We read a lot about car accidents caused by red light runners and lane changes. However, one of the most common causes of auto wrecks is something many drivers do on a daily basis – failure to signal.

A study by the Society of Automotive Engineers suggested turn signal neglect is causing millions of wrecks every year and may be even more dangerous than distracted driving.

The society presented the findings in 2012. Distracted driving continues to be a major menace and there have been few comparisons since. Failure to signal can be more serious than many of us realize.

The Society of Automotive Engineers studied 12,000 turning and lane-changing vehicles. It concluded as many as a quarter of all drivers failed to signal when turning and as many as 48 percent didn’t signal when changing lanes. The society reached an alarming conclusion. Drivers in the United States are failing to make 750 billion signals a year and more than 2 billion every day. The study concluded about 2 million crashes per year are a direct result of drivers failing to indicate their intentions. That compared to about 950,000 crashes caused by drivers who are distracted on their phones eating, talking to people or just lost in their thoughts.

Richard Ponziana, president of RLP Engineering and author of the report stated:

“This is a first-of-its-kind report on a subject that amazingly, has never been studied. The turn signal is one of the very original automotive crash-prevention devices and this simple driver-to-driver communication device remains extremely effective, but only when it is accurately displayed as required by law.”

SAE suggested a simple solution to the problem – the Smart Turn Signal. This relatively straightforward system uses computer controls and vehicle sensors to aid the driver in making sure that the turn signal is routinely used. It shuts off the blinker when it’s no longer required.

We have all experienced the frustration of seeing a car suddenly turn in front of us or change lanes without signaling. It’s dangerous and disorientating for other drivers. Motorists who fail to signal can be held liable for injuries sustained in automobile accidents.

If you have been injured by a driver who failed to signal, please call the Law Offices of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.