Posted by : attorney stevelee

When Should You Be Using a Turn Signal to Avoid a Car Accident in Texas?

Recently, car companies have begun to emphasize new crash avoidance features on passenger vehicles to prevent accidents. At the same time, many motorists are forgetting to use the basic safety tools their vehicles provide. One of these is the turn signal, which can be vital to preventing a wreck—yet many drivers are not using their turn signals on a regular basis.

Turn indicators are an important means of communicating with others on the road to let them know where a car will be going. Failing to use turn signals causes many preventable accidents with unsuspecting victims who do not realize that a driver is merging into a lane, turning onto a street, or going into a parking lot.

When Are You Required to Use a Turn Signal in Texas?

Using a turn signal is a traffic law in Texas and violation of it could result in your being pulled over by a police officer and issued a citation. The following rules apply:

  • A turn signal must be used to signal an intention to turn, change lanes, or start from a parked position.
  • A driver intending to turn must use his left or right turn signal continuously for 100 feet of movement before the vehicle turns.

Tips for Using Your Turn Signal Safely

Using a turn signal is essential to warn other motorists of your intentions. It is especially dangerous not to use a turn signal on a highway where vehicles are traveling at a faster speed. Follow these safety tips on using your turn signal:

  • Changing lanes. Put your turn signal on before changing lanes to give drivers around you time to slow down and prepare for your lane change. Be certain to check that you have sufficient space to merge into the lane before doing so. Once you have switched lanes, shut off your turn signal—something many people forget to do—so you don’t confuse other motorists of your intentions.
  • Turning onto a street. Putting on your turn signal as required under Texas law is essential to warn drivers around you that you will be turning onto a street. If you fail to do so, another motorist may think that you are slowing down after speeding instead of dramatically reducing your speed to safely make a turn.
  • Turning at a stoplight. You should always use a turn signal at a stoplight to warn other drivers of your intentions. It is especially critical to use your turn signal if the intersection does not have turn-only lanes so other drivers know that you are turning and not going straight.

Did a negligent driver’s failure to use a turn signal cause your car accident? You need an experienced car accident attorney to file your claim with his insurance company and negotiate your settlement. Fill out our online form today to schedule a free consultation to learn how our trusted attorneys can help you.

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