[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It's your friend's birthday, and he has invited your family out to dinner in an area of the city that you're not very familiar with.  It's Friday night, traffic is heavy, and you have no idea where this fancy new restaurant is.  You're focused on driving, so it takes a moment to realize that your significant other in the passenger seat has pointed out "we just passed it."  You've realized it is too late to make the turn, so you go straight through the next intersection.  For some reason you turn down the volume of the radio in the preparation to turn around, unsure exactly of where or how to do it. U-turns are not illegal in California, but there are guidelines to when and where a vehicle can make one.  The DMV provides some specific guidelines as to when a U-turn is allowed:
  • Across double yellow lines
  • In residential areas with no vehicles approaching you within 200 feet
  • In residential areas when protected from oncoming traffic by a sign, light, or signal
  • At an intersection with a green light or arrow, unless a No U-turn sign is posted
  • At an opening in the center divider of a divided highway
In all of the above circumstances however, legal U-turns must be made only when it is safe to do so.  Making a U-turn that results in a collision will likely place the driver making the U-turn at fault.  The DMV also advises when a U-turn is expressly illegal:
  • Wherever a No U-turn sign is posted
  • When starting from any lane but the left-most lane moving in the direction of travel
  • When you cannot see 200 feet in every direction due to visual obstructions, including bad weather
  • When you might collide with other vehicles
  • When you might collide with pedestrians
  • At railroad crossings
  • At or in front of a fire station
  • In a business district, except at intersections or turn lanes
  • Anywhere but an opening in the center divider of a divided highway
The driver of the vehicle in the initial example is likely in a business district and would need to find another intersection or turn lane that does not have a posted No U-turn sign.  The driver would also need to wait for a green light or arrow at the intersection or a minimum 200 foot break in traffic from a clearly marked turn lane. See the full DMV turns page here. Vehicles making illegal U-turns can cause serious car crashes resulting in personal injury.  The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth encourages all drivers to make responsible U-turns.  Our team of car accident attorneys help the victims of car collisions treat their medical injuries, repair their vehicles, recover lost wages, and seek compensation for the pain and suffering experienced in the crash.  For a free consultation, call our offices today at 888-517-9888.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]