Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Turn Signals

When I moved to the Sierra foothills from the urban San Francisco Bay Area I was pleased to see that people up here stop at stop signs and take turns at four-way stops. They stop to let pedestrians cross the street and usually stay within five miles of the speed limit.

But, just like in the Bay Area, lots of people don’t seem to know how to use their turn signals.

Back in ancient history, when I was young, turn signals hadn’t been invented. At least not the electric kind.

Instead of signal lights we would hold our hands and arms out the driver’s window to signal that we were going to turn or stop. Holding the arm straight out to the left showed that we would turn left, holding it straight up meant we’d make a right turn, and holding it down toward the ground meant we were about to stop.

Of course there were problems with that. Drivers had to keep their windows open most of the time, put their arms out in the rain or snow in winter and risk getting sunburns in the summer.

And sometimes it was difficult for people to see the hand signals of some other cars, depending on where their own cars were.

You would think since people using electric turn signals don’t have any of those problems, drivers would use their turn signals all the time.

Do they use turn signals most of the time where you live? Do you?

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