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Turn Signal Neglect Is A Leading Cause Of Motor Vehicle Accidents In The U.S.

Published at June 9, 2016 by administrator.


The increasing frequency of accidents resulting from distracted driving is well-known.

What most people don’t realize is that studies show a different problem may actually be responsible for twice as many motor vehicle accidents: drivers not using their turn signals.

According to research conducted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), drivers who fail to use their turn signals accounts for over 2 million accidents annually. Comparatively, distracted driving accounts for around 950,000 accidents annually. This means that nearly 1 in 5 of all crashes in the United States can be attributed to neglected turn signals!

If the failure to use turn signals is responsible for so many motor vehicle accidents, why wouldn’t everyone just use them? Whether it’s laziness, forgetfulness, or lack of courtesy, according to the SAE study, roughly 48% of drivers occasionally neglect to use or deactivate their turn signal when changing lanes, and 25% of drivers fail to use it when making a turn.

Even though an alarmingly high number of drivers overlook this simple action, it is not considered a high priority to law enforcement. Furthermore, although turn signal violations are illegal and account for a disproportional number of accidents, police officers are far less likely to pull drivers over for failure to use their turn signal than for speeding or running a red light.

While PSA’s warn about the dangers of distracted driving, the serious epidemic of turn signal negligence is seemingly going unnoticed. According to Richard Ponziana, president of RLP Engineering and author of the SAE report on turn signal usage rates, “This is a first-of-its-kind report on a subject that amazingly, has never been studied”

Neglecting your turn signal is EXTREMELY dangerous!

What makes turn signal neglect so dangerous? The turn signal isn’t just a courtesy, it’s a warning sign.

The signal communicates your intentions on the road, and warns fellow motorists that you’re intending to slow down, make a turn, or change lanes. Without a signal, there is no warning, and drivers are given much less time to react to sudden stops, turns, or lane changes – which can potentially result in collisions and bodily injuries.  

While turn signal neglect is a national problem amongst all age groups, the issue is particularly concerning for young drivers. In a survey conducted by Response Insurance, 71% of drivers age 18-24 admitted to not using their turn signals regularly. Also, based on anecdotal evidence, the problem is far more prevalent in the South Florida area than in other parts of the country.

If you are part of the 48% of people who occasionally disregards your turn signal and you are guilty of turn signal lapses – it is not too late to improve. Remember to use your turn signal at least 100 feet before making a turn. This distance should be increased when changing lanes on the highway.

Drivers who see your signal are more likely to make room for you to merge or change lanes. Using your turn signal 100% of the time is not only courteous, but could prevent you from becoming involved in a major motor vehicle accident.  


What should you do if you were recently involved in a motor vehicle accident?

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident as a result of turn signal neglect, it is important to find the right attorney to bring you the justice you deserve.

Shane Stafford has been representing injured plaintiffs and their families throughout South Florida for over 30 years. Whether it was caused by failure to use the turn signal or another form of reckless driving, if you were injured in an accident you deserve compensation.

Shane Stafford has the knowledge and experience to bring you justice and compensation for your pain. For more information call us toll free at (888) 488-5344 or contact us online and talk to your attorney today.  

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