You want us to make a U-turn? In some situations the answer is yes. Requiring single occupant vehicles to make U-turns and subsequent right turns instead of direct left turns is a well-documented strategy for improving safety and minimizing delay along arterial corridors. According to the Transportation Research Board of The National Academies Access Management Manual, “U-turns are generally safer than direct left turns. A study of the safety and operational implications of U-turns versus direct left turns on multilane arterial roadways with a nonreversible median was conducted in Florida in 2000. The analysis of 250 sites revealed that right-turn plus U-turn maneuvers on six lane arterials exhibited a 17.8% lower crash rate and 27.3% lower injury/fatality rate than direct left turns. The study also found that U-turning drivers experience less delay than those making a direct left turn from a drive-way under high-volume conditions. The findings were statistically significant at a 95% confidence level.”
Minnesota’s State Statute (169.19 TURNING, STARTING, AND SIGNALING. Subd. 2. U-turn) says:
No vehicle shall be turned so as to proceed in the opposite direction upon any curve, or upon the approach to or near the crest of a grade, where such vehicle cannot be seen by the driver of any other vehicle approaching from either direction within 1,000 feet, nor shall the driver of a vehicle turn the vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction unless the movement can be made safely and without interfering with other traffic.
To summarize – if you can see down the road far enough to make a U-turn, it is safe and can help the overall operation of the roadway corridor.