Using a turn signal is one of the first things we learn when beginning to drive a car. Yet, failure to use a turn signal is one of the most common laws broken on the road.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) reported in 2012 that the lack of a turn signal use causes over 2 million car accidents annually.
These easily preventable accidents cost billions of dollars in car repairs, and more importantly, severe injury or death to many.
Although a blinking light might not seem to be vital for safety, improper lane changes and incorrect turning, both of which are commonly correlated with a lack of a signal, are some of the most frequent reasons for accidents. In fact, a report by the Auto Insurance Center found that Ohio has the second most fatalities from improper lane changes in the U.S.
A turn signal is a warning sign, and maneuvering without warning is dangerous to everyone.
Although the failure to signal is one of the top causes of accidents, it is not likely to get you pulled over. In fact, you are more likely to get a failure-to-signal citation once you are already in an accident.
So what’s to keep drivers from never using turn signals? Besides common courtesy and avoiding injury or death in a crash, the costs of an accident should deter signal negligence. Ohio’s Comparative Negligence Law states that if an accident is more than 50% one party’s fault, that party is not permitted to recover any money for damages to the car or the person. If an accident is caused from a driver’s failure to signal, the driver may not receive any money for medical costs or auto repairs.
A problem for all age groups, but especially young drivers
Although nearly half of all drivers don’t use a turn signal regularly, the problem grows worse with drivers ages 18-24. A survey by Response Insurance found that 71% of drivers in that age group do not routinely use their turn signals. That means nearly 3 of every 4 young drivers do not use a turn signal, a scary fact considering how many young drivers there are.
If you are a driver who doesn’t regularly use turn signals, it is not too late to change your habit.
Here are some tips and reminders for using turn signals:
- Indicate when you wish to change lanes. Make sure you signal before you change
- Do not cross multiple lanes of traffic with a single activation of your turn signal
- Use your turn signal when merging onto the highway
- Indicate when you wish to exit the highway
- Use your turn signals at intersections and when changing streets
- Use your turn signals when leaving a parking lot and merging into traffic
Following the directions above will keep the roads safer for you and for other drivers. Indicating with a turn signal is easy and will make driving in traffic easier as well. If you know people who currently drive without turn signals, save them the costs of a potential accident and explain to them how much easier and safer driving is with indicators.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed as a result of driver negligence, contact my offices immediately. As your Ohio motorcycle accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373