A Turn for the Worse (Using Turn Signals)

Distracted driving is bad, you know that.  Daydreaming, talking on the cell phone, putting your makeup on in the rear view mirror.  All bad.  But there's something else that causes more than twice as many accidents, according to a recent study.  And that's people who don't use their turn signals. 

Maybe you're one of them.  One survey said nearly a quarter of drivers were just too lazy to use their turn signals.  Others said they didn't use them because they weren't really necessary.  Traffic laws may dictate otherwise, but statistics show police don't write that many tickets for turn signal violations. 

You may have encountered the driver who cuts into your lane without signaling a change.  Often, that person does it deliberately to catch you off guard so you won't invade his or her space.  And when it comes to young drivers using turn signals, one insurance company survey showed more than two-thirds of those they talked to admitted it wasn't their regular practice.

Knowing that, you may wonder why you should use your turn signal.  The reason is simple.  It lets other drivers know what you plan to do.  Driving it tricky enough with all the moving parts on the road.  The more you know what other people are doing, the more you can prepare for that with the way you drive.

How many times have you seen someone turn left without putting their turn signal on?  That's a leading cause of rear-end accidents. Not only does using your turn signal promote safety, it also shows courtesy to other drivers.

There are some drivers who don't use turn signals because their turn signals don't work.  What a lousy excuse! All of the safety equipment in your vehicle should be working; if it isn't, head over to your repair facility.  Often it's as simple as a burned out bulb or a broken wire. 

Finally, the number one reported reason for not using a turn signal is that drivers just forget to do it.  (And the ones who DO use their turn signals and forget they're on?  We won't even go there.)

Engineers put turn signals on vehicles for a reason.  They help drivers communicate with other drivers.  Using them could save accidents… and lives.


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