We all know the annoyance of drivers who seem to be incapable of using their turn signals. They abruptly slow down in front of us, just in time to take an obviously premeditated turn—so why no turn signal? Not only is this annoying, but it’s also incredibly dangerous. Failure to use a turn signal is a common cause of car accidents across South Carolina and the rest of the United States, putting drivers and passengers at risk.
Have you been hurt in a car accident because someone didn’t use their turn signal? You may be entitled to compensation. Call Peake & Fowler at 803-788-4370 to schedule a consultation now.
What South Carolina Law Says
South Carolina is clear on the matter. South Carolina Code Section 56-5-2150 states that you must use your turn signal continuously no less than 100 feet prior to the turn. If you wait until you’re initiating your turn to use your signal, you’re already breaking the law. Other states have similar laws.
Failing to Use Turn Signals Inconveniences Everyone
Not using turn signals is, at best, rude to everyone else on the road. They allow drivers in your vicinity to understand your actions and plan accordingly, creating a smooth flow of traffic. Turning without signaling can cause confusion and frustration and traffic backs up behind you and people realize they are unable to pass. Even if it wasn’t against the law, it is poor road etiquette to turn without a signal.
Increased Risk of Car Accidents
Why is it illegal to turn without a turn signal? Research shows that doing so significantly increases a driver’s risk of causing a crash. If you’re turning from a turn lane, your signal is just verification that you plan on doing what the lane calls for.
While still legally required, it isn’t as important. However, if you’re turning from a non-turn lane, the people behind you have no idea whether you will be turning or going straight. Without a turn signal, they will assume that you plan on continuing in the same direction. If you abruptly slow down to make a turn, this may cause a rear-end accident or even a pileup.
These crashes can also occur when someone is turning from a side street onto a main street. The drivers behind you on a side street choose their lane based on your turn signal, which can cause delays for them and lead to unsafe driving. Furthermore, turn signals allow those on the main street to prepare for a merging car.
Don’t forget about merging lanes. Some drivers intentionally fail to use a turn signal when merging lanes because they worry about drivers speeding up to block them. However, if you use your turn signal, other drivers may be able to slow down and give you more space to enter.
Preventing Accidents on the Road and in Parking Lots
Turn signals can also help you avoid collisions in parking lots and parking garages. Although traffic is slow in these settings, crashes can still occur. Using a turn signal to indicate the spot you’re aiming for can prevent another driver from trying to get to the same spot. Indicating your turn can also prevent accidents when you are waiting to turn down another lane of the lot, allowing those behind you to give you proper space.
What to Do After a Car Accident
If you have been involved in an accident because someone else did not use their turn signal, it is time to talk to a personal injury attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and other related expenses. A lot depends on the details of your crash. However, proof that another party violated the law by not using a turn signal can go a long way in building a solid claim.
Start Your Personal Injury Claim with Peake & Fowler
The team at Peake & Fowler is ready to fight for you as you seek compensation. Our extensive experience in this area of law makes us a natural choice for your claim. We’re ready to go up against the insurance company and demand a full and fair settlement for everything you’ve lost. Schedule your consultation now by or calling us at 803-788-4370.