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Driver's Ed Seem Long Ago? Refresh Your Memory: When to Signal

Last updated 7 years ago

Newer drivers, and particularly those that did not attend driver’s ed, often don’t know or have forgotten how to use their turn signals properly. Turn signals are important, because they allow you to communicate with other drivers. So what is the proper way to use your turn signals?

  • When to Use Signals

For simplicity’s sake, you should always use your turn signals for every turn and lane change, every single time. This lets you communicate your intentions to other drivers and pedestrians, as well as keep you in the habit of using them. The sooner you get into the habit, the easier it will become to remember.

  • How to Use Signals

Remember that your turn signals are intended to communicate with other drivers and pedestrians, so turning your signals on mid-turn does not help. Turn your signals on far in advance of turns and lane changes so that you can make sure other people know that you intend to turn or change lanes.

  • Other Reasons to Use Turn Signals

Besides communicating with other people, turn signals are legally required by most jurisdictions. Additionally, according to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, failing to use a turn signal falls under “vigilance problems”, a sign of impaired driving.

  • Other Cars

While turn signals are used to communicate your intentions on the road and are generally used correctly by many motorists, do not assume that just because someone has their turn signal on, that they will be turning. If you are looking to turn left or right onto a road and a car is coming from your left with a turn signal on, do not go until they have actually turned and the road is clear. The person may decide not to turn or may not even realize that they have their turn signal on for whatever reason. Exercise caution and make sure that the driver is actually turning before you proceed.

Using your turn signals may be a legal requirement, but it is also a good idea for driving safely. Top Driver is the nation’s largest driving school, with locations throughout Chicagoland, including Wheaton, Naperville, Buffalo Grove, Highland Park and much more. We specialize in driver education and driving lessons at each of our driving schools.


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