A driver fled the scene following a three-vehicle accident caused by their illegal U-turn. Three individuals were hospitalized following the incident, which occurred on Wellborn Road in College Station.
Details About the Accident
College Station Police announced via their Twitter account that they had responded to a three-vehicle crash on Wellborn Road sometime before 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 6.
The incident began when one driver attempted an illegal U-turn. The maneuver caused a second vehicle to swerve into a third vehicle. Following the collision, the driver who made the illegal maneuver left the scene.
According to authorities, three individuals were hospitalized following this incident. The extent of the victims’ injuries, as well as other details of the event, have not yet been reported.
After the crash, police diverted traffic from both lanes of Wellborn onto Balcones Dr. and Harvey Mitchell Parkway. All lanes had reopened by 9:30 p.m., according to the College Station Police Department.
U-Turn Accidents in Texas and the U.S.
While the Texas Department of Transportation does not classify U-turn crashes into their own category, unsafe and improper turns led to more than 21,000 crashes in 2019 alone. While many individuals may not think of a U-turn as a particularly risky driving behavior, we should recognize the dangers posed by making illegal turns.
In recent years, many different traffic safety and infrastructure programs and administrations have been working to improve the design of U.S. intersections, including U-turn intersections, in order to make them safer for drivers.
In fact, more U-turns may be incorporated into some intersection designs in order to reduce the risk posed by left-turns. This shows that, when executed correctly and in a legal area, U-turns are no more dangerous than any other kind of driving.
Safely Executing a U-Turn
The first step to executing a safe U-turn is ensuring you are in a legal U-turn area. Generally, you can make a U-turn if any of the following statements are true:
- There is a “U-Turn Only” sign
- There is no sign prohibiting U-turns
- You are in the far left lane
- You are in a residential area with no cars approaching
- There is an open center divider on the highway not reserved for emergency personnel
On the other hand, do not make a U-turn if any of the following are the case:
- There are “No U-turn” signs
- You are on a one-way street
- You are at a railroad crossing
- You are in front of a fire station
- You are in a business district (unless you are at a U-turn intersection)
- You can’t see 200 feet in each direction
Taking illegal maneuvers out of the equation, there are many different driving techniques that can be difficult to master. U-turns can be especially intimidating for inexperienced drivers since they will need to take into account traffic coming from all directions, along with the space they will need to make the turn.
If you’re ever unsure that you can safely complete a driving maneuver, do not attempt it. If you aren’t comfortable making U-turns, look for alternative routes to turn around.
If you’ve been involved in a Texas car accident, contact the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns, PLLC, to learn about your legal options.