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Study: Failing to Signal More Dangerous Than Distracted Driving

Texting while driving is dangerous – we all know that. A driver who is distracted by a mobile phone is more likely to cause a serious car accident because a car can travel hundreds of feet while a text is being composed. This is one of the reasons why texting while driving is banned in California.

The fact that distracted driving is dangerous is not highly controversial. What is surprising however is a new study which indicates that failing to signal is twice as dangerous as distracted driving.

Approximately 950,000 accidents are linked to distracted driving every year but 2 million accidents are linked to failing to signal. Researchers found that drivers fail to signal for about 25 percent of turns and 48 percent of lane changes.

“This is a first of its kind report on a subject that amazingly, has never been studied,” said the author of the study on turn signal usage. “All drivers have an ongoing duty to use (signals), just as they have a duty to stop at a stop sign or at a red light.”

The study author added that smarter turn signals should be used which would remind drivers to signal and automatically shut off after a signal has been on for too long.

Source: MSNBC, “Turn signal neglect a real danger, study shows,” Paul A. Eisenstein, May 1, 2012