TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Turn signals are the one of the most fundamental, yet underused, safety devices on vehicles. The Society of Automotive Engineers studied this phenomenon and concluded that around half of drivers fail to signal when changing lanes and 25% don’t signal when making a turn.
The top excuses given by drivers surveyed: not having enough time to signal, laziness, and being ‘too forgetful.’
The U.S. Department of Transportation points out about 40% of a vehicle’s outer perimeter is hidden by blind spots, so it is very important that drivers signal even if you don’t see anyone else nearby. Yet, way too many drivers are not bothering to signal.
Failure to signal is illegal, inconsiderate and extremely dangerous to everyone in your vehicle and to all the road users around you. And even if you are in the habit of using turn signals, please make sure yours are actually working.
The “failure to flash” prompted Indiana State Police Sergeant John Perrine to post an impromptu PSA to Facebook in 2017, pointing out the “incredible technology” found on cars.
“If you look at your steering wheel, to the left side, there’s this stick that comes out, it’s pretty incredible – it’s a turn signal,” says Sgt. John Perrine. He continues, “If you push it down – lemme show you what it does, It’s pretty amazing! On the front of your car, it starts to flash!”
Sgt. Perrine’s video quickly went viral, racking up millions of views online, and after being shared on a national news program, another 90 million people watched it.
News Channel 8 followed up with Sgt. Perrine, now a Public Information Officer with the Indiana State Police and asked if he thinks his video made a difference. He says that turn-signal violations are still a “big problem” but so many people have watched and shared the video, as well as commented on it to him, that he’s glad at least the message is being passed around. Sgt. Perrine also joked that he’s “happy to come to Florida to teach drivers how to use turn signals!”