So You Think You Can Drive

You’re driving home from work, minding your business. You’re paying attention to the cars surrounding you, the speed limit, the stop signs, anything you can and need to do while driving to get you home safely. That is your main duty, to worry about how you’re driving and making sure you are being safe for yourself and other drivers around you. You’re coming down your street, start slowing to turn into your street, and then suddenly a car cuts you off, sliding into the spot you were just about to be in, and he turns into your same street. You SLAM on the breaks to prevent any accidents. It was a close call that can one hundred percent have been avoided had the other driver used his turn signal. 

People not using their turn signals is a very serious problem that occurs daily. Nearly 2-million accidents are cause a year due to people neglecting to use their turn signals. While it is a very little gesture to do while driving, many still fail to use them causing huge safety issues for the driver and others around. Not using your turn signal is as bad as driving while plastered. While they’re very different reasons, both can cause pretty nasty accidents.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles or DMV handbook, you must always signal when you are turning left or right, switching lanes, slowing down, or stopping to pull off

 

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of the road.(pg. 58) Should your blinkers be too dim or burnt out, the turning signals can be given by “hand-and-arm” position. Often times used by motorcyclists or bicyclists.

 A problem that can be solved so easily, yet is still happening obviously needs another solution to getting people to actually start using their turn signals. I believe that a good solution would be to instal some kind of monitor in you car that will alert you when you are changing lanes or turning without a turn signal on. A simple, easy, cost effective monitor that will beep, such as the same way as the seat belt indicator. Some cars, when turned on, if the driver or passenger are not wearing their seatbelts will beep until they are on. The same should be done for turn signals. The beeping will cease once the turn signal is turned on.

Another solution I propose would be that having to retake the hand written part of the DMV driving test every 5 years. I believe that with the cupdate in traffic rules and the daily driving, it would be a good idea to have to retake it every 5 years or when it comes time to renew your license. Retaking the test would be a good refresher for drivers. Not only in being reminded that NOT using a turn signal is illegal but, to be reminded of other laws one must follow while driving. Laws that are sometime easily forgettable. 

While I know that not everyone may not come to like this solution, I believe it would be very effective to remind people and warn them to use their turn signals. It’s a huge safety issue and annoyance to other drivers. I understand it’s a common mistake that people make when forgetting but, there are a ton of people out there that just don’t do it. Simply because they do not want to.  These are the people that are most dangerous because, they decide to drive extremely fast and refuse to use their signals. It’s a scary situation to be around a car like that because you

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have no idea where they are gonna go next and at any moment, another car can be too close or transitioning lanes and cause an accident.

Overall, while I understand it would be tough to come up with a universal solution to get EVERYONE to use their turn signals when driving, I believe my small solutions here would be a step in the right direction.

 

Citations-

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/web/eng_pdf/dl600.pdf

https://www.shanestafford.com/turn-signal-neglect-causes-motor-vehicle-accidents/

https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/Turn-Signal-Problems-and-Diagnosis

https://motorchase.com/en/tag/turn-signal/