We learn how to use turn signals when getting a driver’s license. Unfortunately, many people seem to forget about this basic traffic law, and, as a result, end up causing arguably the most preventable type of car crash.
There are millions of car accidents caused by failure to use turn signals across the U.S., as an increasing number of motorists in Pennsylvania and all across the nation tend to ignore one of the most basic traffic rules that requires them to use turn signals when changing lanes or making a turn.
“Indicating your intention to turn left or right, pass, or change lanes is important to give other parties around and on the road sufficient time to react and plan their next maneuver accordingly to avoid a collision,” says our Pittsburgh failure to use turn signals accident attorney at Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman.
By not indicating your intention to change lanes or turn, you increase the likelihood of getting into a car accident, and, unless the other motorist’s negligence contributed to the crash, will be held solely responsible for causing the accident. Oftentimes, failure to use turn signals leads to multi-vehicle accidents.
For example, if there is another motorist behind you, and you fail to let other parties on the road know what driving maneuver you intend to perform, performing that maneuver without signaling may cause the driver behind you to hit the brakes, which, as a result, may cause a rear-end accident involving another vehicle.
Technically speaking, it may seem as if you were not involved in that crash since your vehicle was not hit. “In reality, you may be the only at-fault party because you performed a dangerous maneuver without using turn signals as required by law,” warns our experienced failure to use turn signals accident attorney in Pittsburgh.
A 2012 report by the Society of Automotive Engineers found that failure to use a turn signal causes more car crashes in the U.S. than distracted driving. The report found that failure to use turn signals accounts for about 2 million car crashes per year.
According to the report, about 25 percent of all drivers who make a turn fail to indicate their intention to turn. At the same time, about 45 percent of motorists who change lanes fail to signal their intention to perform the maneuver. The study concluded that motorists who fail to signal their intention to turn or change lanes cause about 2 million of preventable car accidents each year, while distracted driving is responsible for approximately 960,000 car crashes.
But the fact that failure to use turn signals is more dangerous than distracted driving is not the only thing you should know about this type of preventable car crashes.
Under Pennsylvania law, failure to use a turn signal to signal your intention to change lanes or turn left or right is considered a violation of traffic law. This violation will be classified as negligence and may entitle the victim to seek compensation through a personal injury claim against the motorist who failed to use turn signals.
The other motorist, for his or her part, is very likely to refuse to admit that he or she did not use turn signals, which can complicate matters. After all, proving that the other party failed to use turn signals prior to the crash may be tricky, especially if there are no witnesses or surveillance cameras around. That’s why seeking legal help from a Pittsburgh car accident lawyer is important to recover damages in your particular case.