The short answer is sometimes. Alabama law states, “The driver of any vehicle shall not turn such vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction unless such movement can be made in safety and without interfering with other traffic.” More important, Alabama law completely prohibits U-turns on curves or hills where the driver coming from the opposite direction could not see you from at least 500 feet. So, in short, Alabama allows u-turns in certain situations. However, if there is a sign that prohibits U-turns at a certain intersection, then U-turns are not allowed. Similarly, it is important to note that if you are making a U-turn, you have to yield to ALL other traffic on the road. Here are a couple of scenarios to help you understand the proper use of a U-turn:
Scenario 1: You are sitting at a red light at the intersection of University Drive (US-72) and Jordan Lane in Huntsville, Alabama. You are traveling west on University Drive (US-72) and want to make a u-turn to head east on US-72. Another car is heading north on Jordan Lane and is turning right to head east on University Drive (US-72). You get the green arrow to turn left (west on Jordan Lane) What do you do?
Answer: You should allow the car to turn right first and then if safe, attempt your u-turn without interrupting any other traffic. People making a U-turn have to wait until they do not interrupt any other traffic flow before attempting a U-turn. Even if you have a green arrow to turn left, you do not have the right-of-way to make a U-turn unless there is no other traffic interrupting this turn.
Scenario 2: You are traveling south on Hughes Road in Madison, Alabama. You come over a hill and realize you forgot something at home and want to turn around at the bottom of the hill. Hughes Road is straight where you are but has a curve ahead but except for a few young trees, the view is clear from you to 1,000 feet in the other direction. Can you make a U-turn?
Answer: Yes! If the view is clear that you would be able to see a vehicle 1,000 feet away, then a vehicle from the other direction can see you as well. The fact that there is a curve shortly ahead, does not change the fact that you are in a straight section of the road and visibility is clear. You can make your u-turn as long as it is safe and does not interfere with other traffic.
Hopefully these examples help you understand the situations where U-turns are allowed in Alabama. Please continue to follow our blog for more interesting articles about car safety, 18 wheeler safety, social security disability laws, workers compensation law, personal injury and more.