We find many of our instructors commenting on how many of their students on their driving lessons, especially after they have been practising with their parents in-between lessons, start to signal for everything!
Parked vehicle, signal right, move back in, signal left
Cyclist, signal right, followed by a signal left to move back in!!
When asked “Why are you signalling so much?” the reply is usually “My parents told me I have to”
We find this to be true after talking with the parents as it was the way they were taught way back in the day on their driving lessons, and being an 80s learner I can confirm this was the way we were told to perform!
Now the driving test requirements are that we should use signals when necessary, only signalling to inform road users that need to know our impending actions rather than signalling for every move we make.
A more thoughtful driver is needed in todays traffic as conditions have changed vastly meaning signals should still be used at all junctions, roundabouts etc but in many other situations thought should be used to decide IF a signal is necessary.
Here are a few examples
When moving off effective all round observations should be taken and the need for a signal considered rather than signalling every time and risking another road user being misled into thinking your about to move off into their path.
A good rule to judge this by is take effective observations and only signal after you have taken the handbrake off and then only IF the signal is needed to inform another user.
When stopping a signal is definitely needed if there is someone to tell but if there is no one about its safe to stop without signalling.
Its not just people following behind that need a signal, there could be a pedestrian waiting to cross the road in front of your vehicle that needs to know your stopping.
So again good effective observations combined with careful thought and consideration are the best way to judge IF a signal is needed
As discussed earlier when driving passed parked vehicles good mirrors checks are needed to decide if a signal is needed.
A signal should be given only if there is a vehicle following closely, if the following vehicle is a good distance behind early positioning if your vehicle can inform them of your impending actions rather than a signal.
Driving in this manner cuts down misleading signals and producers good drivers who are aware of what’s happening all around them enabling them to cope effectively with the congested but fast moving traffic situations of todays roads.
We hope this helps.
The Driving Advisor Team