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Michigan Lefts

Michigan Left Sign in Lansing
Department of Transportation

Michigan Lefts

Michigan Lefts, also referred to as indirect left turns, are a common type of turn. Intersections that have Michigan Lefts do not allow traditional left-turn movements. Instead, to turn left, drivers must continue straight through the intersection or turn right, then make a U-turn at a median crossover.

Michigan Lefts have been part of Michigan roadways since the late 1960s.

View the Michigan Lefts Brochure.

Michigan Lefts Increase Safety

Research has shown that Michigan Lefts increase safety at an intersection by reducing the number and severity of crashes, often by 30-60 percent. They also relieve congestion, improve traffic flow, and provide easier access to businesses. With fewer crashes and congestion and increased capacity, roads with Michigan Lefts function better for all road users. 

Michigan Lefts FAQs

How to Drive a Michigan Left

Highway A traffic is prohibited from making a direct left turn onto Highway B at the intersection. Instead, drivers must continue past the intersection and turn left into the median crossover. When traffic clears, the driver will make a left turn onto Highway A and continue straight or move to the far-right lane and turn right onto Highway B. Extra pavement, or loons, may be necessary at the U-turn location to accommodate large vehicles where narrow medians are present.

Highway B traffic is prohibited from making a direct left turn onto Highway A at the intersection. Instead, Highway B must turn right onto Highway A, move to the far-left lane and turn left into the median crossover. When traffic clears, the driver will make a left turn onto Highway A and continue straight. (See Scenario 1)

An image showing a driving scenario through the Michigan Left.

At some locations, Highway B is prohibited from traveling through the intersection, which can be signalized or unsignalized. In those cases, Highway B must turn right onto Highway A, move to the far-left lane and turn left into the median crossover. When traffic clears, the driver will make a left turn onto Highway A and then move over to the right lane and turn right in order to continue on Highway B. (See Scenario 2)

An image showing a driving scenario through the Michigan Left.