Using turn signals is one of the most basic traffic rules that motorists are taught when getting a driver’s license. Unfortunately, this is also one of the most ignored traffic rules that lead to millions of preventable car accidents on Pittsburgh roads and highways.
Failure to use turn signals when changing lanes or making a turn can lead to a devastating car crash and may even involve more than two vehicles. Our Pittsburgh failure to use turn signals accident attorney at SMT Legal explains that using a turn signal helps other motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists know what driving maneuver the motorist intends to perform, giving other parties plenty of time to react and maneuver accordingly.
If you fail to indicate your intention to change lanes or make a turn, the other motorist will have insufficient time to react, increasing the likelihood of a car accident. For example, an unsuspecting motorist may stop his or her vehicle suddenly by slamming on the brakes, causing a rear-end collision with another vehicle, swerve as a reaction and, as a result, crash into a vehicle from oncoming traffic, or perform any other dangerous maneuver due to the signaling vehicle.
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Many motorists think it is no big deal if they forget to use a turn signal once or twice, but, in reality, this is a huge deal. A 2012 report published by the Society of Automotive Engineers found that failure to use turn signals is responsible for about 2 million of car accidents each year in the U.S.
The study showed that about 25 percent of all motorists failed to use a turn signal when making a turn, while 45 percent of them failed to signal their intention to change lanes. The study concluded that up to 2 million car accidents can be prevented each year if motorists properly use turn signals as required by federal and state law.
“Interestingly,” says our experienced failure to use turn signals accident attorney in Pittsburgh, “Improper use of turn signals causes more car crashes than distracted driving, which is responsible for about 960,000 accidents each year.”
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by the other motorist’s failure to use a turn signal, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other motorist to hold him or her liable on the basis of negligence. Failure to use a turn signal is considered a violation of traffic law, which amounts to negligence under Pennsylvania state law.
By failing to signal his or her intention to turn or change lanes, a motorist breaches his/her duty to act as a reasonable and prudent person, because this violation endangers the lives of other motorists, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.
Our Pittsburgh car accident lawyer at SMT Legal reminds that Pennsylvania is a modified comparative negligence state, which means you are entitled to compensation if 50 or less percent at fault for causing the crash. If your own negligence contributed to the accident, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of your own fault. You cannot recover damages if 51 or more percent at fault.