Drivers who do not use their turn signals correctly are a danger to other drivers, whether they realize it or not. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) reports that two million accidents occur every year due to drivers who fail to signal. A separate survey showed that 71 percent of drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 said that they did not use their blinkers consistently.
The SAE study also revealed that 25 percent of motorists do not signal when turning, and about half do not signal before switching lanes. On top of this, 10 percent were shown to use their blinkers incorrectly; examples cited were using the left when turning right, or leaving it on long after a lane change was made.
When to Signal
It is polite to use blinkers, but their main function is to warn others about an intention to turn, slow down, or change lanes. This gives other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians the needed reaction time to avoid an accident. In addition to turns and lane changes, these all warrant turn signal use:
- Parking: Drivers that are pulling into a parking spot should always use blinkers, especially in busy parking lots. This can prevent the common accident of two cars pulling into the same spot at the same time.
- Pulling Out: Using a blinker when pulling out of a parking spot or driveway is the best way to alert others.
- Traffic Circles/Roundabouts: Blinker use is essential, unless the driver is going straight. Drivers should use their blinkers to indicate which exit they plan to take.
- Parallel Parking: Drivers should use turn signals as they pull over and while waiting to get into the spot. Once they start to park, they do not need to keep it on.
- Merging and Passing: These can be dangerous when blinkers are not used, especially at high speeds. The merging vehicle is coming into another lane, and other drivers in that lane must be alerted.
Signaling and Turning in Pennsylvania
In short, all drivers have a duty to signal their intentions so that others can see it in enough time to adjust their reaction. Pennsylvania requires drivers to use appropriate signals before safely turning, changing lanes, or entering into traffic when parked. Indicators should be used starting at least 100 feet before a turn when driving under 35 miles per hour, and at least 300 feet at faster speeds.
Drivers that do not use their turn signals correctly may be liable for causing accidents. Violating the Pennsylvania law could be evidence of negligence if it caused the crash. There have been cases where drivers were found liable for signaling too late when approaching an intersection, or when attempting to pass. Proving fault can be challenging, and it may be best to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for legal advice in these situations.
Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. Advocate for Victims Injured in Car Accidents
If you need effective legal representation for a car accident or personal injury claim, contact the Pittsburgh car accident lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. today. We will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us at 412-765-1888 or complete an online form for a free case evaluation. Located in Pittsburgh, we represent clients throughout Allegheny County, Lawrence County, Washington County, and western Pennsylvania.