians in the crosswalk of the road onto which you wish to turn until they have cleared the lanes of traffic upon which you are traveling.
Do not make a U-turn on a curve or near the top of a hill if you cannot be seen by other drivers approaching from either direction. Do not make a U-turn where signs prohibit doing so.
Making Turns on Multi-Lane Highways
On a multi-lane, two-way highway, you must never drive to the left of the center line except when making a left turn. If traffic control signals or signs are present, you may only complete the turn when authorized to do so by the traffic control signals or signs. When making left turns, you must always yield to oncoming traffic, and wait for pedestrians to clear the lanes of traffic, driveway, sidewalk, or alley you are turning into.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.