It’s Not Worth the Energy to Signal | Teen Ink

It’s Not Worth the Energy to Signal

February 16, 2011
By matt2122 BRONZE, Plymouth, Minnesota
matt2122 BRONZE, Plymouth, Minnesota
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Are people so busy today that the once simple act of using a turn signal is obsolete? I was sitting at the stop sign waiting to turn onto the frontage road by Benilde-St. Margaret's School and numerous drivers would either not use their blinker and turn off of the road or have their blinker on and continue to drive straight.
After a long weekend on a Monday morning, the occurrence of not using a turn signal has all of the qualities necessary to anger even the calmest person. It can make someone miss a break in the seemingly endless row of cars streaming over the hill, something which can mean an extra couple minutes spent idling. Along with the frustration of missing a shot to get out on the road, there are also the situations when a car will have its signal on and blow right through the turn. This is something that can instantly wake a groggy, high school driver very badly. How can someone leave a signal on for an extended period of time? Isn’t that irritating repeated clicking noise enough to move the shifter to make it stop?
I try to communicate my frustration to those who choose not to use their indicator lights, but these non-signalers drive right by completely unaware of the teenager shouting driving critiques at them.
In a separate situation, I was driving down a road behind a fellow car and it suddenly hit the brakes and made a hard left turn onto another street. This caused me to swerve a little and slam on my own brakes to avoid running into him as he stopped. This quick little maneuver made the drink in my hand slip, spilling its entire contents onto my lap. If the absent minded driver would have performed the simple task of signaling a few seconds earlier, it would had both averted my panic and also time cleaning up the sticky mess left over from the beverage.
Even my father forgets to use his signal at times, and in others he seemingly turns on purpose without even making the effort to signal to the other drivers. I don’t usually say anything because it’s not a very common incident, but one time I decided to be a smart mouth and call him out on it.
Me: “Was your turn signal broken back there or why didn’t you use it?”
Dad: “There’s no one around Matt.”
Me: “You mean those drivers aren’t real?”
Dad: “Stop being sarcastic.”
Me: “Okay, fine.”
(While making another turn he dramatically flips the signal up and looks at me with a smile) Dad: “Happy?”
I can understand the occasional situation when a person can forget to signal for a turn, I do it sometimes, but when a line of cars all repeat this same mistake in a row, that’s when you know something is wrong.
Through my experiences, it seems people these days are more relaxed when following everyday driving rules. This slackening of the rules may be the reason for the absence of signaling, but it is no excuse for not making the right driving choices. If only a person would get in the habit of following all driving rules and consciously using their clickers on all turns, these non-signalers I encounter would cease to exist. Seeing the constant signaling from other drivers, I could feel confident when making decisions driving on the road.

The author's comments:
This was an "insightful observation" paper I had to write for my English class which was about a daily problem we encounter.

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