Turn Signal Usage
Using a turn signal is one of the most fundamental functions to utilize when operating a motor vehicle. It is essential to properly use your turn signal when turning your motor vehicle to ensure your own safety as well as the safety of others. Effectively utilizing your turn signal can help make sure the roadway is safe and aid in the avoidance of needless motor vehicle collisions.
In Pennsylvania, § 3334 Turning movements and required signals, outlines the general rule for turn signals. Subsection (a) “General rule” states “[u]pon a roadway no person shall turn a vehicle or move from one traffic lane to another or enter the traffic stream from a parked position unless and until the movement can be made with reasonable safety nor without giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this section.” As outlined in subsection (a) of § 3334, an appropriate signal needs to be utilized turning, moving from one lane to another or entering traffic from a parked position. Additionally, these aforementioned movements should not be made until the “movement can be made with reasonable safety.”
Further, not only are turn signals required in certain situations, understanding the benefits of proper turn signal usage can go a long way into making certain the roadway is safe. For instance, when attempting to change lanes, prudently using your turn signal alerts all vehicles in your vicinity of your intention to change lanes and to react accordingly. Also, it will allow the vehicle beside you or a vehicle in your blind spot to know that you are going to change lanes. This will enable that vehicle to respond to your intention to safely avoid impact. Moreover, properly using your turn signal is an effective sign of respect to other drivers on the road as it demonstrates that you are being upfront with your plan to change lanes and not simply cutting another driver off. In the same vein, enabling your turn signal allows you to indicate to the person behind you that you will be slowing down to make a turn in the not too distant future to allow the vehicle following you to adjust its distance and speed to avoid a collision.
The list of benefits for using your turn signal properly goes on and on. At the end of the day, effectively utilizing your turn signal will help increase safety on the roadway and minimize avoidable collisions. Next time you are driving a vehicle, make sure to prudently use your turn signal and make the roadway a safer place for all.