Turn Signal Study Reminds America That It Stinks At Driving

The turn signal study that you’re about to read may be a couple of years old, but it found new life on the front page of Reddit Sunday, as many realized just how bad Americans are at using their blinkers.

Posted as a TIL (TodayILearned), the Redditor shared a link to the original Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) study.

In that research — conducted in 2012 — it was revealed that 25 percent of U.S. drivers “improperly use their turn signals” while out on the road.

Furthermore, 48 percent of drivers would not use their signal to switch lanes. (A law, by the way, just in case you’re one of the guilty reading this.)

Naturally, the post went viral and sparked more than 2,300 comments in less than six hours.

Most Redditors lamented the truth behind the turn signal study, and shared some pretty sound advice for behaviors while behind the wheel of an automobile.

“My dad taught me when I was learning to drive that the number one way to be safe on the road is to be predictable,” said one commenter, adding that was “why we have turn signals and brake lights and road signs and lines on the road… If you are not predictable, you’re upping your chances of getting smacked. So totally not worth it.”

“And number two,” chimed in another, “is ‘Don’t do things that require others to react if you can avoid it.’ It’s generally better if you can allow people to continue on their oblivious way without making them change their programmed course of action. I like the ones who turn from a side street in front of me when there’s not enough room, making me brake, even though there was nobody behind me at all. This is particularly charming when their next move is to make a left turn, forcing me to brake again.”

Not to be outdone, I’d like to get in on the fun. Aside from the weaknesses exploited in the turn signal study, something else that really burns me up is America’s inability to deal with the four-way stop and its apparently confusing cousin, the flashing red light.

While I was heading to work on Friday, I ran in to the flashing red, and almost got hit by three cars that didn’t realize it’s a turn-based honor system. When it’s your turn to go, you go. You don’t floor it and tailgate the car in front of you when it’s their turn to go. No two-at-a-times allowed.

What do you think, readers? Do the facts of the turn signal study linked above still ring true? Does America really not know how to use their blinkers? And what are some of your road pet peeves?

[Image via ShutterStock]