Saturday, May 09, 2009

Turn Signals Are Not An Options Package

The lack of turn signal use by other drivers has always bugged me, but 3 identical incidents at the same intersection coming out of my neighborhood in the last 3 days prompted me to write something about it.

First of all, turn signals are not optional on a vehicle these days. You cannot request the model without them, because that model never came off the manufacturer's assembly line. Why do you think a standard dirt bike isn't "street legal"? Because it doesn't come with turn signals, among other things. So, anyone who thinks they're optional equipment, they're not.

Secondly, why aren't they optional? Because with so many cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, XUVs, hybrids, motorcycles, mopeds, tricycles, semis, and other vehicles on the roads today, we all need to be aware of what the next person over plans on doing. Turn signals were not installed on vehicles for our pleasure or enhanced driving experience, they were installed to safely alert other drivers of your intention so they can make wise decisions while on the road.

It's common sense - the hundreds and thousands of drivers around you need to know what your next move is so they can plan their next move accordingly, otherwise we get stupid, avoidable accidents occurring left and right.

So, I implore those of you who fail to use turn signals, and use them properly, to start doing so. Consider it the next time someone pulls out in front of you and cuts you off, or randomly turns off a highway when you're not expecting it and you have to slam on your brakes, or, what happened to me lately: you're waiting to make a turn, and an oncoming car plans on turning down the same street but never signals so you have to wait that much longer when you could have been halfway up the street.

Boy do I welcome comments on this one if you've got 'em.



At Saturday, May 09, 2009 7:52:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

It's so funny that you posted this, because I had a traffic-related incident happen this week that was bogus. I got a ticket at a red light cam for turning right on red next to Walgreen's on Kingston Pike across from the mall. The explanation says that turning right on red is allowed, but the light was red for too long before I turned. I think cars should drive themselves so stupid people and stupid red light cams can't ruin it for us all.

At Sunday, May 10, 2009 12:00:00 PM, Blogger Daniel Monday said...

Wow, that's crazy. Well, in the future I think cars will drive themselves, but I hope they don't use Windows as the OS or they might "crash." Haha.

At Friday, May 29, 2009 9:30:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never heard the "light was red for too long" reason. I had a friend who got 2 (at the same light) because he didn't stop long enough which seems to be the exact opposite reason to your ticket!

As to turn signals, I LOVE them! In Atlanta they only signaled that the people around you needed to hurry up and cut you off, so you used them to indicate an actual turn that was safe from "cut off" or after you're halfway in the lane to indicate you meant to do that & are not drifting.

Here the people are so nice that why wouldn't you use your signal? They'll slow down or speed up or get over to get out of your way and let you do what you are indicating you want to do.

One thing that IS optional (i.e. they charge extra on the invoice for it) is the center console. I guess we all take that option, since I've yet to see anyone with a car without one.

At Saturday, May 30, 2009 2:50:00 PM, Blogger Daniel Monday said...

Haha, yeah. The console is nice. I've noticed a mix of people who are cool enough to signal and also let you in by slowing down. There are still a lot that don't, though. But, maybe the number is higher than ATL!


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