When you're turning left, you love having a green arrow. It holds up all other traffic and gives you a clear break to turn. There are few things as frustrating as sitting at a light where just a single car gets to turn left after every cycle, and the green arrow solves that problem.

However, as helpful as the arrow is for drivers, pedestrians are the ones who are really being protected. For pedestrians who are crossing the street, left-turning vehicles are one of the biggest hazards. The arrow helps by stopping pedestrians and letting cars cross when people aren't in the road.

Drivers Don't Look

Think that it can't make that much of a difference? Researchers have studied it. When looking at turns where there are no green arrows, they saw how drivers were forced to watch oncoming traffic instead, searching for that gap that would allow them to turn. They also had to act quickly when they finally had that chance to turn. This meant that a full 5 percent to 11 percent never even checked the crosswalk. They simply didn't look at it at all. They just turned. Pedestrians who were confidently and legally crossing the road were directly in harm's way.

All Green Arrows

Some have suggested that it's incredibly hard to prevent these accidents. Drivers do have to focus on oncoming traffic, they have no choice but to act quickly, and they're actually trying to be safe by watching those cars. They just have a hard time concentrating on traffic and pedestrians at once. Some experts think the only real solution would be to switch to a system where there are all green arrows and drivers can never turn left unless they have one, forcing them to wait for pedestrians who cross with the traffic.

Seeking Compensation

Whether it's hard or not, drivers do have an obligation to watch out for pedestrians, even when turning left. If you have been hit and injured by a driver who didn't check the crosswalk, as so people many are, you need to know if you have a right to compensation.