7 Reasons Why Drivers Don't Use Turn Signals

11/24/2014 04:29 EST | Updated 01/24/2015 05:59 EST
In this Aug. 30, 2011 photo a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is displayed at a car dealership in San Jose, Calif. General Motors’ car and truck sales rose 18 percent last month as fuel-efficient vehicles helped offset a roiling stock market and Hurricane Irene. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

There are plenty of terrible driving habits, but one of the most annoying ones must be the inability to use a turn signal. While it may not seem like a big deal, it's actually a huge problem. According to a study by The Society of Automotive Engineers, turn signal neglect in the United States causes about two million crashes per year. Sure, this colossal number may not apply to Canada, but that's only because of the smaller size of our population. Drivers avoid using turn indicators up here as much as they do down there -- and they pay for it too.

However, the real question is why so many drivers don't do it? We did some research and learned the following reasons:

7. Their Turn Signal is Broken

Some people may not use a turn signal simply because it's broken. Of course, the likelihood of that being the case is extremely small. And if it is indeed the issue, then the driver better be on their way to a mechanic to get that light fixed. Otherwise, they are being just as reckless as someone who forgets or deliberately chooses not to use their turn signal.

6. They Forget to Turn Off Their Signal

Keeping your blinker on when you don't intend to turn can be just as annoying and dangerous as having it off when you do turn. There are plenty of drivers who keep their indicators on for long periods of time because they forget to turn them off. As a result, some of them decide to take care of this issue by never using turn signals again. Neat trick -- except that it can be illegal and dangerous.

5. They are Too Lazy

Sometimes flipping that turn signal switch is just too much work - at least, for some people. According to this survey, 23 per cent of drivers don't use turn signals because they are just too "lazy" to do it. If so many people are indeed lazy to perform such a simple task, it's remarkable that they have enough willpower to drive in the first place.

4. They Want to Cut You Off

When roads are congested, many drivers are in no mood to share their space. As such, they deliberately block anyone who tries to enter their lane. To avoid this problem, some drivers purposely don't show their turn signals, so that they could quickly slip into lanes before anyone would block their access. While their plight is understandable to some degree, they are still putting everyone at risk.

3. They Think Turn Signals are Optional

No matter where you are driving -- a congested highway or an empty street - you are required to put on your turn signal. Yet some drivers seem to think that it's okay to neglect showing the signal when no one is around. Sure, you are unlikely to hurt or offend anyone that way, but that's still not a good habit. According to Greg Fitch, a scientist at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, if you do so often enough, then you may eventually start forgetting to use your signal "when you need to do it."

2. They Don't Have Enough Time

Sometimes you just need to make a turn or lane change almost instantaneously -- either because you missed a highway exit or forgot to make a turn on a particular street. In moments like these, drivers simply perform the action without thinking about any ramifications, which is probably why they also forget to use their turn signal. This can be extremely dangerous since you can easily catch another driver off-guard and get into an accident.

1. They Forget to Turn On Their Signal

The most common reason why drivers don't use their turn signal is also the simplest one -- they forget to flip the switch. This may be partially due to some of the bad habits, we already mentioned (like driving without indicators when no one is around), but the main reason must be the notion that turn signals are simply not significant enough to be used at all. After all, most of us remember "important" things like locking our homes and tying our shoelaces, but using the turn signal is just too much for some reason.

One day, we may see turn signals that switch on by themselves whenever we make a turn or switch lanes. However, for now this technology is not readily available, so until then, please teach yourself to use those indicators!

Image courtesy of Pixabay.