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Are turn signals really that important?

You've been there before: Someone ahead of you on the interstate merges into your lane without using the turn signal. Or the car ahead of you is sitting in the left-hand turn lane without a blinker on. Or you're at a four-way stop and you don't know if that next car is going straight or turning.

Are blinker lights really that important? Sure, it's annoying when someone doesn't use it and you're caught off guard, but you've done the same thing yourself.

One study says that turn signals are incredibly important. It was carried out in 2012, and it found that around 2 million wrecks happened annually simply because one driver did not signal.

If that number sounds huge, consider how often people don't use those signals. The study claimed that drivers ignored their blinkers about 50 percent of the time if they were just in the process of changing lanes. When making turns, they didn't signal about 25 percent of the time. That added up to a total of 750 billion instances per year.

In some cases, it certainly seems safe. A driver checks over his shoulder, doesn't see another car for miles on the interstate, and merges from the left lane into the right. Why signal if there's no one there? However, the issue in those cases is that other mistakes may also happen. If that driver had a motorcycle in his or her blind spot, for instance, that rider gets no warning that the car is about to switch lanes.

Were you involved in an accident with a driver who broke the law by failing to signal? Injuries can be severe, especially in car vs. motorcycle accidents, and you may want to look into your rights to financial compensation.

Source: CBS, "New Study Says Failure To Use Turn Signals Is A Leading Cause Of Car Accidents," Jim Melwert, accessed May 17, 2017

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