For a few years now, we have been hearing and seeing news reports regarding the dangers of distracted driving. This problem has largely been blamed on cell phones and other hand-held devices, and the issue has grown in scope to the point that several states have not only decided to crack down on distracted driving but also to enact laws either banning or restricting the use of cell phones while people are behind the wheels of vehicles. According to several statistical estimates, nearly one million car accidents occur in the United States every year because of distracted driving.
As dangerous as distracted driving is and as much as we need to take steps to bring those numbers down, a recent study has revealed a driving danger that is at least twice as dangerous as distracted driving when considering the number of accidents it causes. That danger is failing to use a turn signal when making a turn or when changing lanes, and the numbers associated with this mistake are nothing short of stunning.
The study was done by researchers at the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the team observed a total of 12,000 vehicles that were either making a turn or changing lanes. The study found that 25 percent of people making turns did not use their signals and that 48 percent of people changing lanes did not signal their intention to do so beforehand. Working the numbers outward, the researchers realized that this leads to 750 billion instances across the United States every year when people do not use their turn signals, or nearly 2 billion occurrences every single day.
To make matters even worse, the researchers looked into the problem on a deeper level and discovered that failing to use a turn signal either before a turn or before changing lanes leads to at least 2 million car accidents across the country every year. The study has already drawn strong reactions from all walks of automotive life, and some in law enforcement have nodded their heads vehemently in agreeing with the prevalence of this danger.
The researchers, given their backgrounds and occupations, used the results of this study to advocate for what are known as ‘smart’ turn signals. These advanced turn signals sense when a vehicle is turning or changing lanes and they activate automatically so that people who forget to use them will be able to let others know of their directional intentions. Whether people forget to use their turn signals or they simply feel that they are not necessary, something will need to be done to address this problem so that the number of people being injured and killed because of this mistake can come down.
If you or someone you love has been harmed in a crash caused by someone failing to use his or her turn signal, you need to contact the Florida accident lawyers at Bernstein & Maryanoff as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation.