Car accidents occur with surprising regularity in the greater Rockford area, injuring and killing pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and other motorists. While experts point to distracted driving—talking on the phone, texting, adjusting the radio, or eating—as a contributing factor in many accidents, another serious problem may account for millions of crashes in the United States every year.
Turn Signal Neglect
Turn signals are standard safety devices on every car, truck, and SUV. Drivers are supposed to use them when they make a turn or lane change to alert others of their intentions. In fact, Illinois law says that drivers must signal for 100 continuous feet in residential and business areas and 200 continuous feet in other areas—using the turn signal lever on the steering column or hand signals.
However, as we all know from our own experience on the road, compliance is not at 100 percent. Many drivers fail to use turn signals to signal their intentions, and those who do sometimes forget to turn them off after their turn is complete. Either way, when a driver neglects to use turn signals properly, he is giving those around him the wrong information about his intentions—setting the scene for a serious crash.
One turn signal study, published by SAE International in April 2012, concluded that turn signal neglect is responsible for as many as 2 million accidents each year—a huge number of preventable crashes.
If you have gotten lax about using your turn signals, commit right now to start using them properly. You may also wish to share this article on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus to help remind family and friends to signal when making a turn or changing lanes.