Neglecting to Use Turn Signals Properly Contributes to Millions of Car Accidents

Neglecting to Use Turn Signals Properly Contributes to Millions of Car Accidents

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Neglecting to Use Turn Signals Properly Contributes to Millions of Car Accidents

It seems like such an easy thing for a driver to do: Hit the signal before executing a turn. However, according to research at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) improper use of turn signals accounts for nearly 2 million accidents per year. By comparison, distracted driving receives much more public attention, yet it is the cause of half as many accidents, some 950,000 crashes per year.

In the SAE study, researchers observed 12,000 cars nationwide and found that 48 percent of drivers failed to use their turn indicators during lane changes or neglected to turn them off afterward. Twenty-five percent of the drivers didn’t signal when making a turn. Based on these numbers, researchers estimate that drivers make signaling errors 750 billion times per year—some 2 billion times per day—substantially increasing the risk of a multi-vehicle accident.

The report calls for law enforcement to put more effort into sanctioning drivers who fail to signal correctly. It also calls for new cars to be equipped with a warning system to indicate when your turn signals aren’t being used properly.

Why It’s Important to Use Your Turn Signal

Using your turn signal is a very simple and effective way of reducing collisions. It allows you to communicate with others on the road, giving drivers time to slow down while you change lanes or turn.

Moreover, it’s the law.

As Richard Ponziani, President of RLP Engineering and author of the SAE report, emphasizes: “[A]ll drivers have an ongoing duty to use [their turn signal], just as they have a duty to stop at a stop sign or at a red light.”

 

How to Use Your Turn Signal Effectively

  1. Turn on your turn indicators about 100 feet (in some states, it’s 200 feet) in advance of your intended maneuver. These maneuvers may include turning, changing lanes, parking or merging into traffic.
  2. Look carefully for vehicles and pedestrians before making the maneuver.
  3. Turn off your signal after the maneuver is complete. Leaving indicators on can confuse drivers around you.

If we all use our turn signals correctly, we can significantly reduce the number of accidents with just a flick of the wrist.

Have you been involved in a collision where turn signals were not used correctly?  We can help you. Contact Zanes Law at (844) 926-3752 to see how we can help.

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