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Are U-turns Legal in Georgia?

Donald Singleton
July 8, 2022

You can incur substantial fines and points on your license if you violate one of the hundreds of Georgia traffic laws. To remain safe on the road, it is important to keep up with the latest Georgia traffic laws. It is permissible to make a U-turn most of the time, but there are certain places where it is not. You might receive a citation for an illegal U-turn if you didn’t see a U-turn sign or made a U-turn anyway. Let us help you if you received an illegal U-turn ticket in Georgia. Traffic cases are our specialty and we can help you today with our Georgia traffic attorneys.

Georgia U-Turn Laws

It is possible to U-Turn almost anywhere under OCGA §40-6-121, unless:

  • There is a curve on the road
  • On the crest of a hill
  • Crash-causing or traffic-interrupting situations
  • There is a sign prohibiting U-turns.

It is fairly clear what 1,2, and 4 mean, but 3 is a bit vague. An interview with a Georgia police officer boils down to this. An accident that occurs when you make a U-Turn is almost always your fault. You should only make this maneuver if you are absolutely certain that it is safe. A police officer can also pull you over if you block traffic during the turn as well.

Georgia’s Penalties for illegal U-turns

A misdemeanor offense in Georgia is a minor traffic violation. You may be fined up to $1,000, imprisoned up to one year, or both.

An illegal U-turn charge is usually punished by a fine and three points on your driving record. It can be very expensive to have points added to your license. Your insurance provider may increase your premiums or even drop you completely. A license suspension or revocation could occur if you have already accrued three points on your license. You then have to pay hundreds of dollars to have your license reinstated.

The U-turn may result in civil liability, however, if it causes an accident. Here are a few examples:

  • If you ignored a sign prohibiting U-turns and were hit from behind anyway, it is likely you will be found at fault for the accident. Any damage caused by the wreck will be your responsibility.
  • It is likely that you will be held responsible for any damages that result from an accident involving a U-turn made on a curve, where another driver was not able to see you, and you will have to pay this amount.
  • Traffic violations are often considered minor offenses, but they can result in severe penalties. Pay the ticket instead of making a mistake. For more information about your case, contact our Georgia traffic lawyers.

Georgia’s Defenses Against Illegal U-turns

A U-turn made at an intersection with an unreadable or missing sign would be an appropriate defense. For the case to succeed, the evidence must demonstrate that the sign was in good condition or that it didn’t exist. We could assist you with this defense by providing you with a Georgia traffic attorney.

A U-turn made due to a car breakdown might be defended as an emergency maneuver. If a U-turn was the most reasonable choice, a judge may take that into consideration. The best option would be to pull off to the side of the road.

Any evidence supporting the officer’s mistake or that you were improperly stopped would greatly enhance your case.

Despite being charged with making an illegal U-turn, the fine or points could be lower since the U-turn was made in order to avoid an accident.

What Georgia Won’t Accept as a Defense

Despite the fact that you may not have seen the sign, your action is still illegal. It was still illegal to make the U-turn.

There was no sign: According to the statute, a U-turn is illegal even without a sign. Turning on a curve or in a place where a car could not see you is still illegal.


Our attorneys at Singleton Law Firm, LLC will investigate all aspects of your case and provide you with an evaluation of your options if you have been charged with a traffic violation. You will then receive assistance from us in developing the most effective defense and achieving the best possible result. Get a free case evaluation today by calling us.

Donald Singleton

Donald Singleton


A Georgia native, Don founded Singleton Law Firm in 1999 as a continuation of his lifetime commitment to serving his state and community. He has concentrated his trial practice to representing victims of serious injury and wrongful death arising out of trucking, car, bus and motorcycle accidents, premises liability and a wide variety of other causes.

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