Most drivers have been guilty of turn signal neglect on occasion and some never use turn signals at all. However there is a reason why cars are required to install turn signal lights and why using them is the law: they prevent accidents.
Why does the use of turn signals fail to get the driving public’s respect? It is due in part because it is a low priority law enforcement item. The police will enforce the turn signal law if they have the time for it. Another reason is that many drivers think of it as being nothing more than an act of courtesy and fail to understand its safety implications. Many Fullerton car accidents can be avoided through the simple act of signaling your intention to turn.
How Turn Signal Neglect Can Be Deadly
The consequences of turn signal neglect can be extreme in high speed traffic situations. For example, failure to use your turn signal can cause high speed accidents on multilane interstate highways. The most common scenario is the driver that fails to signal a lane change when a car or motorcycle is overtaking him on the lane he is moving into. In this situation the driver may not see the car because it is in his blind spot. This type of accident can cause multi car pile ups.
Failure to signal a left turn in a situation where the oncoming traffic is moving at high speed may cause a side impact collision with your car. This places the passengers on the right side of your car at severe risk. The risk of impact is even greater when the road conditions are slippery.
A car on the shoulder of a high speed roadway or interstate that fails to signal its intent to pull into traffic is also risking a high speed collision.
Another less common form of neglect is failure to promptly turn off your signal after turning. A driver on a side street may unexpectedly pull out in front of you because your turn signal made them think you were going to make a turn at the intersection.
How To Signal Correctly
A turn signal that is briefly made as you make a turn does not give traffic sufficient warning of your intent. California law requires that you signal continuously for 200 feet before you make your turn.
The signal may be done with signal lights or by using hand signals. All hand signals must occur from the left side of your car. Extend your hand and arm horizontally out the window to indicate a left turn. For a right turn, your elbow must be bent 90 degrees so that your lower arm and your hand are aligned vertically. For slowing down, the hand and lower arm must be extended downward.
For more information on safe driving or if you need advice about a car accident, contact us today at Silverthorne Attorneys.