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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Powell

Are U-Turns Illegal in Missouri? | All Factors to Consider

Most drivers make U-turns while on the road. Whether it's to get somewhere faster or change directions, these movements can put other people at risk.

Whether it's in Downtown St. Louis or any other part, U-turns are seen as a reckless move by drivers. Victims often feel like the car comes out of nowhere, giving them little time to react and maneuver to safety.

U-turn accidents can leave victims with plenty of injuries and hefty medical bills, so it's essential to be prepared for those at all times.

This page will cover whether making a U-turn in Missouri is legal or not. It'll also guide victims toward the steps they can take if they were injured because of someone else's negligence while on the road. Powell Law Firm can also provide help with questions such as what is the legal limit for window tint in Missouri?

What Does Missouri Law Say About Making a U-Turn?

What Does Missouri Law Say About Making a U-Turn?

The Missouri Revised Statute (304.341) mentions the following about making U-turns:

“It shall be unlawful for the driver of any vehicle to turn such vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction at any intersection controlled by a traffic signal or police officer; nor shall such turn be made at any place unless the movement can be made in safety and without interfering with other traffic."

It also mentions:

"No vehicle in a residence district shall be turned left across the roadway or to proceed in the opposite direction when any other vehicle is approaching from either direction where the same may create a traffic hazard."

Likewise, the STL Ordinance (1205.040) mentions the following:

"The driver of any vehicle shall not turn their vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction upon any street in the central traffic district, at any intersection controlled by a traffic-control signal or where posted."

In other words, drivers can't make a U-turn anywhere if it means they'll cause a traffic hazard for oncoming vehicles. It's common for St. Louis drivers (and any other drivers in Missouri, for that matter) to think they can make a safe U-turn in certain streets. However, if said U-turn resulted in a vehicle collision, the movement wasn't safe.

St. Louis City, as well as other areas in Missouri, post "No U-Turns" signals in several intersections. Even though some drivers may be tempted to still make the U-turn or left turn when there's no oncoming traffic, this can be a huge risk.

Where Are Drivers Allowed to Make a U-Turn in Missouri?

"Technically," it's possible to make a U-turn legally. If there isn't any signage or vehicle approaching, the driver may try to make the U-turn.

Even though it can be legal for these drivers to make this maneuver, it doesn't mean they should do it. Making a successful U-turn somewhere with traffic will still lead to honking and name-calling, which isn't comfortable by any means.

If it's absolutely necessary to make a U-turn, it's recommended to do it only if it's safe to do it. Putting other people's lives at risk for saving a couple of minutes while driving isn't worth it.

It wouldn't matter if there wasn't a sign that specified the driver couldn't make a U-turn. If they made the maneuver and hit another car in the process, they're exposed to legal consequences besides the potential injuries that came from the accident.

Why Is It Possible to Get into a Car Accident By Making a U-Turn?

The main reason why U-turns aren't safe is that it gives other drivers little to no time to react. Some drivers don't use their turn lights to let other drivers know they're going to make a U-turn. This can be a problem if other people were to increase their driving speed.

U-turns also become a problem for traffic coming from the opposite direction. No matter how fast the driver makes the maneuver, if the oncoming traffic is too fast, the likelihood of an accident will skyrocket.

As for the drivers making the U-turn, some vehicles may make it harder to see if there are any incoming vehicles. Not checking blind spots when turning also increases the risk of accidents.

What Injuries Can People Experience After U-Turn Car Accidents?

There are plenty of injuries someone can get after a U-turn accident, including:

  • Whiplash

  • Fractures

  • Sprains/strains

  • Lacerations

  • Paralysis

  • Spinal injuries

  • Traumatic brain injuries

Some of these injuries, such as whiplash, may not be as severe. However, others can be life-altering for everyone involved in the accident.

In the worst-case scenario, the U-turn accident can lead to one of the driver's deaths (if not both).

Why Are Lawyers Important in U-Turn Accident Cases in Missouri?

Why Are Lawyers Important in U-Turn Accident Cases in Missouri?

Getting into a car accident can be overwhelming. Not only do drivers have to deal with the consequences of the event, but they may also have to deal with expensive medical bills, depending on who was at fault. A knowledgeable attorney can help answer more questions like is it legal to settle car accident privately?

Even if the blame is often on the person making a U-turn, some drivers may be able to accuse the other of being partially at fault. In these cases, it's crucial to get legal help.

A personal injury St Louis auto accident law firm can help victims determine who was at fault for the accident, as well as gather evidence, record all necessary documents, and fight for them in court.

How Long Do Victims Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?

In Missouri, victims have five years from the date of the accident to file their claim. This is a considerable timeline compared to other states that only give victims one or two years.

Even though there's a lot of time to file a lawsuit, the victim must take action as soon as possible.

Bottom Line

To summarize, U-turns in Missouri are illegal in any circumstance where making the maneuver isn't safe. Even in those scenarios where it's legal to do it, it's not recommended to take the risk. It can lead to fatal consequences for all parties involved.

Those involved in U-turn collisions may be entitled to compensation. By getting the help of professional attorneys, such as the ones in Powell Law, they will get a higher chance of ensuring maximum compensation for their injuries.


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