SIGNALING IS NOT A MATTER OF COURTESY. IT’S FOR SURVIVAL!
Are you in the habit of signaling? Do you know what the signaling law says?
Let’s say you’re driving along and you decide to change lanes. You check your mirrors and you see there are no vehicles behind you (This is not a trick question – no car will fall out of the sky). You’ve checked thoroughly and there is no one behind you. You even turned your head to make sure there is no one alongside you in that so-called “blind spot.” The question is, would you signal for that lane change knowing there was no one behind you or on your side?
If you said, “NO,” you do not know law! Likewise, if you said, “YES,” you also don’t know the law!
The law says you signal the “intention” to do something, whether it be to make a turn, pull away from the curb or change lanes. It’s the intention, not the execution. In other words, signaling doesn’t hinge on the traffic situation. You should signal when the thought enters your head to change lanes – THEN you check the traffic.
And when you do check the traffic, if it’s not safe to change lanes, you don’t have to do it. You’re only signaling the Intention, not the execution. So, just keep signaling, keep driving straight, keep checking, and when it’s safe, make the move.
For those who said you wouldn’t signal at all in that situation, I have to wonder if you know there are signal lights on the front of the car. Now, who would see those signals? Of course, the oncoming traffic. So, even if there were no vehicles behind, there might be a vehicle in front of you who needs to see your signal. For instance, you want to change from the left lane to the right lane, and you don’t signal because there’s no one behind; but, there’s a driver up ahead in a parked car who is ready to pull out into the right lane and has no idea that you plan on moving into the right lane also. You’re setting up a collision course.
Here’s another common situation. You come to a stop sign, you see a car approaching so you wait. When the car gets to the corner where you’re waiting, he/she turns right without signaling. And, you feel like a fool waiting for a car that’s not going across the intersection. So, why didn’t that driver signal? Because there was nobody behind him/her, never thinking that someone up front needed to see the signal.
Everything in driving is a habit. Signaling is a good habit It’s not a matter of courtesy. It’s a matter of survival to let others know what you intend to do. Not signalling is a bad habit that can get you killed.