August 1st, 2012 in Car Safety

Why didn't you indicate?!

Am I the only person who gets really frustrated when people don't indicate? Okay I admit I am a bit of an over indicator, but I do think that it is better to indicate too much than too little.

When I was driving down a dual carriageway yesterday there was a driver that kept switching lanes without indicating, he overtook me whilst I was not that far behind the car in front and it could have caused a big accident if I hadn't been fully concentrating. If he had indicated, it would have made me aware that he wanted to cross over into my lane; as soon as he crossed in front of me I flashed him a few times so that he would know I was angry. The driver put on his hazard lights to apologise but I think he was only apologising because he thought that I was annoyed that he had over taken me; a few minutes later he went back into his previous lane without indicating. I was not angry that he over took me, I was furious that he didn't indicate, twice!

Not indicating is more dangerous than using a mobile at the wheel:

A study conducted by the US Society of Automotive Engineers, explained that drivers who do not use their indicators are more likely to cause an accident than those who are distracted by their mobile phones. The study monitored 12,000 instances where drivers should have used their indicators, mainly when changing lanes or turning corners.

The indicators are there to help drivers communicate to each other, how is one driver supposed to know what another driver is doing if they don't use their indicators?

Signals not only warn and inform other road users, but they also help pedestrians understand what your intentions are. If you are driving and planning on turning left into another road and a pedestrian is just in front of the turning about to cross, they will cross if they know you are turning. Your indicators determine other people's actions, if you don't use them or you use them badly it can cause misunderstandings and accidents.

The Highway Code explains that you should always:

  • Give clear signals in plenty of time, having checked it is not misleading to signal at that time.
  • Use them to advise other road users before changing course or direction.
  • Cancel them after use.
  • Make sure your signals will not confuse others.
  • Be aware that an indicator on another vehicle may not have been cancelled.

After writing this blog I found a similar discussion on mumsnet the creator of the topic wrote:

AKMDL: I’ve noticed in the years I’ve been driving that about half the people on my town don’t indicate properly or at all, especially at roundabouts. There are lots of big roundabouts in my town and it’s a nightmare trying to guess whether that car that’s indicating left is actually coming off or if they’re still going round (usually still going round) or the car that looks like it’s going right is actually going straight across etc. etc.

I think it would be a whole lot fairer if someone who caused an accident by indicating wrongly had 100% fault automatically. E.g. if car A is going round a roundabout, indicating left so car B pulls out but then gets smashed into as car A meant the next left, the fault should lie with the driver of car A, even though car B should give way to the right.

Do you agree that if someone doesn't indicate properly, any resulting accident should be their fault?