Letter to the Editor - The Art of Signaling

Dear Editor,

I have noticed on many occasions that there are a lot of people in this county who don’t know how to signal. Perhaps there is a misconception that signaling is both difficult and time consuming. Nothing could be further from the truth! As I hope to explain in just four easy steps, signaling can be fun, and it can relay the message to others that YOU are, indeed, a sophisticated and savvy driver.

First- why signal? There are two main reasons. 

  #1. It alerts a person waiting to turn onto your street that you intend to turn, thus giving them an opportunity to turn also. 

#2. If you signal well in advance of your turn, it courteously tells the texting driver behind you that you intend to turn in the near future, and if all goes well, they will notice this during one of their glances at the highway - thus avoiding you being rear - ended. 

So, here’s what I hope are easily understandable directions on how to signal.

#1. First sit in your car with the engine off. Look around you. You will see familiar devices all around you - the steering wheel, the music player, the shift lever, but wait! What is that funny little stick on the lefthand side of your steering column? THAT is the signal.

#2. With the engine still off, practice using this stick ... and here’s the hard part ... moving it upwards you will hear a click. This turns on your right side signal lights and indicates that you intend to turn right.

Now move it all the way down. This indicates you intend to turn left and your left signaling lights will come on! Practice this over and over. A mistake beginning signalers often make is moving the stick in the wrong direction to the direction you intend to turn. This can lead to huge consequences. It is essential that you get this pattern in your head.

#3. Now turn on your engine and try #2 again. This time you will hear a rhythmic clicking, and someone outside the car can confirm which lights are blinking on and off. When you have practiced this enough to be confident of your direction, you are ready to drive!

#4. I would suggest a figure eight pattern on two blocks in a quiet neighborhood- this will insure your chance to practice an equal number of left and right turns. Most people, after only a few hours master this technique and are now able to go out upon our highways and show that they too are knowledgeable and courteous drivers.

I hope this helps!

Topics I hope to discuss in the coming weeks:

“Why texting and driving have become the #1 proof of Darwin’s Laws of Natural Selection.”

“Hey you, tailgating the slow driver, but not wanting to pass.”

“Why stopping for a police car or ambulance, just on the other side of a hill, is problematic.”

“Accelerate, hit brakes, accelerate, hit brakes. LOL”

“Why turning your lights on during a rainy or overcast day does NOT decrease MPG. (Photon mass vs. mass).”

Charles Henry