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Study Reveals Failing to Use Turn Signal Can Have Devastating Consequences

Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Texting while driving may nab all the headlines, but turn signal neglect presents just as real a danger for motorists.

For instance, did you know the lack of turn signal use accounts for around two million accidents per year? That’s more than the 950,000 crashes that reportedly happen annually due to distracted driving.

According to MSNBC, the Society of Automotive Engineers conducted research to find some alarming numbers:

  • drivers neglect to signal when switching lanes 48 percent of the time
  • for full-on turns, drivers don’t use their signals when making turns 25 percent of the time.
  • motorists neglect to use turn signals a total of two BILLION times a day or 750 BILLION times each year

Turn signals are easy to use and effective, so researchers were baffled at the failure to utilize them, suggesting that the police don’t enforce the usage of turn signals, leading to lax behavior.

An alternative is being considered. It’s called “Smart Turn Signal.” It’s a system that would automatically switch a signal off by timing out after a delay or detecting that the vehicle has completed the turn. It would be akin to a seatbelt reminder and would held decrease multi-vehicle crashes.


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