Please Use Turn Signals! - Comments Page

"People who are going places use turn signals!"

November 12, 1996

I'm giving a persuasive speech in my Comm 225 class on my pet peeve - people not using turn signals. I was glad to find your page. I agree with it wholeheartedly. I find I am friendlier if someone uses a signal to indicate a lane change. It all boils down to common courtesy. Thanks for adding to my promotion of turn signal use.

Denna Denton

November 22, 1996

The CVC requirement to show one's "intentions" needs discussion. It has become routine for some drivers to start signaling as they begin their movement, and it's too late to benefit anyone else by then! In order for one's INTENTION to be useful, it must be demonstrated WELL IN ADVANCE of the first movement. I try to start signaling early enough that my turn flasher clicks at least five times before I change either my speed or my direction. I appreciate others who do likewise.

Eric from California

June 24, 1997

When people don't use their turn signals, thereby threatening my safety, I'm infuriated. The whole point of signalling is to COMMUNICATE with each other. When we do so, we are combining courtesy with a healthy respect for the fact that we are hurtling along in objects made of steel, capable of reducing us to pulp on contact. A friend and I wholeheartedly believe that the CHP should be giving out tickets to people who don't use them...

A last observation: ever noticed how big rigs use their lights to pass each other? Blinking hazards = go ahead and pass me. Turn signal = here I come. Flash brights = there's enough room for you to get in front of me. Blinking running lights = thanks. Amazing - so simple and yet so effective.

Leah S. Roderman

June 24, 1997

I'm glad to see that at least some people in California know about turn signals. Here's something most people DON'T know, but should:

I was driving back to Oakland from Los Angeles on Interstate 5: going over the Grapevine there was this REALLY reckless drunk driver on those winding mountain roads. Forget about not using turn signals, this guy couldn't stay in a lane, was weaving all across the road and drifting on to the shoulders. Uphill he was going maybe 50 and downhill about 90 - we couldn't get away from him either by slowing down or speeding up, so we pulled off the road to one of the conveniently located callboxes (there's one about every 100 yards in L.A. County).

When he first answered, the operator asked a rather disinterested, "Are you having car trouble?" But when I mentioned a DUI, he perked right up:

He also asked my name and phone number for the record and said he would dispatch someone to pull the guy over. We never saw the drunk again that day, but I hope they got him.

I want people to know that these callboxes exist for more than just car trouble. Feel free to use them.

August Detlefsen

September 13, 1997

I agree wholeheartedly with all your points about the proper, legal and safe way to drive although I must admit to occasionally getting sloppy with turn signals.

HOWEVER there are at least two very dangerous San Jose traffic phenomena you left out.

  1. When someone signals in front of you that they are making a lane change into your lane, the proper thing to do is drop back and let them enter, NOT hit the GAS because you are somehow afraid they will "get ahead of you." I can't count how many times this has been done to me and it is a strong discouragement AGAINST using turn signals.

  2. Its called an 'acceleration lane' because that's what you are supposed to do when merging -- accelerate and merge, not drive to the end and come to a dead stop. In a related matter, it is the responsibility of the moving traffic to MAKE a hole for the mergers and for the mergers to merge in on me at a time in an alternating fashion with the existing traffic.

Apaprently half of San Jose was NEVER taught how to merge at ALL.

Jeff Kesselman

January 25, 1999

I am interested in starting a local campaign (maybe even national) to encourage the use of turn signals. It has to be a highly statistical cause of road rage, increases in insurance due to accidents, and just plain rudeness.

Any suggestions on how to get started?


September 4, 1999

Two comments about turn signals.

1 - Like with the speed laws, our local law enforcement needs to obey at least the basic laws themselves, except in emergency situations. Watch the cops, they DO NOT use their turn signals. This weakens both the authority of the law and the moral authority of the police to enforce the law.

2 - Filling in the gap - when I signal to change lanes, the speeds of the drivers in the lane I am moving to suddenly changes to fill in the gap I want to move into. The extremely indignant reactions that result are astounding.

I am a firm believer in using turn signals, but find that it can in fact be hazardous to one's health.


June 13, 2001

†† I find it very interesting, from your reporting, conerning, the lack of drivers using their turn signals.† Im a firm believer in drivers using their turn signals.
†† The main point i want to express, YOUR PAYING FOR A VEHICLE†EQUIPTED with turn signals, which by law are to be used everytime prior to making a turn, or change of lanes, why would you not use them?† Is it that much trouble?† Is it just a lack of respect for other drivers?† Or are we so fast paced, that we are inconsiderate of human life?
† Driving is a privledge, not a right.† And when you pull on to a road, highway, bridge, ect....... everyone must take responsibility for that privledge.† I personally greatly appreciate Fox 4's bringing this problem to the public's attention.
††† Is life so dispensible, that a simple task of using your left or right turn signal impossible?† How many lives have to be lost before people finally realize and do that simple task.† Does it take the death of a mother, father, brother, sisters, or even your children? †How can we spell this out for you? The law is the law, but inspite of what you think of the Word, Law, think of others, and perhaps your own.
† It is ironic, the people behind the wheel, how rude, and selfish by pulling out in front of one, but when faced with a line of people in a building, etc....... you wouldnt think of doing that,†† In a car the personality changes, and you are under the false pretense, that you are invensible.† But one strong word to remember, is Respect others as you would want to be respected.........
††††† Thank you for giving us the opportunity to express our concerns, and hopefully saving someone's life from certain death....

Patty in Arlington, Texas

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Created on August 26, 1996. Last updated on August 12, 2002.
David W. Schultheis, San Josť, Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County, California, USA