Friday, December 13, 2019

Turn signals

Here's another opinion of mine you'll probably dislike:
I don't like turn signals, and I'm not at all a fan of other drivers using them.

I certainly don't get it when people go off about people who don't use turn signals-- at least these drivers who don't signal aren't lying to me.

If I knew where the other person intended to turn, it might not be as bad. But turn signals leave a lot to guess-work. I don't trust them when I'm wanting to pull onto a road and an approaching car is signaling. Do they want to turn onto the road I'm on? Do they want to turn into the parking lot just past me? Is it safe to pull out or not? What good does the turn signal do? None. I end up waiting until the other car actually does something that shows their clear intent, regardless of the signaling. I could (and would) do that without the signal.

I guess if I were always in a rush and willing to burn rubber to dart across traffic, I might feel a bit differently. But probably not. I've always hated turn signals for their lying deceptiveness.

Yes, I use them anyway, but when I think about it, I hate using them and I hate seeing them used by other drivers. Guessing, based on other hints and mind-reading, would be just as effective as turn signals in most cases.

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  1. Whoa! We just found a rare thing we disagree on!

    I agree with you about pulling out into traffic, but that's not the only situation where turn signals are used.

    What about the car behind the one that's turning? It's useful to have an indication that they might be making a turn, which helps me be more patient with them and less likely to pass if I think they'll be out of my way soon.

    And what about changing lanes on a fast moving highway? Personally, I like being notified that the guy next to me wants to move into my lane. That gives me the opportunity to adjust my position so they don't hit me if they don't see me.

    Turn signals are ESPECIALLY important for big trucks. The drivers can't see as well out of them, and it makes it a lot easier to tell the difference between a truck that's just drifting in the lane (dangerous - this truck needs to be watched / avoided) and a truck that wants to move over (safe - this truck just needs to be let over).

    1. LOL. Yeah, it happens. Disagree away!

      "What about the car behind the one that's turning?"
      If I'm behind a car and its brake lights come on, I consider that it might turn. I trust the brake lights more than turn signals which might have been turned on for a lane change and forgotten.

      And don't get me started on lane changes in fast moving traffic! When I was a beginning driver I learned that signaling to change lanes just encouraged other drivers to shut you out so you couldn't move over. If I wanted to change lanes I had to be sneaky about it and not let them know I was thinking about doing so. Otherwise, they'd close ranks and I'd never be able to move over.

      And big trucks-- if they start to drift, I get out of the way, whether or not they are signaling. I assume they either can't see me or don't care.

      When I'm on the roads, I assume all the cars are autonomous and move arbitrarily-- as though there's no brain controlling them. This assumption has served me well.

    2. Last night as I was walking home, I was getting ready to cross a small side street (a cul-de-sac with maybe 5 houses on the whole street) as a car approached. The car seemed to be going straight, so I began crossing. As I crossed, the car started heading right for me. If only there were some way he could have notified me of his intention to turn, I might have just waited!

  2. Kent, that's where you and I differ. I tend not to blame the system simply because it's used badly.

    Who hasn't seen the idjut zoom from far left lane - with left blinker - to make a sudden right turn. Yet I do not blame the blinker for that.

    For that matter, neither do I blame the Constitutional form of government we were supposed to have. The blame falls squarely upon the evildoer not the system.

    Could it not be said that it is a defect of the system which allows evildoers? We'll never arise to perfection in this world, and do you really want to dumb down - which is to gum up the works - so to prioritize the idiots of the world?