††††††††††† SIGNALLING

 

Let's have a look at signalling, or should we say the lack of it. Confusion is sometimes created by the sentence; ' Signal if necessary'.

Many drivers don't put anything like the amount of thought and effort into the use of signals.The amount of time wasted, the frustration and the number of accidents caused by poor or even no signalling, is significant.

Just say you are about to move off from the side of the road, you check the mirrors and your blind spot and if nothing is there, you move off.However, there is an oncoming car; does he need to know that you are moving off, would a signal help them?The oncoming driver may be thinking of pulling over to park on your side of the road.If he can't see any reason to signal he may just pull across; hence you can see the potential for an accident. You have to make sure that you take everything into account in deciding whether the signal is necessary.Even if there had been nothing in the street other than you and a pedestrian, would a signal be necessary if you were going to move off?The answer is yes if it would help the pedestrian understand what you are about to do.

If you are driving in town in a two-way street and ahead of you there are road markings and a sign informing you to turn left.Do you need to signal seeing that the other drivers following know that it is a left turn only? You may say no; but look around, did the young mother with a pushchair who wants to cross the road where you have to make a compulsory left turn, know you were turning left?Always signal if the indication will help anyone.

 

If you want to turn right off a road and there is nothing behind or in front and no pedestrians, is there a need to signal?Is anything coming up the road you want to turn into, and as you can't see into that road, wouldn't it be better to signal, just in case you and another driver arrive at the junction at the same time? In that situation if you had already signalled, the other driver could have held back a little earlier.If you had been able to see well into the road you were turning into and could see it was clear before arriving at the junction, then maybe you could have done without the signal, but think very carefully.If something untoward happens, try to avoid a witness saying, 'he wasn't signalling, and he was going to turn right'.

If you are on a roundabout and want to take the second turning on the left or right, donít signal till you are level with the first one, unless they are very close together and you have a car close behind you.You will have to make the decision what to do when that happens, but be ready for the situation.

If you know you are going to turn off the road, just over the brow of a hill, signal well beforehand to give plenty of warning of your intention.Similarly, if you are turning off the road just round a bend, don't wait till you have got round the bend before signalling; signal well before the bend. We are only talking common sense, but why is it so uncommon.How about signalling at roundabouts. This causes no end of confusion and debate.

 

Let's take a simple straightforward roundabout; see FIGíS 18, 19 and 20.

 

FIG 18.Turning left.Signal left on approach, keep to the nearside kerb, just like a normal left turn, and continue signalling left until you have left the roundabout.

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FIG 19.Straight ahead. Don't signal on approach and keep well into the left, as at FIG 18.Signal left when level with the exit before the exit you want and keep signalling till you have left the roundabout.

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FIG 20.Taking the exit off to the right (turning right) at the roundabout.Approach as if you are making a normal right turn, signalling right on approach, and keeping to the centre of the road, maintain this signal until level with the exit before the one you want, then signal left until you have left the roundabout.

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Now let's look at more complicated roundabout.Keeping to the above basic principal.

 

Let's assume there are two lanes on approach to this roundabout with no markings regarding which lane to take for any of the exits as you approach the roundabout. Let's keep the Highway Code and common sense in mind.

Taking the first exit, as previous.Approach in the left-hand lane and keep reasonably close to the kerb, signalling left on approach and through the roundabout, cancelling the signal after leaving the roundabout.

Taking exits 2, 3, 4, and 5 inclusive. Donít signal on approach, keep in the left-hand lane, keeping reasonably close to the kerb through the roundabout; then signal left when level with the exit the one before the one you want.If taking exit No 5: The Highway Code says you can approach in the right-hand lane if the left-hand lane is BLOCKED.(The definition of BLOCKED in the Oxford dictionary is; jammed vehicles unable to proceed).Slow moving traffic in the left lane of a two-lane carriageway doesn't mean that lane is BLOCKED.

Taking exits 6, 7, 8, and 9 inclusive. Approach in the right-hand lane signalling right, keeping close to the island of the roundabout, then signal left when level with the exit, the one before the one you want.

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REMEMBER, WHEN I HAVE MENTIONED SIGNALLING, THE SEQUENCE IS MIRROR, SIGNAL, MANOUEVRE AND YOU SHOULD NOT TOUCH YOUR INDICATOR AT ANYTIME WITHOUT FIRST CHECKING YOUR MIRROR(S), AND WHEN NECESSARY CHECK YOUR BLIND SPOT.

 

 

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