There is equipment installed in all vehicles that are designed for the primary reason of safety. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to use this equipment, or they use it improperly, thereby creating a danger instead of preventing one. One of the most common is the turn signal function. Turn signals provide the most basic way that drivers communicate with each and are a critical way to avoid vehicle accidents. When a driver correctly uses their signal, they are giving other drivers enough time to slow down in order to allow the first driver to safely change lanes or turn. Yet far too many drivers fail to provide other drivers with this common – and critical – courtesy.
In fact, according to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), failing to properly use turn signals contributes to nearly two million car accidents each year.
To put these numbers in perspective, consider distracted driving crashes. Distracted driving has become a significant issue in driving safety, receiving a lot of focus from safety advocates. Yet distracted driving is only responsible for half the number of crashes annually – 950,000 – than improper turn signal use. Despite the prevalence of turn signal crashes, many drivers are just now as aware of the dangers as they are in the same way they are aware of distracted driving dangers.
Researchers in the study observed 12,000 vehicles and found that 48 percent of those drivers failed to properly use their directional when they were changing lanes or they failed to turn off the signal once they completed the lane change.
When it came to taking turns, approximately 25 percent of drivers failed to use their signals when they were turning. This occurred for both right- and left-hand turns.
The study team took all the data collected from their observations and concluded that turn signal errors occur about two billion times every day. This comes out to 750 billion times per year, leading to millions of crashes – and injury and death.
The study team also concluded that not only do drivers need to be educated on using their signals properly, but law enforcement also needs to utilize more resources in catching and penalizing drivers who fail to obey the law. They also recommend that new vehicles be equipped with warning systems that alert drivers when they are using their signals improperly or failing to use them at all.
Contact a Carolinas Accident Attorney for Assistance
If you have been injured in a crash because of another driver’s negligent behavior, contact a North Carolina car accident attorney to see what type of financial compensation you may be entitled to for the losses the injuries have caused.
The legal team at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp has been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled North Carolina car accident attorneys to find out how we can help, call us today for a confidential and free case evaluation.