Lost Art of Blinking

Published by in Offbeat
23rd Aug 2009

Image via Wikipedia

Every day, people get into their cars, turn on the engines, strap on their seatbelts and start to drive.  We, as Americans, are drivers. We drive to work, to the grocery store, to the bank, to home, or to wherever.  However, people tend to forget their car’s major tool – the blinker.

The blinker is located behind the steering wheel on the left-hand side.  It’s usually a rectangle-shaped lever that you push up when you are turning right and down when turning left.  It’s a simple finger movement.

It’s so simple that drivers tend to forget about it.  They drive down the road. They can be busy thinking about other stuff like work, the party, their life or whatever. And they forget to use the blinker before they merge to another lane or pull into their driveway.

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I don’t know about you, but this totally frustrates me while I’m driving on the road. I hate when you’re behind someone and they put on their brakes and turn right at an intersection or when they merge right in front of you on the freeway.  I see it a lot and it gets to the point where I just want to scream at them. It’s very frustrating.

The blinker is not out of reach for the driver. It’s right there by your steering wheel.  Still people don’t use it.  Why? It’s as easy as moving you hand down your steering wheel and extending your finger to push up or down on the lever. Simple! 

Using your blinker when you switch lanes is the safest way to drive down the road.  The blinker keeps traffic moving smoothly and prevents whiplash.  The blinker should be turned on at about 100 feet before a turn. That’s the rule in the California Driver’s Handbook.  The blinking will allow other drivers to know of your intentions to change lanes or turn at intersections.  Thus blinking will give other drivers on the road to slow down and prevent any rear-end crashes.

Some drivers tend to blink at about the same time they are braking. This is practically the same as not using your blinker at all.  The purpose of the blinker is to notify the other drivers of your lane change or turn. 

Not using your blinker can and do cause near-misses as well as accidents if the other driver doesn’t react in time.  These accidents may lead to serious injuries and possibly death.  Nobody wants that to happen.

My advice is to remember to use your blinker about 100 feet from a turn or when you switch lanes and you follow the other rules of the road.