Although it is often legal in Minnesota, a U-turn can be a dangerous driving maneuver. Because the driver making the turn is responsible for making sure he has sufficient time to do it safely, liability for a U-turn accident is often relatively easy to determine.
The Driver Making the U-Turn Is Usually at Fault
While not always the case, the driver making the U-turn is often found responsible for the accident—and for compensating the victims. Following are some considerations used in determining fault.
- Legality. If an illegal U-turn caused the crash, the driver’s negligence would most likely be presumed. In Minnesota, most U-turns are legal. However, it is illegal to make a U-turn upon a curve, when it interferes with traffic, or if vehicles cannot be seen in either direction of traffic within 100 feet. If a U-turn accident involves any of these violations, negligence may be clear-cut.
- Safety. The driver making the U-turn could be found negligent if he complied with the law but failed to wait for a large enough gap in traffic, blocked traffic, or did not drive with the flow of other vehicles.
- Other factors. Other negligent driving practices, such as intoxication, distracted driving, and failing to yield could be the cause of or a contributing factor to a U-turn accident.
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