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Thread: Must I activate the turn signal each time I turn?

  1. #1
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    Must I activate the turn signal each time I turn?

    I know there is a law that says you must be buckled up each time the car is in motion, but, is there a law that says you must activate your turn signal each time you make a turn?

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan View Post
    I know there is a law that says you must be buckled up each time the car is in motion, but, is there a law that says you must activate your turn signal each time you make a turn?
    I think so, yes.

    And unlike mandatory buckle-up laws (which I oppose) I think it's a good idea to signal when you turn, every time. Not buckling up isn't going to hurt anyone else if an accident occurs. So the decision to buckle up or not ought to be entirely yours.

    But if you don't signal, you might cause an accident that ends up hurting or killing someone else.

    As a biker, I'm particularly sensitive to this. One of the most common/lethal situations bikers have to deal with is oncoming cars suddenly turning into their path without signaling first.

    So: Unless you're literally in the middle of an open desert or similar, where you can see all around you for some distance and know, for certain, there are no other vehicles around, you should always use your turn signal.

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    I agree with Eric. A turn signal is often the only way to indicate to other drivers your intentions. So use it all the time.

    Most states have laws such as "Failure to indicate lane change", so you should use it even when changing lanes. A lot of luxury cars will blink the lights 3 times for you if you give the stalk a quick flip, so you don't have to hold it.

    Chip H.

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    I do almost all the time but sometimes forget.Back in the day I would get upset if someone was turning and not using it. However today I try not to let my emotions get the upper hand when driving. I found that always driving a bit more further back of the vehicle in front of you can eliminate front end accidents if someone say is turning left or even right without signaling.
    The other day I was turning left into a busy street and saw there was nobody around except a motorcycle rider but a fair distance away. He looked like he was coming on fast so I went quickly. The guy finally caught up to me and was riding my bumper. I had to turn left again at the next intersection but was afraid the idiot on the bike would slam into me. I decided to turn right instead just up the road and the asshole drove by with his loud pipes like he was some kind of bad ass. He would of been a dead ass if I didn't use my signal.

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    I used to signal religiously, for turns and lane changes.

    Thirty years driving in Miami fixed that.
    Revealing your intentions just puts you at a tactical disadvantage.

    I try to remember to signal in other areas.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHalloran View Post
    I used to signal religiously, for turns and lane changes.

    Thirty years driving in Miami fixed that.
    Revealing your intentions just puts you at a tactical disadvantage.

    I try to remember to signal in other areas.
    Yeah - DC was like that, too.

    I don't miss it a bit!

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    [quote=chiph;123704]I agree with Eric. A turn signal is often the only way to indicate to other drivers your intentions. So use it all the time.
    ************************************************** ********

    Sure, I always use the signal whenever I'm driving, in the vicinities of visible traffic, but if I"m where no cars are near me when I intend to turn, what's the use of activating the signal? Does it mean it's easier for me to make the turn if I do ?
    Also, if I am in a lane dedicated for only turning right or left, I don't use it. I wouldn't be in that particular lane if I am going straight ahead, would I ?

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=ChevyMan;123750]
    Quote Originally Posted by chiph View Post
    I agree with Eric. A turn signal is often the only way to indicate to other drivers your intentions. So use it all the time.
    ************************************************** ********

    Sure, I always use the signal whenever I'm driving, in the vicinities of visible traffic, but if I"m where no cars are near me when I intend to turn, what's the use of activating the signal? Does it mean it's easier for me to make the turn if I do ?
    Also, if I am in a lane dedicated for only turning right or left, I don't use it. I wouldn't be in that particular lane if I am going straight ahead, would I ?
    It doesn't make it easier, but unless you're driving in a desert (or similar) with no buildings, side streets, large trees, etc. around to obscure your view, you can't be sure there's no else (including a cop) around.

    I understand what you're saying - but the general rule is, signal your intentions whenever you're going to change directions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan View Post
    Also, if I am in a lane dedicated for only turning right or left, I don't use it. I wouldn't be in that particular lane if I am going straight ahead, would I ?
    In Miami, being in a dedicated turning lane does NOT imply that you are in fact going to turn.
    It does not imply that you are going to turn in the obvious direction, either.

    You were warned. ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan View Post
    ... if I"m where no cars are near me when I intend to turn, what's the use of activating the signal?
    The argument for always using the turn signal is that, someday, in the middle of nowhere, you'll change lanes without signaling. ... and discover someone in your blind spot. If you're lucky, you'll discover them without a collision.

    It doesn't happen often, but it does happen...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHalloran View Post
    The argument for always using the turn signal is that, someday, in the middle of nowhere, you'll change lanes without signaling. ... and discover someone in your blind spot. If you're lucky, you'll discover them without a collision.

    It doesn't happen often, but it does happen...
    The instructor I learnt to drive with always made the point that it's just as important to signal to the drivers you haven't seen as to those you have seen. He also stressed that pedestrians have as much need to know your intentions as do other drivers.

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Here's how I decide whether or not to use the signals -- "will it affect someone else's next decision?"

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    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    Here's how I decide whether or not to use the signals -- "will it affect someone else's next decision?"
    And that is the way the law is here in CA. It's legal to NOT use the turn signal as long as it has no effect on anybody. Such as in a left turn ONLY lane or when there's nobody else around you.

    -Don-

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    And that is the way the law is here in CA. It's legal to NOT use the turn signal as long as it has no effect on anybody. Such as in a left turn ONLY lane or when there's nobody else around you.

    -Don-
    To my way of thinking, using turn signals is one of those "no skin off my nose" things (like yielding to faster-moving traffic) that should always be done as a matter of common courtesy - and which takes next to no effort on my part, and which causes me next to no inconvenience.

    Bottom line: Is there really any good reason to not signal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    And that is the way the law is here in CA. It's legal to NOT use the turn signal as long as it has no effect on anybody. Such as in a left turn ONLY lane or when there's nobody else around you.

    -Don-
    Your thinking is EXACTLY the way I am thinking.

    Larry

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    Senior Member J. ZIMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    To my way of thinking, using turn signals is one of those "no skin off my nose" things (like yielding to faster-moving traffic) that should always be done as a matter of common courtesy - and which takes next to no effort on my part, and which causes me next to no inconvenience.

    Bottom line: Is there really any good reason to not signal?
    In our State, It is required that you use Turn Signals. The Law reads that it is to let others know of your intentions. You are required to use them 500' before you turn. Which I find kind of stupid in the city. Some times there is not 500' before a turn. You Must signal when changing lanes, to pass another vehicle, or to turn off a road. Even into your driveway. Some do a ONE FLASH signal, others will let their flashers flash at least three times before turning them off. And there are those that are doing either a bulb or a flasher test as they cruise merrily down the road. Oh yes, hand/arm signals are still legal in this State. But I wouldn't recommend it, if you want to be able to use that left arm again...

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