While making a right turn requires maneuvering from the driver and tends to follow the flow of traffic, this is not the case with left turns that do not present the driver with a green arrow that allows for safe turning. In order to complete a left turn that is not safeguarded by a green arrow, a number of actions must take place in order to avoid an accident, or at least to avoid being at fault in an accident, with a vehicle or pedestrian. The driver must accurately judge the speed of oncoming traffic, the amount of time available to execute the turn and the presence of pedestrians crossing the intersection. As such, the ability of a driver to successfully complete a left turn without causing accident or injury is greatly reduced when the driver is engaged in distracting activities that include active listening by the driver, such as talking on the phone or engaging with vehicle passengers. This is not meant to exclude the obvious dangerous nature of texting while driving, which is increasingly being found to cause a great number of accidents that would have not otherwise occurred. Left turns require the full mental capacity of the driver in order to precisely time the best opportunity to cross a busy intersection.
When you are operating a vehicle, you should be focused on the road ahead and the traffic on all sides of your vehicle to avoid causing an accident or striking an unsuspecting pedestrian. Even though car companies are making some of the safest minivans and cars, we need to pay attention to the road to prevent accidents. The next time you are approaching a busy intersection with the intention of making a left turn, remember that the action you are about to take can have dire consequences if you are not focusing directly on the task at hand.