Why is it important to use a turn signal properly? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Using a turn signal properly is a fundamental aspect of safe driving and is crucial for enhancing road safety, communication between drivers, and overall traffic flow. A turn signal, often referred to as an indicator or blinker, is a simple device installed in vehicles that emits a visual and sometimes audible signal indicating a driver’s intent to change lanes, merge, or make a turn. Not using a turn signal often leads to car accidents that result in serious injuries or even fatalities. The following are some of the reasons why a Virginia personal injury lawyer recommends that all drivers use their turn signals.

Enhanced Safety

The primary purpose of using a turn signal is to enhance safety on the road. Signaling your intentions in advance allows other drivers to anticipate your actions, adjust their driving accordingly, and reduce the risk of collisions or accidents.


Turn signals serve as a means of communication between drivers. They convey critical information about a driver’s intentions, giving others a chance to anticipate and react accordingly. Proper signaling helps create a predictable traffic environment, reducing confusion and potential hazards.

Legal Requirement

Using turn signals is a legal requirement in Virginia. Drivers are obligated to signal their intentions to change lanes or make a turn in a manner that is timely and sufficient for others to perceive. Failing to use signals appropriately can result in traffic violations and fines.

Preventing Rear-End Collisions

Properly using turn signals helps prevent rear-end collisions. When a driver signals their intention to slow down or stop, the vehicles behind can prepare for the change in speed, reducing the likelihood of rear-end collisions.

Lane Changes and Merging

When changing lanes or merging into traffic, using a turn signal indicates your intention to nearby drivers, allowing them to accommodate your move. This promotes smoother traffic flow and minimizes abrupt lane changes, which can lead to accidents.

Pedestrian Safety

Properly using turn signals is vital for pedestrian safety. Pedestrians often rely on signals to determine a vehicle’s intentions and decide when it is safe to cross the street. Clear signaling provides important information to pedestrians and helps prevent accidents.

Increased Visibility and Awareness

Activating your turn signal enhances your vehicle’s visibility on the road. It ensures that others around you are aware of your presence and intentions, reducing the risk of blind spots or unnoticed vehicles.

Minimizing Road Rage and Aggressive Driving

Signal use promotes a more predictable and organized traffic flow, which can help reduce road rage and aggressive driving behaviors. When drivers are aware of each other’s intentions, they are less likely to engage in impulsive or aggressive actions.