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A man driving on Warwick Boulevard in Newport News, Virginia (VA), died Wednesday afternoon after his car crashed into a van turning left onto Nettles Drive. The Daily Press reported the accident on Feb. 11, but police had not released any information concerning the drivers’ identities or possible charges stemming from the accident.

This video illustrates how quickly left turn accidents can occur:

Drivers making left hand turns must almost always yield to cars and bicycles coming from the opposite direction, as well as to pedestrians. The handful of exceptions to this rule that can shift the fault for a left turn accident to another driver are if

  • the other car, motorcycle or truck was speeding
  • the other vehicle or bicycle ran a red light
  • the driver making the left turn was forced to pause or stop in the intersection because something unexpected happened, such as a car or pedestrian suddenly blocked the street or driveway into which the driver was turning.

I cannot speculate on what caused the fatal accident on in Newport News, but I do know that something went wrong and a man lost his life. My sympathies go out to his friends and family.

In 2008, the last year for which the Virginia DMV has complete data, Newport News saw 9 deaths and 1,965 injuries in traffic accidents. Across the state, 6,507 accidents happened after a driver went through a red light or stop sign, another 6,623 involved speeding, and 3,518 occurred when a driver made an improper turn. These numbers show, if nothing else, that all drivers must use caution when making turns and obey traffic signals and posted speed limits.

About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, whose attorneys work out of offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.


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