How to Effectively Use Turn Signals on the Road

August 15, 2020

Turn signals translate your car’s intention and action of turning. So do you 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’re ensuring their safety and yours on the road. Turn signals are the green arrows pointing to the direction of 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:

  • Dangers of Never Using Turn Signals

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

25% of drivers never use their turn signals to turn, while 48% do not indicate before changing a lane. Here is some of the advice to keep in mind for the effective use of turn signals.

How do You do A Perfect Turn When Driving?

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, do not switch off the turn signals until you have completed and successfully made the turn. After making the corner always remember to 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 on your rearview mirror would honk to let you know he or she is right behind you.

What Color Should Indicators be?

When it comes to indicating direction, amber is the color commonly used to enact this action. 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 always red since braking a car means stopping it 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 real slow or trying to stop, use the four-way emergency flashers to be on the safe side. Your car’s headlights are also part of 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 need to make 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 to the parking space. Backing out of parking spaces involves running over cars and people that 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 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:

  • Signal early – be sure to signal before turning to ensure that others don’t try to pass you
  • Signal continuously – Making a safe turn requires that you place both hands on the steering wheel. Don’t be tempted to cancel the signal before completing the turn.
  • Turn off the turn signal after turning. That is if your car doesn’t have the self-canceling signals.

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

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

When you want to pass a car, pedestrian, or cyclist, you need to assume that they do not see you since they could suddenly come in front of you. When this happens, tap the horn lightly or flash your headlights from low to high beam to notify them. Afterward, drive carefully past them.

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

Turn signals are a vital part of 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.  

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