Courteous Driving: Turn Signal
November 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
You’re on the road, driving at a comfortable speed, and someone randomly swerves in front of you… unannounced. This is quite possibly the most annoying thing I deal with… and it’s on a daily basis. Why can’t people use that little lever on the steering column and give other drivers around them some sort of warning before they cut them off!?
Yesterday, I was on my way home from work and saw, about 4 cars in front of me, someone change lanes so fast, their car was at a 45° angle to the rest of traffic across two lanes… and that’s not much of an exaggeration, if at all. My favorite use of signals, however, is when the person lets it blink once, waits a few seconds, then swerves in front of someone — you basically just told the person you saw them (asking them to let off the gas to let you in) and decided not to change lanes (so they probably started moving back up), then cut them off.
In my opinion, your turn signal should be used any time you change lanes (exception: changing lanes to the left when no one is behind you in any lane to the left of you) or are turning off of the main road (exception: there are multiple turn lanes for one direction and you’re in the furthest to the direction you’re turning — meaning if you’re turning left and there’s a left-bound turn lane to the right of you that doesn’t also go straight or turn right). You also never move more than one lane at a time — give at least a few seconds between just to make sure everyone around you knows you’re moving over another lane.
When I’m changing lanes, I give about 2-3 blinks before I even start changing lanes, checking to make sure no one is in my blind spot and, if changing to the center lane, there is no one in the passing lane moving to the same spot during that time before the start of the lane change. I keep it on as I slowly merge into the lane, letting it stop just as my last set of wheels hit the lines separating the lanes — with that *bump bump* of my wheels going over the reflectors.
*Note: exceptions are only possible exceptions — they’re still nice to do, but are not required in my opinion.