Failing to use turn signal bigger problem than distracted driving

A new study says failure to use a turn signal leads to more car wrecks than distracted driving.
A new study says failure to use a turn signal leads to more car wrecks than distracted driving.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A new study says failure to use a turn signal leads to more car wrecks than distracted driving.

Research from the Society of Automotive Engineers says drivers who fail to use a turn signal contribute to almost two million accidents annually, more than that of distracted driving.

"I mean it's just a simple flick of a button," said Candis Ward.

A flick of a button, that apparently isn't all that simple for some drivers, since they just aren't doing it.

"It really is aggravating." said Ward.

"It's very frustrating," said Joe Hartz.

"You know we sometimes wonder if they actually install turning signals on automobiles in Southeast Missouri, but I think they do, people just sometimes avoid using them," said Steve Gerard.

"It's dangerous to not let other people on the road know what you're doing," said Hartz.

"I prefer to use them, because that way I don't get rear-ended," said Ward.

"Simple safety, the fact is that people are behind you, let them know that you are about to move a 2,000 pound vehicle over to a different section of the road, otherwise somebody could get seriously hurt," said Hartz.

Gerard is a bicyclist, and said it's important for drivers to signal.

"Were very vulnerable out there on the street, we can make mistakes if they're not telling us what they're doing," said Gerard.

But don't worry if you don't signal, he'll let you know.

"Many times if they're not using their signal I will yell at them that your signal light is burnt out," said Gerard.

People tell me they think drivers don't signal because they get distracted, or are just lazy.

"I think it's a little ridiculous that people get out on the road and just forget how to drive," said Hartz.

Cape Girardeau Police Officer Darin Hickey said failing to use your signal isn't a cause of a car wreck, but can be a contributing factor. He said if one car rear ends another, the cause would most likely be the second car following too close.

Hickey said it's hard to ever really know if a driver used a turn signal in an incident that resulted in a wreck, because he said they can really only go off of the drivers word. He said out of the 651 crashes in 2012 so far, police have only cited one of them as an improper use of a signal as a contributing circumstance.

Debbi Groves at Capital Insurance in Cape Girardeau said 10-15 percent of the claims they see are car wrecks where one driver rear ends another. She said it's hard to ever know for sure, but said a big factor in those can be someone failing to use a signal.

Debbie Michel, the Owner of Road Rules Driving School said she stresses to her students to use a turn signal. She said it helps with the flow of traffic, safety on the road, and quite simply it's the law. She said she tells students to make sure the car commits to the turn before they decide to go. Michel said a flashing light, like a turn signal, alerts drivers more quickly than break lights, so she stressed to use the.

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