In driving around Winston-Salem, or even any city in America for that matter, one can easily see that most drivers do not use their turn signal, for any reason. Why is this?
Perhaps some drivers, in this age of identity theft, feel signalling their turns allows too much public access to private information. Perhaps they feel, that no, you dont need to know I am going to be making that sudden right turn into the CVS parking lot. Perhaps.
More likely is the probability of the drivers in question being too lazy to engage the stalk or too wrapped up in a cell phone conversation or other activity to signal their turn. Lets face it, drivers in this modern time have more distractions than ever before, so much so that driving is almost becoming a secondary activity when we are behind the wheel. Cell phones, text messages, nav systems, video screens, not to mention eating, reading, getting dressed or whatever else, all take our eyes, and concentration off the road.
Turn signals can be so helpful, and their pitifully easy activation makes non-use seem so… discourteous. If a driver intends to make a lane change, signal the change so the guy coming up behind you doesnt have to slam on his brakes when he pulls out to pass. Nothing is more frustrating than attempting to pass a person on the interstate, only to have them pull out right in front of your own car, with their intentions never transmitted to any other driver.
These same gripes can easily apply in town, perhaps more so, when much more turning is involved. Other drivers will never know the moves you want to make unless you signal them in advance. The public is left guessing on many occasions, and many times accidents are the result. Want a particular parking space? Signal your desire for that perfect spot. Caught in the turn lane in heavy traffic? Flick that little switch and let other drivers know you want to join them in their commute. Leaving your signal off leaves everything to chance.
Driving today has so many challenges, and merely making your destination safely and on time is a minor miracle. Traffic problems and traffic flow could be so much better, and consequently our journeys smoother and safer, by making little but important changes like frequent use of your turn signal. The turn signal is not dead but it surely is on life support. Lets bring it back, and then we can all driver safer.