124 Lepage Court, Toronto, ON M3J 3J13 Broadway Avenue, Toronto, ON M4P 1T713 Fortecon Drive, Gormley, ON L0H 1G0180 Wilkinson Rd, Brampton, ON L6T 4W81450 Wallace Road, Oakville, ON L6L 2Y13058 Wilson St, West Ancaster, ON N3T5M1835 Campbell Ave, Windsor, ON N9B 2H8 2458 Haines Road, Mississauga, ON L4Y1Y643 Cleopatra Drive, Ottawa, ON K2G 0B6
In roads across the world, taking a U-Turn is permitted and thousands of people do it on a daily basis. Here in Ontario, taking a U-Turn is permitted at most intersections. In fact, we’ve mostly seen U-Turns not permitted when the oncoming traffic is not visible due to a curving road, or downtown where streetcars occupy the center lanes. But in most cases, Ontario drivers are quite comfortable taking U-Turns.
If a driver drives past a plaza entrance that’s only accessible from the oncoming direction, chances are he/she is going to take a U-Turn to get into that plaza entrance. If a driver misses a street he/she were supposed to turn on, they are most likely going to U-Turn at the next street and come back to their desired street.
But U-Turns can also be very dangerous if not done properly. In the video below, you see a Ford pick-up truck in Georgetown, Ontario attempting to make a U-Turn in the middle of a busy intersection. As he makes his turn, he realizes the oncoming road he is getting into is not wide enough, so he reverses mid-intersection so he can get in to the lane properly. On the oncoming lane, a red Mitsubishi SUV and a black Chevrolet car notice that he hasn’t cleared the intersection and hit the brakes immediately. A silver Honda behind the vehicles notices the immediate braking and tries to change lanes to avoid a collision – and unfortunately he ends up rear-ending the red Mitsubishi SUV.
While the pick-up truck is definitely the main cause of this accident, it’s not clear why the Honda felt the need to switch lanes in the middle of the intersection. Maybe they were hoping to get more stopping distance if they switched lanes, but it doesn’t seem they checked their blindspot before switching lanes. There was already another Honda SUV behind the Mitsubishi that needed the stopping distance as well. Most importantly, Ontario’s MTO handbook advises against changing lanes at an intersection.
Before making a U-Turn in Ontario, always make sure you follow these guidelines:
Ensure U-Turns are Legal and always follow posted signs indicating whether a U-Turn is not permitted.
Understand your Vehicle and Road Constraints to make sure the roadway is wide enough, and your turning radius is tight enough to complete the U-Turn.
U-Turn from your Lane’s Rightmost Edge to give you a bigger radius when you conduct your U-Turn.
Ensure Oncoming Vehicles are 250 Meters Away to give the oncoming drivers enough notice in case they need to slow down.
Check for Right-turning Vehicles to make sure a vehicle in the crossing roadway isn’t right-turning into the same roadway you are U-Turning into.
In this case, the accident wasn’t major so towing either vehicle wasn’t required. Both vehicles were able to drive off without needing a tow truck. If you get in an accident and require a tow truck, Abrams provides accident towing service across Ontario and has the skills and experience you need to tow your vehicle safely. Give us a call at (416) 398-2500 to book a roadside assistance service.