It’s rush hour on 29, and you’re already extremely irritated. It’s been a long a day and all you want to do is get home and put your feet up, but you still have five miles, probably 30 minutes, and 75 blaring horns to get through before that can happen.
Finally, you’ve successfully merged onto 211 making your way toward Rappahannock. You stay in the right lane since your exit is coming up pretty quickly. The man behind you gets into the left lane, supposedly making his way further down Lee. However, as soon as you approach your exit and flip on your turn signal, the man next to you suddenly veers into your lane without any warning or turn signal, cuts you off, and takes your exit to Rappahannock.
You had no other choice but to slam on your brakes. So did the row of cars behind you. Everyone in the left lane had to come to a quick stop, too, when the reckless driver suddenly slowed to change lanes. All of you, now annoyed and angry over the fender-benders that resulted from the incident, watch as the blinker-less menace carelessly drives down Rappahannock, weaving in and out of traffic, still without using his turn signal.
What’s the point of turn signals if no one uses them?
How Blinker Warnings Prevent Accidents
Blinkers are standard accessories on cars for a reason; much like brakes and rear-view mirrors, they’re meant to help prevent accidents. However, if you choose not to use them, to use them only occasionally, or to use them only when you feel like it, they can’t do their job to warn others and consequently help save your life.
So let’s look at three reasons why blinkers aren’t (and should never be) considered “optional”:
- Keeping pedestrians safe. Turn signals warn pedestrians that you’ll be turning in order to keep them from crossing in your blind spot; otherwise, they won’t know you’re turning and may walk out in front of you, causing you to crash right into them.
- Changing lanes securely. When you’re changing lanes, your blinkers can warn other motorists that you need space to get over, so they may adjust their speeds. If they don’t know you want to come over, they can’t give you the room and if you move over without warning, you could cause them to swerve or collide into you or another motorist.
- Alerting vehicles behind you. Blinkers also warn cars behind you of potential speed adjustments. By warning the cars behind you that you’ll be turning and thus slowing down, they can preemptively slow down as well. However, if they have no warning, instead of safely matching your speed, they could potentially hit the brakes too late and cause a rear-end collision.
Don’t put your life or the lives of others in danger because you can’t be bothered to flip a simple toggle five inches from your steering wheel. Be considerate to those around you, or you may find yourself injured, on the wrong side of a legal claim, or even worse.
Help us keep our streets safe by sharing this article with your friends, family and coworkers on Facebook, Twitter or via email. Would you like more information about accident avoidance or what to do if you’ve already been in an accident? Contact us today for more information; not only will you receive a free consultation, but we’ll also give you a free review of your Virginia auto and home insurance policy, compliments of Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas.