Driving rules are intended to prevent accidents and relieve traffic, but sometimes driving laws can be confusing and frustrating to understand.

In the state of Michigan, there is one rule, in particular, that seems to make many drivers scratch their heads. This rule is the “Michigan left.” It is unique to our state and designed to relieve congestion and make the roads safer. How does it work, and how does it prevent accidents? These are common questions many people, who are not familiar with this driving rule ask. Below are the answers to those questions, to help you understand this driving rule and be a safer driver on the roads in Michigan.

How is a Michigan left different than a standard left-hand turn?

While most drivers are familiar with the standard left-hand turn, a Michigan left is a bit different. Throughout the state, left-hand turns are not allowed.

Therefore drivers are required to drive through the designated intersection and then perform a U-turn at a median crossover, then make a right-hand turn, or the driver can make a right-hand turn at the intersection and do a U-turn.

How does a Michigan left reduce car accidents?

Because the Michigan left directs traffic in such a pattern that allows traffic to continue to flow, the state has seen a significant reduction in rear-end and head-on collision, which are often the result of a left-hand turn.

Drivers aren’t the only ones that benefit from this driving rule. Pedestrians are safer too. Pedestrians have an extended time to cross and aren’t crossing directly in the path of a car turning left. Also, the large medians act as a safe area for pedestrians to stop and wait for traffic and then cross when signaled.

Michigan lefts designed with your safety in mind

Michigan lefts are an integral part of the state’s road designs. It has been around since the 1960s. To this day, the Michigan left has proven to help mitigate the number of car accidents, increase the flow of traffic, and reduce traffic congestion. Also, the Michigan left concept has inspired North Carolina to implement Michigan lefts into their roadways, with the hopes that it will help with transportation budgets and increasing traffic.