Signalling and the lack of it.

 In Driving habit moans

Signalling and the lack of it.

Have you ever wondered about the current state of affairs in the world of driving? This current social disease of lack of or ignorance and downright laziness of vehicle’s drivers on the very important use and correct timings of signalling.

The lack of signalling your intentions is becoming more and more widespread on the roads of the U.K. I see this day to day during my teaching of learner drivers of which they actually make many comments about why other drivers do not give proper use of signals.

I assume any driver reading this will have come across a situation whereabouts somebody not correctly signalling or not signalling at all has resulted in a near collision or at least having to do evasive driving techniques.


car signal stalk

The indicator stalk example in a car.

The points below indicate if you excuse the pun, some areas of importance for the use of signals.

  • Turn left/right entering or exiting major to minor or minor to major junctions.
  • Turn left/right and exiting roundabouts.
  • Overtaking.
  • Changing lanes left or right.
  • Parking on the left with consideration if anybody would benefit.
  • Moving off from a parked position with consideration again if anybody will benefit.




Now do not get me wrong here some of the above is literally not a huge problem if consideration is given to other road users when signals are not given, but some of those are and can be a very dangerous and very misleading thing to not do.

I do sometimes wonder if driver’s these days must all be driving around with very sore fingers and the act of clicking that little stalk right next to the steering wheel up or down to signal their intentions must be so painful that their only alternative is to not do it, quite ridiculous really for something so easily done to keep everybody safer.

Although with that statement comes the complete opposite where signalling can and does become the wrong thing to actually do at times, so timings and whether necessary must be a consideration at certain times.


DriveWrite also has a view on this problem about the use of signals.


The car industry at the moment is not helping matters by designing vehicles with tiny indicator lights nearly undetectable especially in bright conditions or when driving at night with headlights and tail lights on, therefore making it more and more difficult to actually see an indicator on some of the new models and makes of cars. Surely they should be more visible and larger so that other road users can actually determine where the vehicle is going and think of pedestrians wanting to cross roads who really do need vehicles to be clearly signalling so they can determine where and when to cross safely.


Below is what the Highway code general rules for drivers and riders say.

Signals warn and inform other road users, including pedestrians (see ‘Signals to other road users’), of your intended actions. You should always

  • give clear signals in plenty of time, having checked it is not misleading to signal at that time
  • use them to advise other road users before changing course or direction, stopping or moving off
  • cancel them after use
  • make sure your signals will not confuse others. If, for instance, you want to stop after a side road, do not signal until you are passing the road. If you signal earlier it may give the impression that you intend to turn into the road. Your brake lights will warn traffic behind that you that you are slowing down
  • use an arm signal to emphasise or reinforce your signal if necessary. Remember that signalling does not give you the priority.

You should also

  • watch out for signals given by other road users and proceed only when you are satisfied that it is safe
  • be aware that an indicator on another vehicle may not have been cancelled.


Courtesy of the official Highway code.


Signalling could save you a whole world of trouble just for that little click of the fingers. keep calm and signalPlease be courteous to other road users while driving and give the correct and proper timed signals to give them a chance to go about their journey safely, it does not take that much effort to click that stalk now does it.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Ian MacGregor

    I would just like to add that modern vehicles with the blink 3 times then self cancelling indicators are in my experience in a lot of near misses when the vehicle is taking a right turn on a roundabout. The signal should stay on for the duration until signaling to exit the roundabout.

  • Adam Clayton

    Almost four years on and still very relevant! If anything the lack of indication from some drivers has got worse, or maybe it’s always been this bad…

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