U-turning into fatal error

MOTORISTS are being urged to fight their instincts when conducting U-turns, with a driving instructor saying 99% of drivers perform the manoeuvre illegally.

Andrew Gale, who is also the secretary of the Warwick and District Road Safety Committee and a former policeman, said drivers instinctively move to the left side of the road when performing a U-turn.

He said this was not only against the law but extremely dangerous.

"When you pull over to the left you have to worry about traffic from both directions and you can't look both ways at once," he said.

"A U-turn should be performed from as far right as practical and should be considered a right-hand turn that keeps on going."

So big is the problem, Mr Gale believes illegal U-turns were almost becoming as deadly as the "fatal four", which are drink-driving, speeding, fatigue and failing to wear a seatbelt.

He said motorists travelling behind a vehicle that had incorrectly pulled over to the left were likely to pass the vehicle on its right, not thinking the vehicle was preparing to do a U-turn.

This opened the potential for a collision.

"Illegal U-turns are one of the most dangerous things you can do on the road," he said.

"If you indicate right and pull over to the middle of the road, cars behind you will either stop or go around you on your left.

"If you do it incorrectly and pull over to the left, people think you have pulled over and will overtake you."

Mr Gale said U-turns, if done correctly and while the driver has a clear view of 150 metres both ways, could be performed on highways safely.

Topics:  driving

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