This week’s safety tip comes from the California Driver’s Handbook and covers the proper way to signal to others on the road and to nearby pedestrians. Even though most drivers know to signal, it’s easy to forget to do so, so a reminder covering the basics can be helpful.
Always signal to other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians when you plan to turn left, right, slow down, or stop. Also signal when making a left or right turn, during the last 100 feet before reaching the turning point. Even though you signal, do not automatically assume that the space you want to occupy is clear. Before every lane change check your mirrors, look over your shoulder, and check your blind spot before changing lanes.
Make sure you signal when doing the following:
- At least five seconds before you change lanes on a freeway.
- Before pulling next to the curb or away from the curb.
- When you change directions.
- Even when you do not see other vehicles. A vehicle you do not see may suddenly appear and hit you.
- If you plan to turn after going through an intersection, start signaling when you are in the intersection. If you signal too early, the other driver may think you plan to turn into the intersection and he or she may pull out in front of you.
- Remember to cancel your signal after turning.