The use of turn signals is very important to let drivers of other vehicles know that you intend to make a turn. This is something that is taught during driver’s ed, and it should be basic knowledge for all motorists, and especially those with licenses to operate commercial vehicles. Unfortunately, a growing number of drivers on the roadways (both commercial and non-commercial) have fallen into the habit of not using turn signals when they are supposed to.
Failure to use turn signals is perhaps this is a reflection of our “short attention span” society. People have distractions coming at them from a thousand different directions, and there is a general feeling among many motorists that whether they use a turn signal or not is “no big deal”. The truth is that it is a very big deal. Not using turn signals can sometimes result in accidents, which can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities.
In a situation like this, it makes sense to work with a firm that has extensive experience pursuing automobile accident claims, and that’s where we come in. At Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C., we have been standing up for injury victims in West Virginia for over five decades, and we have a successful track record with even the most complex cases. Call our office today at (800) 497-0234 or (800) 296-6979 to schedule a free consultation and case assessment with one of our attorneys.
Why It is Important to Use Turn Signals
Although to some it might not seem like a big deal to signal before making a turn, it is very important for truck drivers and other motorists on the roadways to use them not only for their own safety but for the safety of others as well. When drivers behind you do not know your clear intention to turn, then they will not be prepared for you to slow down and make the turn.
This can lead to a rear-end collision, especially if you have to wait a while for traffic to clear before you make the turn.
In situations where there is heavy traffic, the failure of a commercial truck driver to use his/her turn signal could greatly heighten the risk of a chain reaction crash, leading to a multi-car pileup. Pedestrians can also get seriously hurt when a turn signal is not used. If you do not signal before you turn, a pedestrian may try to cross the road on the side that you are turning.
When Should Motorists Use Turn Signals?
WV Code Section 17C-8-8 requires motorists to use a turn signal when they are within 100 feet of making a right- or left-hand turn. Motorists are also required to give an appropriate signal before stopping or suddenly decreasing the speed of their vehicle when there is an opportunity to do so.
It is important to note that the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled that turn signals are not required on empty roads where there is no other vehicle traffic. Since that ruling, the statute has been amended with the following language:
No person shall so turn any vehicle without giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter provided in the event any other traffic may be affected by such movement.
Although using a turn signal without any other traffic around is optional in the Mountain State, it is still a best safety practice, because there may be vehicles or pedestrians in the vicinity that you are not aware of.
Motorists should use their turn signals in the following situations:
- Making a turn at an intersection.
- Making a lane change.
- Making a turn to enter or exit the highway.
- Making a turn into a driveway.
- Making a turn into a parking space.
Pursuing anAccident Claim for Failure to Use a Turn Signal
If you or someone close to you was injured in an accident because the driver did not use a turn signal or any other form of negligence, you may be entitled to significant compensation. But in order to prove negligence on the part of the other driver, you will need various types of evidence. This may include video footage of the collision, eyewitness testimony, the findings of an accident reconstructionist, and many others.
After you have been treated for your injuries, your next step should be to call our office to discuss your legal claim. The sooner you get in touch with us, the better your chances of a favorable outcome. Get started today by calling (800) 497-0234 or (800) 296-6979 or sending us an online message.