Who is at fault in Georgia if I turn left when the light is about to turn red?

Atlanta, the bustling capital of Georgia, sees its fair share of traffic lights and intersections. Every day, countless drivers face the decision of whether or not to make that left turn as the light teeters on the edge of turning red. In such situations, it’s essential to understand Georgia’s left turn laws and how fault is determined in the event of a collision. After all, a hasty decision in the heart of Atlanta could have significant legal and financial implications. 

One of the most difficult accidents for police to determine fault is an accident that occurs in Georgia, where a driver is driving straight through a yellow light and the driver in the opposite direction is turning left. Now, on one hand, the driver going straight has the right of way, but the party turning left has an obligation to clear the intersection before the light turns red.

So who is at fault is determined by the facts and circumstances, the eyewitness testimony, and maybe video from surrounding cameras. If we can find those.

auto accident settlement

Can you turn left on a red light in Georgia?

The simple answer is, it depends. In Georgia, you can make a left turn on a red light only from a one-way street onto another one-way street, unless prohibited by a traffic sign. However, in most situations, turning left on a red signal from a two-way street onto any street is illegal.

Understanding the left turn law in Georgia is crucial, especially for those navigating the busy streets of Atlanta.

Generally, vehicles turning left must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic unless they have a dedicated left-turn arrow. If you are in the intersection waiting to turn left and the light turns red, you are legally allowed to complete your turn, provided you entered the intersection on a green or yellow light. However, if a collision occurs under these circumstances, determining fault might be more complicated.

Failure to yield when turning left in Georgia is a common traffic offense. It means that the driver did not give the right of way to oncoming traffic when making a left turn. This can lead to severe accidents, especially at high-speed intersections. When a collision happens due to a left turn, the driver who was turning is often deemed at fault, especially if they turned against a red light or without proper caution.


Now, let’s address the situation where you decide to turn left as the light is about to turn red. If you enter the intersection while the light is still yellow, intending to turn, and the light turns red while you’re in the intersection, you have the right to complete your turn. However, if a crash occurs, the fault isn’t automatically assigned to the other driver. Many factors come into play, such as the speed of the oncoming vehicle, the exact timing of the light change, and whether the turning driver acted cautiously.


car accident attorney

Determining fault in such situations can be intricate.

This is where having an experienced Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer by your side can make a significant difference. A knowledgeable attorney can help review the specifics of the accident, gather necessary evidence, and advocate for your rights, ensuring you get the best possible outcome.

Moreover, with the assistance of a Car Accident Lawyer, you can navigate the legal intricacies of Georgia’s traffic laws, ensuring that your rights are protected and you receive fair compensation if you are not at fault.

In conclusion, while Georgia law permits completing a left turn if you’re already in the intersection when the light turns red, it’s essential to always prioritize safety. Ensure that the way is clear and that oncoming traffic has stopped before completing your turn. If you’re ever in doubt, especially in a bustling city like Atlanta, it’s always best to wait for the next green light. Safety first! 

Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Lawyer, Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer