questionsdid you hear about the turn signal study?

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No but I heard about it now. Thanks.

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I realize it is dangerous, but to me, it is more annoying because of the lack of courtesy.

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My personal study has shown the more courteous the drivers (waving you in, using a blinker, etc..) the nicer the people are in the area.

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I'm so good at using my blinkers, I use them when a road in my sub makes an intersection like, 90 degree corner into another road and it's the only way you can go.

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Where I live, using your turn signal is a challenge to the car you just passed to try and occupy the lane you are trying to enter.

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@ruger9mm: And now we understand why you picked the username you did.

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@wnyx585am: Speaking of courtesy, there isn't any when driving. I use my turn signals all the time but sometimes when I do, I feel like it's warning the person in the other lane that I need to merge into their lane so they intentionally speed up to prevent me from doing so. That's not being very nice.

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@cengland0: There are always jerks on the road that do this kind of stuff. Whether you think they will take a turn signal as a challenge or not, it is always safer to use it.

That being said, I admit that I occasionally forget to use my signal. I will only intentionally omit from using it if there are no cars around me at all - which very rarely happens.

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The only times I don't use mine are turn only lanes (if it catches you by surprise when I turn then you probably shouldn't be driving), and sudden changes caused by other people not using theirs.

On a similar note I think there should be an unwritten rule that when in a left turn only lane signalling means you are going to U-turn and not signalling means you are going to follow the lane. This would really help people trying to turn right on red during a protected left turn.

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I tried to find the actual study, but could only find press reports on this study. They watched people in natural conditions and found improper signal usage 48% of the time. That is appropriate scientific study and might even be real world accurate. The statistic that improper signaling results in 2 million auto accidents every year is a wild-ass-pull-out-of-butt guess. There's no science here, just sensationalism. Unfotunately, this is what passes for science these days, but it's really unscientific support of an agenda. It might be a "good" agenda, but it is still an agenda. It's sloppy science and sloppy journalism.

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This is a rant, so I apologize in advance.

An important key to driving safety is predictability. Things that we call courteous are actually law in other counties. If you could trust that other drivers only change lanes if they signal, only overtake on the left, only follow the next car with appropriate space, etc. Basically, anything that allows another driver to know what you are doing while driving contributes to driving safety.

Conversely, the misuse of this predictability should be a traffic offense. IE: not allowing another driver to merge if they are ahead of you, going the appropriate speed, and signaling.

BTW, my traffic pet peeve(s) are merging issues.

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@apocello42: I use my turn signal every single time I turn (even in turn-only lanes), but I would absolutely stop using it then if we all agreed to your plan--a turn signal in a turn-only lane means a u-turn. I think that's brilliant!

I work on a busy street with a median, so about half of "turners" are making u-turns--very frustrating to figure out who is doing what if you're on a side-street waiting to turn left!

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This has been a long-standing major pet-peeve of mine. I ride a motorcycle, so it's critical to me to be able to predict what's going to happen with the other cars on the road. when people just turn or merge out of nowhere without signaling, for a car it can cause some damage, but for a bike it can seriously injure or kill, especially when a significant fraction of drivers aren't looking out for something that size. Most other things I can deal with just through observation, but if people would signal turns and lane-changes I'd have a lot fewer near-misses.

It would be nice if this was something law enforcement would take more effort to enforce. I honestly think it's more dangerous than most instances of speeding.

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To the people who did this study:
Thank you Captain Obvious! Another waste of money.

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There are different types of idiot on the road these days...
*Divine right of the Turn Signal... *
Many times people signal their intent to take your place in your lane while you're still in it and/or make the lane change without looking... Even better are the drivers who start to drift into your lane waiting for you to back off so that they can take your place... I am not behind them, I am next to them and have the right of way....
I've had people give me dirty looks, curse me, flip me off or all of the above when I don't get out of their way... The Turn Signal is not a license to make a dangerous lane change, Nor does it give you the right of way......

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I find it more amazing that some clown paid for (and another got paid to do) this study.

10 minutes on the road should have given them the answers.

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@wickedd365: Did you hear the latest? Cigarettes are bad, McDonald's can make you fat, and coffee is hot.

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In Florida, you cannot use your turn signal. If you do, those you are pulling in front of will speed up and prevent you from going into that lane.

Now in Idaho, if you turn on a blinker, people actually slow down to give you more room :)

Well, for the most part. Stinking Californians bringing their aggressive driving up here.

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@bellavampyre: NOOOOO!!! It can't be true!
Was there a study done on this too? I need evidence.

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They had to study this?

My only response is "well DUUUUUH!"

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I think the entire study was done within 5 miles of my house.

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What little driving courtesy still existed in Baton Rouge prior to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita completely disappeared when most of New Orleans moved here. We didn't have the infrastructure in place to accommodate a doubled population, and our folks just weren't used to the style of driving those folks demonstrated. More than once I've had cars pass me IN THE MIDDLE OF BUSY INTERSECTIONS! And, no, they weren't multi-lane intersections, they were where two 2-lane roads crossed. Imagine, if you will, gliding peacefully through a green light from a single lane road to the single lane ahead, only to realize that some weasel is passing you in the intersection and cutting you off. Argh!

[End of rant}

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Definitely dangerous to use a turn signal.
That is just signaling your intent to occupy the space of an idiot who thinks he owns that space you need. He takes a turn signal as an invitation to speed up, rather than my signaled intent. My signal doesnt mean I am asking permission....It means I AM CHANGING LANES.

If he rear ends me, its his fault. I win!

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@wickedd365: Thanks for continuing to perpetrate the belief that the "obvious" shouldn't have money "wasted" on understanding it. It really would be better if we just accepted the the moon emits its own light, and that there is a luminous aether.

[/pissed-off physicist]

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Hrm. This is interesting. In my experiences I have more often come to the theory that people are simply lazy. There are a lot of drivers around me who don't use this signals at all (and cut you off, but that's a different story), but the people who do use their signal nearly always use it poorly.

For example: Someone in the left lane is nearly touching the line and it becomes obvious he's about to cross over into the right lane. He then proceeds to change lanes and while he's already doing it he'll flip the signal on for maybe 2 flashes and turn it off. At that point the signal served no purpose.

Yes, the signal displays intent, but it does -not- give people the right to do whatever they want whenever they want just because they turned on the signal.

Yes, people are jerks who close gaps just to prevent you from changing lanes.

P.S. A pet peeve of mine is when I'm following at a safe distance and people cut in, making me drop back again. That's just rude and selfish.

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Nice turn signal.... Mangoat!!

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Turn signal is simply habit like putting on your seat belt. I don't even think about it, I just do it. I even use my turn signal in a parking lot...

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I always use mine, even when it's dark and nobody's around. (This has gotten me ridiculed by my mother sometimes, but I'm sure she does similar things when she drives alone.)

Not using your turn signal is a horrible idea, especially when traffic is going fast. But people who ignore your signals are even worse... You see my signal, I need to merge onto the freeway or I'm going to be forced to take the next exit. Lay off the gas, or at least don't actively speed up to ruin my day.

But then again, the people who do this are often assholes outside of driving, too, and even more often are the same people that are out swerving through traffic because they have to get to the next red light before you do.

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If someone's going to try to rear-end you for using your turning signal that's one thing, but it's dangerous for EVERYONE ELSE ON THE ROAD when you don't signal your intent before making a move.

And hobbitss is right, using a signal doesn't magically mean you can just move over without any consideration for what the rest of the road is doing. Really, it all boils down to consideration for others, just like everything else in life. It's a society, not a few billion individual non-interacting universes, and someone not being considerate of you is no excuse for not being considerate of them. That is a path far away from civility.

@xkeeper: That's fantastic. Keep it up, cause just because you think there's no one else on the road, that just means you don't see anyone else on the road.

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@snoopjedi: Apples to oranges. Did you really expect the study to come back and say "wow, guess what-- using one's blinker actually CAUSES more accidents! Study recommends banning turn signals from all new vehicles"

In other news, brake lights help prevent accidents too!

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They do seem to be optional equipment based on the comments here.

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I always use mine and the way to curb the people that close the gap is to use the signal as you are changing lanes, it won't give them enough time to close the gap.

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@zapp brannigan: Or to react if they don't notice you coming over.

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@apocello42: By "react"; do you mean, FLOOR IT, to prevent you from changing lanes?

Edit to add:
Because THAT is what happens most of the time.
All of a sudden everybody is a NASCAR driver and I just need to get off the interstate, or make a turn at the next light.
BUT NO, that lane change is something we have to FIGHT for. We have to be stealthy and steal....transmitting your intentions is just stupid if the guy behind and to the side of you thinks he owns the road.

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The law says signal before you decide. It says nothing about afterwards, thus you can turn your signal off as soon as you decide. That way if something suddenly interferes with the road ahead you can cancel your lane change unless you completed it already. Notice the jerk behind you tailgating like as if as if your obliged. The signal is to the rear of your vehicle, that's because your going to get behind the adjacent vehicle and in front of the driver who is given indication for the full 100 feet before the move. If the other driver is acting like your signal is broke there might not be an indication even though you thought there was, pull back. Those who close the gap shall be yielded to as the one who is changing lanes will be at fault unless the change is complete, it may brake failure. Signal to command respect, if no respect stay signalling until that time. Go early as long as you signaled the minimum before the move. Make safe distance to the rearS before changing lanes. U can!

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I don't let the a-holes get away with it... if an a-hole changes into my lane in front of me without signaling, I blow my horn at them and raise my had in a "what the hell?" gesture.
If it's dark out, I give them a couple flashes of high beams.

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@rlapid2112: Signalling IS the law.. at least here in CA it is!