A New Study and Bonnie Tyler Remind Us How To Turn Safely and Properly
Thanks, Bonnie. In addition to giving us a remarkably fun song to sing while drunk (try it), you’ve reminded us what we have to do in order to execute safe turns. Namely, to turn around to the lane or direction you’re going and make sure no people or cars are there. This, I hope, is practiced by 100% of the driving community.
What’s practiced far less often is using the turn signal correctly, and it’s responsible for almost two million accidents per year.
A study conducted by the Society of Automotive Engineers found drivers neglect using their signals properly 48% of the time when they change lanes (neglect defined as not using or forgetting to turn the signal off) and signal-fail 25% of the time when making a full turn.
Unless Bonnie Tyler is blaring “we’re living in a powder keg and giving off sparks” through your car speakers, there’s no excuse for leaving your turn signal on. And there’s never an excuse for avoiding turn signal usage completely.
Because so much of people’s behavior is dependent on trusting other folks, it’s not surprising how many accidents bad signaling causes. When you factor in pedestrians and bicyclists in cities and how they assume turn signals (or lack of) signal actual intent, this behavior becomes even more problematic.
Good, accurate signals are the best. Lack of signals come next, since you can probably determine what someone is doing through observation. Bad, mixed and false signals are the worst because that just means you’re a liar. And no one likes those.
This rank order is applicable to things other than car turns, too.