Traffic accidents always come down to a blame game and the person making the left turn is usually in the wrong.
About half of all crashes at Canadian
intersections involved a vehicle that was turning left, according to a
2007 joint study by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation and the
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
With so many claims stemming from
those incidents, the Insurance Bureau of Canada considers all left turns
into traffic, that lead to an accident, as against insurance company
policy. This is detailed in the Insurance Act of 1990.
Before trying to beat the light and making an ill-advised left turn, here are some things drivers should consider:
Different types of Insurance
Insurance companies always deem
someone at fault in cases of accidents. The fault could be partial or
full depending on the circumstances. Individuals deal with their own
insurance companies, regardless of who caused the accident. No-Fault
insurance allows a person to receive part or full coverage by their
company regardless of who caused the accident. They can receive medical
and other benefits without having to track down the other driver and
take them to court. They are also eligible even if they are deemed to
have caused the accident.
Proving who’s at fault
Insurance companies determine fault by
analyzing accident reports. Therefore, if the other drive committed a
traffic violation as well, such as speeding or running a red light,
there is room for adjustment by insurance companies. Adjusters can
“split the fault” in these situations, leading to a split between both
drivers instead of full liability for the driver turning left. These
faults can be split in ratios of 50/50 or 75/25, depending on the
circumstances, the police report, and the behavior of each driver.
As a driver, proving what happened at
the time of the accident is crucial in determining your eligibility for
an insurance claim. First-hand witness accounts are helpful in
constructing the scene before and after the accident. An impartial,
third party witness is ideal to corroborate your story, especially if
you claim that the other driver was at fault.
The police recommend extra precautions
while waiting at a red light. Ensuring the safety of a left turn and
clear vision of oncoming traffic should be established before turning.
Standing behind the traffic stop line, though not required by law, is
In Toronto, it’s illegal to enter an
intersection to make a left turn if there is a sign that reads: “Do not