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Proposed change to Indiana turn signal law sparks safety concerns

| Jan 21, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Vigilant Indiana drivers will follow the rules of the road when behind the wheel. That goes beyond paying attention, being sober, maintaining alertness and behaving predictably. It extends to the simplest fundamentals like using turn indicators. Turn indicators are not just to tell others on the road of the driver’s intentions. It is a question of safety. For example, if two vehicles are traveling in the same direction and one driver decides to change lanes, the signal can let the trailing driver know about it. However, a bill could repeal the law saying drivers must use turn indicators. This could be worrisome in terms of safety and be the catalyst for auto crashes.

Penalties for failure to use turn signals would be eliminated

The law does not end the requirement for drivers to use turn indicators when they are turning or changing lanes. What it does is alter them. Drivers will no longer be cited for not using their turn indicator. If it passes, drivers will not need to signal 200 feet before they make the turn or change lanes. If they are in a 50-mph zone, the distance is 300 feet.

Drivers provided anecdotal evidence of having been cited, but also questioned the wisdom of this proposal as it would give many drivers – especially younger and inexperienced drivers – the freedom to ignore signaling altogether. Bicyclists are especially concerned. One stated that vehicles that do not signal place riders in danger. That rider said that the failure to signal led to his bicycle being bumped. Fortunately, there were no injuries. Obviously, there could have been given riders’ inherent vulnerability.

Although the proposed repeal is still being discussed and it does tell drivers when they should still use their indicators, many might ignore it. This can place themselves, their passengers, other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians in jeopardy by not telegraphing their intentions.

The cause of an auto accident must be investigated to decide on a path forward

If an auto accident happened because of a failure to signal, it could be important when weighing options. The simple flicking of the indicator might not seem all that important, but it could prevent an unnecessary collision. When there is an accident, those involved may face medical costs, lost wages, need help from family members and face a radically different life. If there is a fatality, the family left behind will be impacted greatly. Assessing the accident and its cause is critical to formulating a strategy and having professional assistance can be crucial.