Should I Keep my Tires Straight when Waiting to Turn Left?

Safe Driving Habits: Keeping Tires Straight

If you’re wondering if you need to keep your tires straight while turning left, keep reading. The answer is, YES, Please do.

If you’re rear-endedOpens in a new tab. while waiting, and your tires and vehicle are straight, then your vehicle will be pushed straight ahead. This would be bad, but not the end of the world.

If your vehicle and/or tires are turned, you may be pushed into oncoming traffic in the case of a rear-end collision, and may be then T-boned. This is way worse than simply being rear-ended once.

Yielding To Oncoming Road Users On A Left Turn

Right Turns At Intersections Demo
Right Turns At Intersections Demo
tires straight

Keeping A Straight Position Protects You From Secondary Collisions


There are some exceptions, like this intersection on Cambie St. in Vancouver. Here, you kind of have to angle your vehicle as per the little white guidelines. So here is one example where your tires and vehicle won’t be ‘straight’ and that’s okay.


Often, if your vehicle is completely straight like it should be, it means you can’t properly see oncoming traffic. In this case, simply wait until the signal goes yellow or red – whenever it is safe, turn. If you don’t know, or aren’t sure, or can’t see if it’s safe, then wait.

See this post for detailed information on turning left at lights: How to turn left at traffic lights.


Carmen became a driving instructor at the age of 22 in North Vancouver, Canada and is an experienced writer, blogger, photographer, artist, philosopher, certified day dreamer and generally complicated human.

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