Many people regard turn signal use as an unimportant part of driving. After all, if you look before changing lanes or turning at intersections, it isn’t needed, right? Looking without signaling isn’t enough because if you’re like other human beings, you sometimes make mistakes such as failing to see a vehicle that could be affected by your turn. This is especially true in crowded and complex traffic situations.

Turn signals also increase your predictability to the other vehicles around you. The predictability of other cars allows you to navigate your way safely through traffic. You should return the favor by being predictable yourself. Don’t be like the erratic driver that endangers others on the road and causes accidents.

You might question the point of turn signaling when you’re the only car on the road. In such circumstances, it certainly doesn’t matter but you can’t make turn signaling a habit unless you signal every time. Muscle memory is like that: it requires constant reinforcement. Otherwise, you’ll only signal when it occurs to you, even in heavy traffic.

Failing to signal is as dangerous as distracted driving, which has been getting a lot attention in recent years. In fact, a study by SAE International reveals that turn signal neglect causes more crashes than distracted driving. It’s easy to see why. Motorists aren’t mind readers and the only way they will know that you want to turn or change a lane is by signaling your intentions.

Failing to signal before a lane change means that a motorist rapidly approaching from behind may collide into you when you cut the person off. Not signaling before a left turn at an intersection will make others in the opposing lane think you’re driving straight through the intersection.

The potential for a crash is especially extreme when failing to signal in slippery conditions such as when you’re driving in an area with snow. People can’t compensate for your unpredictable driving because hard turns or hard braking isn’t possible on snowy roads. Don’t be one of “those” drivers. Be courteous and safe by signaling your intentions.

Contact us if a negligent driver injured you or a family member in a crash. Our initial consultation is free.

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