When you are driving and need to turn left, how do you do it? If you’re like most drivers, you probably pull up to the intersection and stop, with your wheels already turned to the left. You watch the oncoming cars. When you find a break in the traffic, you accelerate through the gap and continue on down the road.

It sounds simple enough, but there’s a major flaw here. While waiting to turn left, you never want to turn your wheels in advance. Instead, keep your wheels facing straight as if you were not turning. When you find the gap in traffic, then turn your steering wheel as you accelerate.

The reason is this: You still have traffic coming up behind you. You cannot control what those drivers do. If one of them gets distracted by a cellphone and hits your car from behind, you can’t avoid it. What you can do is prepare for it. With your wheels turned to the left, the impact is going to shove you into the oncoming traffic lanes, putting you and another innocent driver in grave danger. If you still have the car facing straight forward, the impact just pushes you forward into the empty intersection.

You could still suffer injuries, of course. A rear-end accident could lead to whiplash, broken bones, head injuries and a host of other issues. However, the odds are that your injuries would be far worse if you got hit from behind and then hit by an oncoming car. You can protect yourself, to some degree, by not turning too soon.

Regardless, if you are injured in an accident caused by another driver, you may be able to seek financial compensation.