Letter - Proper turn signals properly saves lives

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Drivers who most need to change their behavior may never see this, but it has to be said. It is hard to deliver the message without sounding like a square scold.

Turn signals are not just bling to decorate what you are doing! Using them is not a meaningless lifestyle choice! If you have a hard time choosing between your phone and your turn signals, a little cleanup of your gene pool is in order.

Turn signals are critical safety equipment. They have to be used correctly to do their job. Other drivers are basing their decisions of where to be and what speed to go on your apparent intentions.

This is so elementary it grates to have to make the point. Sloppy signal work, at best, annoys people and wastes their time. At worst, it could kill someone.

Use your signal when any other driver within line of sight has a decision to make, like whether to pull out of a side street. Use it as soon as possible after your last alternative has passed.

If there are two turn options in front of you and you intend to take the second one, use the signal as soon as you are past the first one, not before.

Swiping at the signal stalk as you turn the wheel is too late and useless. Stop it!

Start your signal before you brake, so drivers behind you don’t eat your tailpipe. If you can’t remember to make sure your signal is off, maybe you should stop driving.

Other drivers are waiting to know what you are up to. How does it feel to wait at a side street because someone is coming, with no signal, only to have them slow and turn at the last second? Your chances for openings from the other direction are wasted. What a jerk!

That approaching car that darkly turns left in front of you could be the last thing you see in this life.

On the other hand, if you are determined to be a sociopath, or to kill someone, carry on as if you never read this!

Randal Son

Walla Walla

Comments

NewInWW 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Your letter seems to be mostly about approaching drivers signaling their intention to make a right turn, facilitating another driver's left turn across the approaching driver's direction of travel.

I don't know about others, but I NEVER rely on a turn signal as a basis for making a left hand turn in front of an approaching driver. Until I see enough visible slowing to indicate clearly that the on-coming driver is, in fact, making a right turn, perhaps to the point of the driver initiating the turn, I treat a flashing signal as an entirely unreliable predictor of future events.

While I use my turn signals and I agree that increased usage of turn signals might be polite, increased use of signals is never going to change my decision making - which is based solely on the car's motion and not the flashing of a small indicator light.

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