Lazy, forgetful drivers are as bad as distracted drivers

Signal lights, and other safety equipment, are there for a reason.

I’m not sure what the root of the problem is, whether it be forgetfulness, laziness or something else entirely, but the flicking on and off of a vehicle’s signal light is probably one of the easiest parts of operating a motor vehicle — but not for some.

More and more irresponsible drivers seem to be lacking the ability and knowledge of how that little switch works.

For myself, it’s a personal pet peeve because it truly is annoying and comes off as arrogant laziness.

Honestly, I’m truly baffled. Is it simply bad habits? Or, as the people of the world get more and more wrapped up in themselves, do people really have that little consideration for those they share road with.

One simple mistake — and if you’re just choosing not to signal it’s not even a mistake — and end your life or somebody else’s.

But signal lights are put on vehicles for a reason, to let others drivers and even pedestrians know of your intentions.

I feel like I’m stating the obvious but some drivers just don’t seem to be getting it: not using them is dangerous.

Many, including the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) claim neglecting to use signal lights has become equal to, if not more dangerous, than distracted driving; causing millions of accidents each year.

A study SAE released in 2012 states there are more than 750 billion instances of drivers not using signal lights, annually.. This puts the number at more than 2 billion instances per day. And I’m willing to guess the problem hasn’t gotten any better in three years.

While not all improper lane changes stem from failing to signal, Alberta Transportation statistics for 2012 cite 314 drivers involved in non-fatal injury collisions under improper lane changes. There was no available data for drivers involved in fatal collisions.

In 2013, one driver was involved in a fatal collision as a result of an improper lane change. Drivers in non-fatal injury collisions totalled 347.

Just driving to and from work I’m amazed by the number of people who don’t signal when merging, changing lanes, turning or pulling into/away from a curb or parking spot.

Not only is it a common courtesy but it’s also the law.

Failing to signal could not only harm masses but it could also come back to bite drivers in their — wallets.

On May 31, 2015 fines for Albertans who disobey traffic law jumped by approximately 35 per cent. Failing to properly signal could set you back $155.

Personally, I’ve got better things to spend my money on. I also pride myself in not being that kind of jerk.

Amelia Naismith is the reporter/photographer of The Leduc/Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the paper.

 

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