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Turn signals translate your car’s intention and action of turning. So do you know how to effectively use turn signals on the road before changing lanes or making a turn? Some drivers underestimate the power of turn signals forgetting they are vital to road safety. 

Signaling your intentions on the road is an act that is required by the law. Many drivers view turn signals as a respectful thing to use. Turn signals alert other drivers to act accordingly to where you are going. 

By alerting every car around you, you ensure their safety and yours on the road. Turn signals are the green arrows pointing toward the intended turn that appears on your dashboard. In this post, we will go through the practical usage of turn signals on the road.

Keep in mind:

According to the Society of Automotive Engineers, nearly two million US crushes result from failure to use turn signals. It is even more than the number of accidents that arise from car distractions. 

If you have a crush, you will have multiple consequences, like receiving a signal ticket, permanent or severe injuries, property damage, and an auto insurance increase.

25% of drivers never use turn signals to turn, while 48% need to indicate before changing a lane. Here is some advice to keep in mind for effectively using turn signals.

How do You make A Perfect Turn When Driving?

turn signals car


As you drive, try to signal early enough before you make a turn, as it is the preferred way to keep others from getting in your way. Also, indicate repeatedly. As a qualified driver, you know that your hands must be on the wheel to turn safely. 

While turning, wait to switch off the turn signals until you have completed and successfully made the turn. After making the corner, always turn off the signals to avoid confusion later. 

They are also used when changing lanes slowly and smoothly. It is a life-saving tip since a driver you did not notice in your rearview mirror would honk to let you know they are right behind you.

What Color Should Indicators Be?

turn signals left and right


Amber is the color commonly used to enact this action when indicating direction. The intensity should be between 100 and 500 candlepower. It also should be on the side of the vehicle, approximately at the level of the driver’s eye.

The brake indicator is constantly red since braking a car means stopping or slowing down. If you need to slow down, a few light taps on the brake pedal to flash the brake lights will be enough to warn the drivers behind you.

When you drive slowly or trying to stop, use the four-way emergency flashers to be on the safe side. Your car’s headlights are also part of the indicators. They make your vehicle noticeable by turning them on at dawn, dusk, or when snowing or raining.

Are You Supposed To Use Turn Signals In Parking Lots?

Absolutely! It is a recommended driving tip since you must take turns in the parking area. When driving off private to public property, you must stop, use turn signals, and adhere to the speed limits.

Landowners have rights over their property due to these safety tips.

Turn signals are optional for private property, but it is a great idea to let other drivers know if you want to pull into the parking space. Backing out of parking spaces involves running over cars and people you cannot see behind.

But indicating you are backing out using flashers may help avoid this scenario. According to research, 14% of all insurance claims result from parking lot crashes. Also, while driving into a parking lot, remember to turn on your four-way emergency flashers, especially at night.

Never trust the tail lights to give a warning. Drivers have crashed into parked vehicle rears because they thought it was moving as usual. Turn on the four-way emergency flashers within 10 minutes of your stop.

What Are The Three Rules For Using Your Turn Signals?

Here are the rules:

What Else Should You Keep in Mind When Using Turn Signals?

things to remember when using turn signals


While driving and about to make a tight turn in a large vehicle, warn the drivers behind you by braking early and slowing gradually.

When you want to pass a car, pedestrian, or cyclist, you must assume they do not see you since they could suddenly come before you. Tap the horn lightly when this happens or flash your headlights from low to high beam to notify them. Afterward, drive carefully past them.

Lorry and bus drivers sometimes stop on the road to unload passengers and cargo. Warn the other drivers by flashing your brake lights.

Turn signals are vital to road safety, and using them would save many lives. The above methods will help you get the bigger picture of the importance of turn signals.

Can you use the signal when there is no car?

Using turn signals should be a habit you should entertain even when you are alone on the road. To become an experienced driver, signaling should always come naturally into your thoughts. The turning signal is helpful to other vehicle drivers and cyclists and pedestrians on the same road you are on.

Which Is the Best Time To Use Turn Signals?  

You can only use your car’s turn signals when you fall in this situation.

How Many Second Should You Signal When You Turn?

When you intend to turn, you should signal when you are at least 100 feet before you take action, and when you are on a highway and want to change lanes, you should take at least five seconds before moving toward the next lane.

What Signal Should You Give To Turn Left?

You should straighten your left arm with your palm forward out the window for a left turn. If that sounds unbelievable, you can point your left-hand fingers towards the left. Extending your arm is safe once you start making the left turn.

Do You Signal When Reversing?

You should also signal when reversing to indicate which direction you intend to turn. Signaling will allow other drivers on the way you move to give you room for turning. You can also apply this when you are unpacking or packing your car.


Humans make some errors; sometimes, you forget to signal when turning. The article has fully explained the consequences of not signals and how to signal where necessary. When you follow up with everything explained in the article, you will exempt yourself from any signal penalties. Furthermore, don’t forget to check your mirror and blind spot before you take a smooth turn.

Looking for more practical ways to learn how to use turn signals effectively? Pierre Paul Driving School offers comprehensive driving lessons at affordable prices. Check out our packages to find out what may work for you.