A new report recently published by the Society of Automotive Engineers confirms that failure to use a turn signal causes about 2 Million car accidents each year in the United States. The SAE study examined 12,000 turning vehicles in the field. About 25% of drivers failed to use a turn signal when making a turn. More alarming, however, almost half the drivers observed failed to use a turn signal when changing lanes. The study estimates that about 1-2 Million car crashes could be prevented each year if drivers properly used turn signals as required by law.
While distracted driving may be a high priority for legislators and government officials, the SAE study concludes that turn signal neglect causes more car accidents (1-2 Million accidents due to turn signal neglect compared to 959,000 due to distracted driving). While turn signal neglect ultimately is a matter of driver error or, more accurately, driver laziness, the SAE study suggests that the implementation of Smart Turn Signals (STS) by auto manufacturers may be a solution. Drivers who fail to use a turn signal when changing lanes or making a turn in a vehicle equipped with STS would see a message appear in the vehicle’s control panel reminding the driver to use a turn signal next time. This proposed solution is similar to the warning light and bell that signals when a front seat driver or passenger are not using a seatbelt when the vehicle is moving.
The SAE study what all of us experience on the road every day, especially with Massachusetts drivers.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident that occurred in Massachusetts, please contact Attorney John Sheehan for a free, no obligation consultation.