Who's At Fault After a U-Turn Accident in Texas?

u turn accident law in TexasThough most of us think of U-turns as a quick fix when we go the wrong way, this simple maneuver is notorious for causing car accidents. If you're involved in a U-turn accident in Texas, you're probably wondering who's at fault. The answer will depend on a number of circumstances, including:

  • Was the U-turn legal? 
  • Was the U-turn made safely?
  • Were there any other contributing factors?

After a U-turn accident, fault is usually placed on the driver making the turn, but not always. 

Was the U-Turn Legal?

In Texas, U-turns are generally legal as long as there aren't any signs in the intersection that prohibit them. However, there are certain rules that apply to U-turns in all intersections, regardless of whether a sign is present. For instance, U-turns must be made from the left lane; it's always illegal for a car to cut across two or three lanes to perform a U-turn. 

Additionally, drivers making U-Turns must follow these Texas laws:

  • When making a U-turn on a green arrow: Drivers must wait for any traffic on the left hand side to clear, including vehicles that are making a right hand turn. 
  • When making a U-turn on a solid green light: The turning driver must yield to approaching traffic, including cars making a right hand turn from a side lane into the lane the turner wishes to enter. 
  • When making a U-turn in a lane without a traffic signal: Texas law requires the U-turner to yield to all other traffic.
  • In an intersection that prohibits U-turns: Texas has plenty of these; intersections with a sign that prohibits U-turns. It's the driver's job to check for these signs before turning - if you see one after you've entered the left lane, simply make a left hand turn.
  • When making a U-turn at a median: This, as opposed to making a U-turn in an intersection. These points are usually designated for U-turns, but the turner still needs to yield to oncoming traffic. 

As you can see, the responsibility during a U-turn lies with the turner. For this reason, most U-turn accident are also the fault of the turner. 

Was the U-Turn Made Safely?

Clearly, the turning driver must stop and look to make sure the path is clear before making a U-turn. If a driver speeds through the turn, that's considered "unsafe." If they try to make a U-turn in a space that's too tight, or jump out in a gap of cars that's not wide enough, it's also deemed an unsafe U-turn. 

When Is the "Turning" Driver Not At-Fault for a U-Turn Wreck? 

It depends on the circumstances of the wreck. Was the other driver texting and therefore not paying attention? Did they run a red light? Did they change lanes into the U-turner? These sorts of questions need to be answered before the blame is put on the turning driver. 

Claiming Compensation After a U-Turn Accident

If you've been hurt in a U-turn accident in Texas, you have rights. I'd encourage you to speak with your personal injury attorney, who can help establish fault and ensure you're compensated fairly for your damages. 

Download Our Free Guide: How to Make a Successful Car Accident Claim in Texas

Mark A. Anderson
Board Certified Personal Injury Lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas