When Misused Car Signals Lead to Accidents

August 5, 2019

Turn signals are important tools for drivers to use. These signals allow a driver to communicate with surrounding vehicles about upcoming turns or lane departures. However, drivers often misuse their signals while driving, leading to motor vehicle accidents. After an accident, drivers may wonder who should be held responsible.

When a Driver Turns Without Using a Signal

There are many situations where a driver may misuse turn signals. One common situation is when a driver does not use a signal to indicate their turn at all, leading to a motor vehicle accident. When an accident occurs, many people may wonder who is to blame. There are various ways to analyze this situation. Insurance companies may interpret the accident as the front vehicle’s fault, because the driver failed to use a turning signal. Their failure to indicate a turn may allow an insurer to believe that the following driver did not have enough time to react to the turn.

However, the insurance company may also interpret the accident as the following vehicle’s fault. They may assume that the following vehicle was tailgating the front vehicle, causing the accident to occur. Cases differ depending on details, however, it is wise to keep a safe distance between vehicles to avoid a motor vehicle accident.

When a Driver Signals Without Turning

Another common situation involving misused turn signals is when a driver indicates a turn but fails to execute it. When an accident occurs in this situation, the driver who misused the signal is not necessarily at fault. This is because the use of turn signals does not ensure that the driver will execute the turn. Therefore, any driver who encounters a vehicle with a turn signal should wait until the driver has executed the turn before darting in front of it.

The fault of the driver may be exacerbated by any signs that indicate a yield. For example, a driver who faces a stop sign cannot drive into the road if an oncoming vehicle has their turn signal on. Even though the turn signal indicated that the vehicle will turn onto the street, it does not permit the driver at the stop sign to dart out in front of oncoming traffic.

When a Driver Turns the Opposite Direction of Their Turn Signal

Drivers who turn the opposite direction of their turn signal tend to be at-fault. This is because laws require drivers to continue their indicated course, even if they are accidentally going the wrong way. Common consequences for drivers who misuse their turn signals in this way include fines, liability, and being responsible for injuries or fatalities.

Comparative Negligence

State laws differ, however, it is not uncommon for both drivers to be considered at-fault. This is referred to as comparative negligence. In these cases, each driver will be given a percentage of blame for the accident. This percentage will indicate how damages and liability are handled.

Delaware County Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Advocate for Car Accident Victims

If you or a loved one was the victim of a motor vehicle accident, please consider contacting a Delaware County car accident lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. Our lawyers work closely with clients to reach the best possible legal outcome. If you are interested in speaking to one of our lawyers, contact us online or call us at 610-565-3701 for a free consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.