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  • Writer's pictureGregory Sandler


Updated: Sep 2, 2021

Blinkers, turn signals, flashers, whatever you want to call them, have seemingly gone by the wayside on the roadways these days. Apparently many drivers either believe that the rest of us can read their minds, or they just think that they are the only ones on the road. Every vehicle is equipped with electronic signals so that the driver can let the rest of us in on the secret about whether they intend to turn or change lanes. If the vehicle doesn’t have electronic signals, then arm signals are a wonderful substitute.

It appears, however that those drivers who talk on the phone while driving, or worse, texting while driving, can’t find a “third hand” with which to turn on their signal. If you can’t operate the signal and the phone at the same time, then� HANG UP. The rest of us need to know how not to get killed!.

A study conducted by the Society of Automotive Engineers claimed that turn signal neglect is causing millions of crashes per year and may be more dangerous than distracted driving.

Maybe Virginians have forgotten that it is a misdemeanor to fail to use a signal. Code Sections 46.2-848 and 46.2-849, require that every driver who intends to back, stop, turn, or partly turn from a direct line, use a signal if there isany vehicle who may be affected, and the method of giving the signal is spelled out in black and white. And speaking for those of us on motorcycles, since you don’t see us, we need to know what you are about to do, so we can protect ourselves.

Furthermore, a violation of the Code, if it causes a collision or someone’s injury, may automatically be deemed to be negligence, rendering the bad guy liable as a matter of law, for the injuries and harm caused by the simple failure to put on a signal.

Really, how hard is it? It requires the movement of a finger, about 2 inches, and it broadcasts to the world what your intentions are.

Whether you believe that the signal is a request for permission to move or a warning that you are coming over anyway, at least by using it, the rest of us can stop the guessing game. If you don’t, and you hurt someone, you can rest assured that an attorney like me, will be coming next.

Put down the phone, the cigarette, the razor, the mascara wand or whatever else is tying up your hand, and� PUT ON A SIGNAL! It may save a life.

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