I’m not one for cursing or giving someone the finger—but there is one thing that makes me want to be: people who don’t use their turn signals.
There’s nothing that outrages me than the person who won’t take the time to flick their turn signal left or right before turning, merging, parking -- you get the idea. I’ll admit that sometimes I do it, like when I’m turning onto a street in my neighborhood and there’s no one around, or when a person’s so far away it doesn’t even matter. But those aren’t really the things that annoy me.
It’s when you’re on the highway and a person chooses to weave in between you and another car without warning you first, forcing you to slam on your brakes. They tend to be driving at warp speed on top of it, too. The thing is, that sort of reckless driving can cause accidents—minor, sometimes even fatal.
According to research done by the Society of Automotive Engineers in 2012, not using turn signals—or misusing them—results in 2 million accidents annually. That a two with six zeros following it. The research also shows that drivers fail to use their turn signals or don’t turn them off about 48 percent of the time. That means that every day about half of the drivers you pass on the road, aren’t giving you any inclination as to what they’re doing. They’re about as unpredictable as that squirrel that gets a masochistic thrill out of playing chicken with your tires—rest in peace squirrels.
Suddenly that 2 million seems a little bigger now, doesn’t it? Like you could very nearly be in it?
The terrifying thing is we could.
And why is it that people don’t use their turn signals? Unappreciation for the laws meant to protect us? Mandatory drivers-tests with our license renewals? Cops who watch for turn-signal-offenders on top of speeders and suspicious drivers? A new method for indicating our turns—perhaps one that’s automatic?
While the last one sounds ideal—beautiful, actually—we shouldn’t need laws or punishments to remind us of what we need to do to not be a part of that 2 million. We just need to remember that turn signals were created as a reason to keep us safe—and there’s no other reason for not using them other than laziness or distracted driving.
Pay attention, stay safe, do what you’re supposed to and chances are you won’t make the girl who doesn’t curse or flip people off, flip you off and curse at you.
It’s either that or go back to sticking our arm out the window and doing complicated gestures to signal our turns. Talk about frost bite, sun burns, and John Cena sized arms.