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Steve Novotney Says, "It's Called a Turn Signal"

Many sound like a grandfather clock ticking away time, but yes, there are quieter versions that barely make a sound after initiation.

But the one constant is that blinking light, right there on the dashboard and on the front and rear exteriors of legal vehicles, and that is why cars have them and why vans and trucks and buses and motorcycles do, too. Every manufacturer producing such forms of personal and public transportation includes this mysterious technology because, well, it's the law.

No, seriously … in West Virginia Code:

§17C-8-9. Signals to be given by hand and arm or signal device.
Any stop or turn signal when required herein shall be given either by means of the hand and arm or by a signal lamp or lamps or mechanical signal device

And in Ohio Revised Code:

4511.39 Turn and stop signals.

(A) No person shall turn a vehicle or trackless trolley or move right or left upon a highway unless and until such person has exercised due care to ascertain that the movement can be made with reasonable safety nor without giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter provided.

When required, a signal of intention to turn or move right or left shall be given continuously during not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the vehicle or trackless trolley before turning, except that in the case of a person operating a bicycle, the signal shall be made not less than one time but is not required to be continuous.

Figuring out exactly what a turn signal is and how to use it is as simple as a Google search.

What is a turn signal?

A flashing light on a vehicle to show that it is about to change lanes or turn.

How does one use a turn signal?

To move into the right lane, push your turn signal up to let others know you wish to move to the right. To move into the left lane, push your turn signal lever down to indicate that you wish to move into the left lane. Activate the turn signal at least five seconds before you wish to change lanes.

How many vehicle accidents occur each year in the United States because of a failure to use turn signals?

Research from the Society of Automotive Engineers says failure to use those turn signals results in more than 2 million accidents per year, more than twice the number of accidents that are caused by distracted driving.

Why do people refuse to use turn signals?

That search provided multiple answers, and the most common are the following:

It's broken; a driver forgot to turn off the turn signal the last time it was prompted; a driver believes turn signals are optional; laziness and/or inconsiderate operation of a vehicle; or because a driver's left hand is filled by a cell phone.

A driver can tell if the turn signal is burned out because the interior light flashes quicker than usual; when an operator obviously forgot to turn it off, it is polite for other drivers to somehow let him or her know; the only option concerning the use of turn signals involves designated turning lanes; but if the failure to signal involves laziness or the use of a mobile device, those individuals should realize that fines are place for those ticketed by law enforcement.

Why a blog entry about turn signals?

Because, here in the Upper Ohio Valley, it appears there's a problem so a friendly reminder might lead to a more comfortable, considerate, and legal atmosphere on all local roadways like city streets, state roads, or federal interstates, because failure to use them is reason for law enforcement to pull over a motorist.

And who enjoys seeing those flashing lights in the rear-view mirror?