questionsare blinkers becoming obsolete?


No, courteous drivers are.


The problem is that I sort of ignore the indicators anyway. For example, if I'm about to turn left on a road and there's a car coming and they have their indicator on (making me assume they are turning before me which would allow me to make my turn properly), I still wait until I see them start the turn just in case. I cannot rely solely on them using it properly.

How many times have you seen someone with their blinkers on for miles at a time? That's just as bad.


More people do than don't, but it is those who do not in fast moving traffic that scare me to death sometimes. I live in an area where there are a high number of drivers from all over the world - with their own cars and rentals. One cannot assume anything from anyone. I see accidents everyday when I am out and about, both on the interstate and local roads. I do not understand, however, the lack of signalling - I learned to drive way back in the day of hand signals. Surely if someone is driving a vehicle they are not familiar with and intimidated by (such as a rental by someone who is used to driving on the other side of the road for example), it should not be too much to ask for some indication of where they are going. Also, what happened to "whoops, missed that turn, will take the next one and double back?" Does not seem to happen too often - just cut in and cause an accident maybe.


I kind of like two specific things about German attitudes towards driving:

(1) You don't get a fourth attempt at your road test (and it isn't easy like those in the US).

(2) You misuse your blinkers (either signal a turn and don't take it or vice-versa) and you can get a very hefty fine.


Around here, we have a problem with a lot of old people that didn't need to use blinkers back in their day, so they don't use them now. We also get a lot of farmers driving their trucks around town and not signaling. I guess they don't have to use their signals on the country roads, but they ought to learn to use them when there are other cars around.

I don't get it. It is VERY easy to do. Just make it a habit and soon you won't even think about it; it will just come naturally. Sometimes I catch myself using a signal in parking lots just because I'm flipping the signal subconsciously when turning down the parking lane.


As far as not using blinkers to indicate lane changes -- around here it's more of a survival issue. Those foolish enough to actually signal their intention ahead of time will find the driver behind them in the next lane speeding up to cut off the intended lane change.

Probably the most aggravating thing though, is watching my own driving skills and road courtesy deteriorate the longer I live here. But like I said, it's a matter of survival. Adapt or die.


I have to agree with @moondrake. People are too busy on their cell phones, watching their GPS, putting on makeup, shaving, etc to drive.

When I lived in NJ, I can't tell you the # of accidents I saw or was almost the victim of because NJ drivers don't care about the concept of lanes, signaling, etc. Mind you, I'm stereotyping and to those who do drive properly in NJ, I apologize. But it was two years of driving knowing that the unpredictable was the norm vs the exception.

Since the police need to meet ticket quotas these days, I'd love to see them writing tickets for people who don't use their blinker. Hell, why not use 'red light' cameras to ticket people. Raise awareness, raise much needed municipal money, and show people who drive well that those that it actually matters.


This annoys me as well. Especially when they stop very abruptly on a road that doesnt have a designated lane for turning.

Putting it on a split second before turning/ merging or basically doing it after really does not help either.

It's all exceptionally inconsiderate. Not to mention dangerous


FFS only where I live they are. I wish I could pull people over and give them tickets myself.


Apparently it's THAT hard to move your finger a couple inches up or down to let people know where you're turning.

Drives me crazy!


Thankfully I haven't noticed this as an epidemic here (Minneapolis area)


It seems drivers in higher-end cars (BMW, Mercedes) tend to use their blinkers less than others. Maybe it's a sense of entitlement; maybe they think the car does it for them automatically. It's a pet peeve of mine too, as if LA traffic wasn't bad enough already.


@mschauber: The police here pulled a guy over for improper use of turn signals (he didn't use them). In the process they also discovered some pot and a variety of prescription pills.


I call myself a "blinker Nazi", because I am. I use mine via muscle memory in the single finger it takes to actually operate it. I use it when nobody is even around. And, it annoys the living bejebees out of me when others don't use it. And, I tend to use a single finger to show my displeasure.

Using a blinker is one of the smallest and easiest things someone can do to be courteous (and safe) to those around them.

I also, in my experience, have found that its usage can depend on where you are. I used to live in South Florida and I frankly don't think cars come quipped with blinkers down there. Where I live now, in upstate NY, the vast majority of drivers still use a blinker (sans tourists). But, as I start driving more towards Albany, people use them less and less (but still more than in Florida).

My guess is that if there was a study done, you'd find that the people are generally more friendly where more people use blinkers. But, that's just my guess.


No turning indicators kill me, but a worse offender are pedestrians that simply ignore traffic signals. You know what I'm talking about....
1. The person on their cell phone who just keeps walking into the cross walk out into moving traffic
2. People that just don't care if they are walking into moving traffic because they know you are goings to stop. And even worse, they never seem to hurry along once they see you staring at them... If you beep they finger gesture you. If you rev your engine and inch towards them they might pull out a gun.....
But I digress back to the original question, one other that makes me want to drive my car into someone is the car the sees you approaching an intersection. They have a red light. You have the green light and they still make a right-turn-on-red out in front of you and make no attempt to speed up to the speed limit. Again with the attitude, you'll slow down for them.
Ahhh I need to let this go, my heart rate is rising.


@mschauber: Agreed on NJ drivers. Not only does driving through/around NJ freak me out, being driven by NJ drivers when I'm up there is just a frightening! It's controlled chaos, but still chaos, and that ends up being some of the most agressive driving I've ever seen.


I live in Iowa, and have recently lived in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wyoming. Unless I'm in the city or there's actually someone near me I don't bother to use my turn signal. Like changing lanes out in the middle of nowhere on the interstate where there's no cars behind me for 5 miles does not merit the use of a turn signal.


@turken: Houston is like that...

It is so bad, I don't even drive anymore. I have my husband chauffer me around.


People these days are too busy texting to operate the turn signal. It drives me crazy too. People that don't signal when turning and you have to slam on your breaks. People cutting in to my lane in traffic. It's just common courtesy and proper driving safety people!!


Thankfully, in Boston most people still use them. Generally speaking, the people that I've met that don't are usually recent imports from places with wide open roads. Here I think it's less a matter of politeness than a survival necessity though.


I am glad you posted this. It absolutely drives me crazy! It's one of the simplest things anyone can do to stay safe on the road, yet so many people do not do it. Or, they come to a complete stop, then turn their blinker on. By then, they could easily be rear-ended. I try to always keep a good deal of distance between myself and the car ahead of me, but even so, it would be easy to hit someone when there is no warning that they are going to stop. So dangerous. There are times I've wished I had a loudspeaker attached to my car so I could scream, yes scream USE YOUR BLINKERS!!! I'd like to see police officers ticket people for not using them. So unsafe!


@coolphilip04: I understand what you are saying, but part of the problem is habit. If you get in the habit of only using them occaisionally, it's easy to stop using them entirely.


@susan11125: I agree 100%. There's no reason NOT to use them. Sometimes I catch myself using them even when pulling into a parking space or some such where it's totally unnecessary.


@turken: It is amazing how much the habits of those drivers around you influence your own driving habits. I lived outside of LA for about five months a while back. When I moved back to Texas I was amazed at how my driving habits had changed, how much more agressively I drove than when I did before moving to the west coast.


So one of my pet peeves is when people don't use "THEIR" and instead use "THERE".

In response to the question, it depends on the situation. Most laws require that you use your turn signal if your turn/lane change will/may effect another driver. If there are no other cars nearby, I sometimes don't use it.

A couple of times when I'm the only person in the car, and I'm driving my old 1996 pickup with 165,000 miles, and it's at relatively slow speed, I've been tempted to not avoid being hit by some asshat cutting me off without using their blinker. They're making the lane change, so they're legally responsible for the collision, and I get a new truck. Maybe they'd learn a lesson too


For those that have their blinkers on for miles at a time, there are a ton more who actually use them correctly; the "cry wolf" logic doesn't really apply here.


@kamikazeken: So one of my pet peeves is when people use EFFECT instead of AFFECT. Shouldn't throw stones in a glass house.


It's not just blinkers, but the entire automotive light accessory issue as a whole.

a. Parking lights while driving down the freeway, in daytime, nightime, at dusk,
and /or with no other running lights.

b. no headlights whatsoever.

c. From the CA drivers manual >

"Lighted Parking Lamps

24800. No vehicle shall be driven at any time with the parking lamps lighted except when the lamps are being used as turn signal lamps or when the headlamps are also lighted."


Becoming obsolete? You jest; I've been complaining about this for over 30 years. As others have said, I especially enjoy those who turn on their blinker AFTER they've started to change lanes or turn.

Side note: Maybe turn signals are going the way of cigarette lighters in vehicles. They were there for one purpose, we'll keep them until we think of another use for them. Left blinker might indicate they're making a call, right - they're texting. Kind of an early warning system.


Weird, I was just pondering this morning on my walk to the office about how failure to use your turn signal should be a hefty fine. Say, $100 per instance. If you tell the officer that you did use it, and maybe the light is burnt out then they are to perform a field inspection of your vehicle's signal lights. If they fail to illuminate according to the turn you made, you'll get a $50 fix-it-ticket instead. If your lights are in working order, you will gain an additional $50 fine for field inspection.

In Seattle there's a massive cultural mix that results in a group of people who all follow the driving laws...of their country of origin...

The worst though was in Phoenix where I dealt with the Red October-esque moves I call the "Crazy Jose". Hispanic drivers in large SUVs making left-hand turns from the far-right hand lane of a 7 lane road at speed. (35-45 mph on surface streets there.) Those always made my pucker factor increase by an order of magnitude.


People don't use them in the greater part of Asia. And you would never get ticketed for it. Subsequently, drivers are a lot more aware of everything around them over there too.


This is one of my biggest driving pet peeves, especially when people are randomly stopped in the road or trying to turn into traffic. I think it bugs me so much because it's such a simple thing to do and lets people know what's going on. It's frustrating being behind someone who randomly throws on their brakes, not knowing if there's something in the road or if they're just planning on turning.

I also agree that there is just a lack of courteous drivers, at least in my area.


Blinkers are not obsolete... we blinkers provide an essential function to the eye that helps spread tears across and remove irritants from the surface of the cornea.


which is weird, because i found blinkers very satisfying to turn on and off. or sit and look how they sync and go off sync with everyone else in the turning lane.


If I'm in a turn lane, I plan to turn. If I'm using a turn signal, I plan to turn. If I'm neither in a turn lane nor using a turn signal, I don't plan to turn.

It irritates me when I'm behind someone in a turn lane at night, and they have their excessively bright turn signal shining in my face.


So annoying... see it everyday :(

Also bad but not quite as bad is when people use their blinkers but don't actually turn, keep waiting for them to turn and they never do (Or use the left turn signal and turn right)

There's also an increasing amount of idiots on the road which makes things even worse.