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Deceptive driving, blinkin' cars

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Deceptive driving, blinkin' cars

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Old 01-19-07, 01:43 AM
  #1  
arbscht
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Deceptive driving, blinkin' cars

This happened on my commute home earlier this evening.

I was at an unsignalled 4-way intersection waiting to make a right turn (left in the US, invert as appropriate), when I saw the only oncoming traffic was a car across on my left, signalling to his left to exit the intersection without crossing my path. He was a safe enough distance away anyhow so I completed my turn alright.

Then he passed me, having not turned at the intersection at all. His indicators were still flashing left. I figured he must've miscued his signal and wanted to turn at the next intersection nearby. Nope. Still going straight. And so he went on, merrily blinking down the road, and straight through a roundabout (traffic circle?) with the wrong signal, before leaving my sight.

This was during peak hours. I guess I'm not too surprised as I've come to expect weirdness in dense traffic. Generally, never trust turn signals -- or lack thereof -- alone, too.

However, I'm curious about why this might have happened. I'm not really familiar with cars so I have no good idea how the indicators work, or fail. As I understand it, there is an internal light that blinks for the driver at the same time as the external light, right?

Could it have been a technical failure, and is it common? Or just another oblivious driver? Perhaps it was a caged cyclist at the wheel, and he missed his blinkies?
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Old 01-19-07, 03:45 AM
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The drivers in this area have a sayng:
"Never trust a turn signal."
Whether it's blinking or not, makes no difference.
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Old 01-19-07, 05:54 AM
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One of my major memories from childhood:

(riding in backseat of my grandparents buick, grandfather driving, grandmother in passenger seat)

< ding, ding, ding>
Grandma: Your blinker is on, you aren't turning.
Grandpa: What?
<ding, ding, ding>
Grandma: Your blinker is still on
Grandpa: What?
<ding, ding, ding>
....

This would continue for however many dozens of miles the trip was.
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Old 01-19-07, 07:00 AM
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When I lived in Nebraska, my grandma came up to bring me down here to Kansas where she lived at the time. I remember she had her turn signal on for about 3 hours straight on the highway. I was 3, and I thought it was the funniest thing ever, so I didn't tell her.
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Old 01-19-07, 07:36 AM
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Where I live the drivers call the practice of using turn signals: "passing secrets to the enemy".
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Old 01-19-07, 07:48 AM
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In most cars the trun signal will self-cancel once the car has turned. However, if the driver activates the turn signal and doesn't turn and forgets about the turn signal, then it will blink fore-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-ver. I never trust an oncoming car's turn signal to indicate that the driver intends to turn before reaching me. He may be turning after my intersection or not at all.

That being said, I put turn signals on my bike last week and yesterday morning I looked down as I was merrily riding along and noticed that my own turn signal had been blinking for the past three blocks.

I definitely need to put a piezo buzzer on it to audibly let me (and those around me) know that my turn signal is on and I'm turning.
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Old 01-19-07, 09:15 AM
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I have a totyota pickup truck. The turn indicator light on the dash panel is blocked by the spoke of the steering wheel, under normal driving conditions. Also, the ticker relay is so quiet that practically any ambient noise drowns it out, allowing me to travel blithely under false pretenses for some time. Often, when you see people driving with the signal on, you'll notice the driver's window is down, and the noise is drowning out the sound.

Maybe we should just be happy that the mad signaller is apparently too engaged in what's actually happening on the road ahead, to be bothered scanning the dash for signs of incipient dementia.
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Old 01-19-07, 09:16 AM
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"Don’t start a turn just because an
approaching vehicle has its turn
signal on. The driver may plan to
turn just beyond you. The signal
may have been left on from an
earlier turn. This is particularly
true of motorcycles. Their signal
lights don’t always turn off by
themselves. Wait until the other
driver actually starts to turn
before you continue."
-- California Driver Handbook, page 45.

Never trust a turn signal.
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Old 01-19-07, 09:27 AM
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Some times you just zone out and forget that its on. Also not all cars make it obvious that your blinker is still on, in some cases the wheel paritally blocks the light from the dashboard for example. Also, Also, was the driver elderly? In my experience they tend to be the group most likely to miss something like that.
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Old 01-19-07, 09:28 AM
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If you've ever driven, you've probably driven w/ the blinker on at one time or the other. There's an indicator light inside, but if your eyes are on the road, you may not see it, especially if it's blocked by the steering wheel or your hands.
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Old 01-19-07, 09:28 AM
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My favourite is someone on a bridge, driving along with their blinker on.
"Go ahead and turn. I dare ya."
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Old 01-19-07, 09:29 AM
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Y'all forgot the best possible answer (stolen from George Carlin):

"He's going around the world to the left!"
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Old 01-19-07, 10:11 AM
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Turn signals are a warning that a car might or might not turn, and if they turn, they might turn in the direction the signal is on, or the other way. Or they might weave around for a while before they decide.

Not having a turn signal on means the same thing.

Ford (the only car I've really ever owned) intentionally puts pretty loud relays on their turn signals so you can't forget they're on unless you're hard of hearing (or have the radio on very loud, same thing). I know a lot of other cars, particularly Japanese cars, tend to have very quiet or silent turn signal relays, so if the dash is obstructed you may not know they're on.
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Old 01-19-07, 10:15 AM
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You could also have a defective part (thingamagig) that switches the turn signal off after you finish turning. I owned a late 70s Camaro that had this issue in the late 90s (among 400 other problems). Fortunately, the stereo did not work and the blinker was loud as all heck.
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Old 01-19-07, 10:47 AM
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I was once witness to a traffic court case where an accident occured because one guy assumed a blinker meant a turn into the shopping center he was leaving. It didn't. The guy kept telling the judge about the blinker and the judge kept responding, "Yeah, so?"
I figure turn signals mean as much as speed limit signs.
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Old 01-19-07, 12:24 PM
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I appreciate people using their turn signals properly, but I view most turn signals more as a statement of hope rather than fact.

What really irritates me is the "past-tense" turn signal, alerting you to the fact that the car has just moved over into the right lane or has already initiated a turn.
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Old 01-19-07, 02:40 PM
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Blinkers on trucks (lorries?) don't turn off automatically when you complete your turn.
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Old 01-19-07, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by gear
Where I live the drivers call the practice of using turn signals: "passing secrets to the enemy".
Absolutely. You wouldn't really expect them to give away their next move, would you?
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Old 01-19-07, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by newbojeff
What really irritates me is the "past-tense" turn signal, alerting you to the fact that the car has just moved over into the right lane or has already initiated a turn.
I've noticed this a lot lately, I think maybe it bothers me a lot more when I'm on a bike. People don't put their turn signal on until they're already starting the turn, or at least just before. If they'd put their signal on maybe 5 seconds early, I'd have a chance to do something courteous for them. When they pull up right beside me and then put on their turn signal, I can't do anything.
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