Every single time your mother-in-law is in the car while you’re driving down I-10, she lectures you about the importance of using your turn signal when changing lanes. Although you do use it occasionally, you don’t see the point in using it when you’re quickly changing lanes, or when you pass someone; it’ll only be on for a second anyway, so what’s the point?
Is it really that important to use your blinker all the time?
Dangerous Facts of Blinker Indifference
According to a 2012 field study conducted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), blinker neglect is responsible for almost double the number of accidents as driving while texting (which is extremely dangerous in its own right). The study, titled Turn Signal Usage Rate Results, used the turning and lane-changing habits of 12,000 different drivers to accurately portray turn signal usage. After observing these vehicles, the SAE was able to calculate average percentages of blinker neglect which can be used as a national baseline for all U.S. drivers. The results are as follows:
- On average, 25 percent of drivers neglect to use their blinkers when turning.
- Approximately 50 percent of drivers fail to use their blinkers while changing lanes.
- Over 10 percent of drivers use their turn signals incorrectly, for instance by failing to turn them off after changing lanes or using the incorrect signal when turning (using the right blinker while turning left).
- Nearly two million accidents per year are caused by the failure of a driver to use his turn signal, compared to approximately one million texting accidents.
Don’t neglect your family’s safety by neglecting to use such a simple form of protection. Remember to always use your blinkers while changing lanes, making a turn, or pulling off to the side of the road. Although this may seem like an inconvenience, the simple gesture of tapping a bar could not only help eliminate millions of accidents, but it could also ensure the safety of you and your family.
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