When’s the last time you used your car’s turn signal? If you’re like a lot of people, it may have been awhile. But know this: Not signaling before you change lanes, or make a turn, greatly increases your risk of having an accident. In fact, according to some statistics, unsafe lane changes are the number one cause of accidents.
And a big reason is because people don’t bother to signal. A recent study found that half the time, drivers don’t use a signal when they change lanes, and one in four drivers don’t signal when they make a turn. It’s what experts call an “epidemic lack of compliance.”
The truth is, turn signals are simple, everybody’s got one, and they prevent accidents. And using one is the law, just like it’s the law to stop at stop signs and red lights. But police are more interested in ticketing people for speeding, or running a light.
So, safety-minded car manufacturers are considering adding Smart Turn Signals to cars. If you repeatedly make turns without signaling, it would beep or flash, like a seatbelt reminder. And it would automatically shut off your turn signal after you finished changing lanes.
Smart Turn Signals would also be cheaper than the current mechanical device that shuts off your turn signal after you make a 90-degree turn.
But until that happens, how can you stay safer on the road? Use your turn signal! Because other drivers are less likely to hit you if they know what you’re about to do.
And know this: According to Consumer Reports, one of the top 10 driver pet-peeves is when other drivers don’t use their turn signals.