Drivers, who are lazy, forgetful or just plain careless, contribute to 2 million accidents every year by the simple act of failing to use their turn signals. New research finds that failure to use turn signals is a bigger factor in accidents than distracted driving.
This is probably the most underestimated traffic problem in Hawaii and around the country. There are few initiatives by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to get more motorists to use turn signals. A study conducted by the Society of Automotive Engineers analyzed a total of 12,000 vehicles, and found that drivers fail to use their turn signals while making lane changes about 40% of the time. One motorist out of every four did not bother to use a turn signal while making a turn.
Laziness seems to be a major factor in why people fail to use turn signals. Approximately 42% of the people who avoided turn signals, said that they didn’t have the time to do so -which explains all those distracted driving accident numbers – while 23% were honest and admitted that they were just too lazy to use turn signals.
Failure to use signals when changing lanes or making turns can be linked to some of the most injurious accidents like broad siding accidents or side-impact accidents. Persons involved in side-impact accidents have a much higher risk of suffering serious injuries, because they have little protection from direct impact.
We would like to see federal transportation safety officials dedicating more resources to reducing the number of motorists making seriously poor driving choices, like failing to use turn signals. Drivers must be made to realize that these rules exist for a reason, and must be followed at all times.