Ask a Trooper: A lesson in taking a left turn at intersection

Published 8:14 am Friday, February 15, 2019

Question: Do you turn in front of an approaching vehicle or behind it when two vehicles both want to turn left at an uncontrolled intersection?

Answer: If two vehicles approach the intersection close to the same time, both vehicles should carefully make a left turn in front of each other while ensuring that the intersection is clear from approaching vehicles.

Before beginning the turn, it’s important to ensure your safety and the safety of the motorists around you. According to the Minnesota Driver’s manual, move safely into the correct lane well ahead of where you will make the actual turn. Signal your intent at least 100 feet before the turn to let pedestrians and drivers know what you plan to do.

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Additional important reminders for making a safe turn include:

• While waiting to turn, keep your wheels straight and your foot on the brake. If your vehicle is struck from the rear, you will be less likely to be pushed into oncoming traffic.

• Continue signaling until you begin your turn.

• Do not make sudden turns from the wrong lane of traffic.

• Watch for traffic or obstacles in the road you plan to enter.

• Always finish your turn in the correct lane.

• If the car ahead of you is signaling for a left turn, slow down and prepare to stop.

• When waiting to make a left turn at a green traffic light with oncoming traffic, position the car into the intersection where your body appears even with the curb line. The only opportunity to make a left turn may occur when the green light changes to yellow.