Left turn accidents in New York City kill or severely injure pedestrians and bicyclists 3 times more than right turns. These findings are part of a study focusing on left turn crashes that was recently released by the NYC DOT. As part of Vision Zero, the DOT carefully analyzed 1,105 crash reports over a period of 5 years.
The most dangerous intersections for left turns are those when a vehicle is turning left from a one lane and one way street onto a two way and two lane street wider than 60 feet. When a driver makes a left turn in this type of intersection, his visibility of pedestrians is limited. Additionally, the driver often pressured by traffic behind him, has to find gaps between the incoming traffic and the pedestrians crossing.
The study also found that victims of left turn accidents are mostly pedestrians with a median age of 67. They are most commonly hit by cars, vans or pickup trucks.