If a driver fails to signal while they are turning or changing lanes and a car accident happens, they may be held accountable. Not using turning signals when needed is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents nationwide and is also seen as negligent behavior.
Changing Lanes Without Signaling
Drivers who do not signal while changing lanes may end up in side-impact or sideswipe collisions. When such accidents occur on busy highways, numerous vehicles may become involved in the crash. In New York, anyone changing lanes or passing another vehicle must turn on their signals at least 100 feet before making the lane shift.
Liability depends upon the circumstances surrounding the crash. Proof that a driver did not use a blinker, like in a surveillance video, is valid evidence that indicates negligence. Video evidence may also indicate that a driver did not keep enough distance between their car and the vehicle in front.
Drivers who do not use their blinkers while making turns often end up in rear-end collisions or side-impact collisions. If no video evidence exists, proving whether a turn signal was used in an accident becomes more difficult. A lawyer will interview eyewitnesses and review police reports. If possible, drivers should take photos or videos at the accident scene and document it as specifically as they can.
Turn Signal Usage
In 2018, nearly half of New York drivers did not use turn signals at all. Blinker misuse contributed to approximately 542 accidents in that year alone. The New York State Police also reported that they issued 15,127 tickets for traffic violations, which included failure to use a turn signal. Most drivers stated that their blinker misuse was due to laziness and feeling as though they did not have enough time to use blinkers. Some drivers also stated that they did not use turn signals because they often forget to turn off their blinkers. Interestingly, men were the main violators.
Future Turn Signals
These high rates of blinker misuse may indicate that there is a fault in the system. Those that have difficulty using turn signals may find Electronic Intelligent Turn Signals with Turn Signal Assist helpful. This would stop signals once the system determined that a turn was completed, or it would stop the blinkers after a set time period. Reminders would also urge drivers to use their turn signals.
Brooklyn Car Accident Lawyers at Eaton & Torrenzano Represent Clients Injured in Car Accidents Due to Blinker Misuse
If you were injured in a car accident because another driver failed to use a turn signal, it is best to contact one of our experienced lawyers to explore your options. Our Brooklyn car accident lawyers at Eaton & Torrenzano will fight aggressively to protect your rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 718-332-7766 for a free consultation about your case. With offices in Brooklyn and Staten Island, New York, as well as Hillsborough, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Kings County and Richmond County, including the communities of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, and Manhattan.