Tag Archives | Signalling

Always signal your intent

As you will discover, drivers who display less than courteous behaviour on the road are deemed more than annoying by other road users. It’s not surprising therefore that lack of signals is the nation’s second most-disliked motoring habit, behind tailgating. When it comes to failing to indicate, it’s easy to forget that it’s not only drivers who are affected. How many times have pedestrians stood, waiting at the kerb for a car that wasn’t indicating, not knowing whether it’s safe to cross or not? One reason this misdemeanour tops the chart of bad driving habits is the inconsideration and laziness of the driver who doesn’t bother to indicate. While there’s no specific motoring offence of ‘failing to indicate’, any breach of the Highway Code can be seen as committing the offence of careless driving. In this instance, ‘indicating’ is covered by Rules 103-106 of the Code which reminds you that signals warn and inform other road users, including pedestrians, of your intended actions. The rules state that you should always give clear signals in plenty of time, having checked it is not misleading to signal at that time, and to use your signals to advise other road users before you change course or direction, stop or move off.

Make your intentions clear

Generally, it’s unnecessary to signal when passing parked cars. Excessive signalling in this situation can confuse other drivers as they may think you’re turning right. However, there are situations where a signal will be of benefit and eliminate confusion. For example, if you’re on a narrow road and have to stop to give way, your road position could look like a parked car. A signal to the right on this occasion will inform the driver behind that your intention is to continue and pass any parked cars once your way is clear. It’s not always parked cars of course. Any object on your side of the road that requires you to give way to oncoming vehicles may require a signal, especially if there’s a vehicle behind you which you think may not be able to see the hazard. This could be small road-works or debris, for example, and a signal will make your intentions clear.

Signal sense

Signalling or indicating when driving is an essential safety and courtesy task, thinking that it’s not important or just forgetting leads to many an incident. For this reason, you should always signal when pulling away, even if it’s only a pedestrian who benefits from seeing your signal. If there’s no one around, then a signal is not necessary, but use caution. If you are ready to move off and notice a vehicle approaching from the rear to pass you, do not indicate off if you intend to wait for them to pass. The effect of this can cause the approaching vehicle to slow down or stop to let you pull away or swerve around you. Wait till the vehicle has passed and if all is clear, signal if necessary.