On behalf of Dickman Law Offices, P.S.C. posted in Car Accidents on Monday, May 7, 2012

As Kentucky readers know, this blog has spent a great deal of time exploring the dangers associated with distracted driving. However, did you know that a new study suggests that two million car accidents annually are the result of the misuse of turn signals?

According to a study from the Society of Automotive Engineers, drivers neglect to use their signals when changing lanes or fail to turn them off 48 percent of the time. Furthermore, the failure rate for making a turn is around 25 percent. Therefore, if you do the math, drivers fail to use signals two billion times a day.

Over all, the study suggests that this type of carelessness leads to approximately two million roadway collisions annually. Sources say that the evidence might mean that police put little effort into signal enforcement. Officers put most of their energy into speeding or running stop signs and red lights.

With this information, how do we combat this problem? Scholars suggest that cars should use a “Smart Turn Signal.” This type of system would automatically shut off a turn signal after a certain period of time or by detecting when a vehicle has finished changing lanes. While most vehicles cancel signals after a full and complete turn, many cars do not turn off the signal after a gradual change of lanes.

However, what could do we do for those who do not utilize their signals at all? According to reports, the “Smart Turn Signal” could send a notice to drivers that routinely forget. So, if a vehicle detected that the motorist was not signaling intent, the car could give a blinking reminder to the person.

If you are a driver, at some point, you have probably been behind that driver that forgot to turn off his or her signal. Beyond the sheer annoyance of experiencing this on the road, this action causes motorists behind the careless driver to slow down, which may increase the chances of a crash.

In the end, this type of technology would provide an opportunity to significantly reduce car accidents. While car manufactures have not yet implemented this system in vehicles, it is definitely a cost-effective possibility for the future.

Source: MSNBC, “Turn signal neglect a real danger, study shows,” Paul A. Eisenstein, May 1, 2012