U-turns are illegal in many places, but not in Utah unless the narrow exceptions apply:
41-6a-802. Turning around — Where prohibited — Visibility.
The operator of a vehicle may not make a U-turn or turn the vehicle to proceed in the opposite direction:
(1) unless the movement can be made safely and without interfering with other traffic; or
(2) on any curve, or upon the approach to, or near the crest of a grade, if the vehicle is not visible at a distance of 500 feet by the operator of any other vehicle approaching from either direction.
Unfortunately, a man was flown to a local hospital in serious condition on Sunday after he attempted to make a U-turn that he could not make safely. The 49-year-old driver of a Geo Metro was driving north on U.S. 89 near the intersection with Utah State Route 126 when he made a U-turn attempting to head south. He turned in front of a Hyundai Sonata which struck him on the driver’s side. The passenger in the Metro and the driver of the Sonata were transported with minor injuries.
While the accident that occurred on Sunday is unfortunate for all involved, the fact that accidents occur during U-turn maneuvers does not mean that such turns are inherently unsafe. First, make sure that U-turns are legal where you want to make a turn. If they are, take a moment to think and look before acting. If the coast is clear to make the turn without putting anyone in harm’s way, complete the turn. Haste is the cause of most U-turn related accidents so remove from the equation and be on your way.
Bret Hanna of Wrona DuBois in Utah, focuses exclusively on litigating plaintiffs’ medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has represented clients in state and federal courts, in mediations, and in administrative proceedings in Michigan and Utah since 1991.