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Turn signals in turning lanes - why bother?

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Talk' started by lena, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. lena

    lena Staff Member

    I am not going to post this in the LEO section because you can't really have a good discussion here. Plus I want to hear what others do.

    Do you use a turn signal when you are in a turning lane already?

    I have to say that lately I have stopped doing it. If I can't go anywhere else but turn, what's the point? I just tried to look it up in the Oregon law and I don't see anything that tells me I have to. I admit I didn't spend hours looking for it. Is there a WA law about it? Just curious if I can keep on being lazy or if I need to move my frozen thumb.
  2. Texasl

    Texasl Totally Charming Retired Moderator Staff Member

    Turn signal operation is required in WA, with no exception for dedicated turning lane.

    (I'll look at planet Oregon later, but food is being offered, and it outranks)

  3. cage or bike, I signal as I enter a turn lane and then cancel it. When the light or turn arrow is about to turn green I reactivate the indicator. Cop would have to be pretty bored to pull you over solely for something this insignificant.
  4. I use my turn signals anytime I changing lanes or turning. No matter when or where and no matter of anyone is around or not

    Edit: I also turn it on as early as I can or knowingly going to do something and I leave it on until I establish myself in the new lane or completed my turn. I do the same while caging.

    Sent from my EVO using Ohub Campfire mobile app
  5. If I'm sat waiting for a light or have a significant wait for a gap I tend to cancel the clicking. Mainly because I'm not intending to do anything in that moment but wait.

    I don't like using them when there are two or more lanes of "turn only" as you are just following the flow/direction of your lane and there is no way to discern if anyone is indicating an intent to change lane or do a u-turn.
  6. I use them while in turn lanes for this reason but then I even use a turn signal when I'm going into my driveway which is on a dead side road. Not using my turn signals feels almost as weird as not putting on my seatbelt when I get in my car.
    gplutt likes this.
  7. I turn - I signal..

    I am also in the the driver training phase for my 15 y/o daughter.

    It is called and "indicator" light for a reason.

    Simple really.
    gplutt likes this.
  8. I use turn signals when I'm going to make a turn, regardless of lane.

    Is there any reason to? I think so. Consider locations like Juanita DR NE & Simonds Rd in Kenmore where you have two lanes traveling south and one of them becomes a left turn lane at the light. Someone cruising down the left lane who doesn't realize it's a left turn lane is not expecting you to slow down / stop at the light.

    Is there any reason not to use signals?
    gplutt likes this.
  9. I know someone who got a ticket for not using his signal in a turn lane. He tried using your reasoning with the officer, who was not receptive.
  10. If I am changing lanes or changing direction where there are other options available, (such as a turn lane that could also go straight) then I use it. If I am in a turn lane (such as an exit lane) where the only option is to follow the lane or drive into a barrier or off the road then I don't bother. I'm sure I'm totally in the wrong and will get a ticket for it someday, but my overwhelming abundance of common sense just won't let me do it.
  11. It's to let others know what is going on and what you are doing, same as any other turn. Someone else ( a pedestrian getting ready to cross, a car turning in front of you, a bicyclist) may not know you are in a turn lane but your signals will tell them you are about to turn in their direction.
    Also, there may be a hazard you are unaware of and your signals again, let other people know what you are doing in case you missed them.
    Does it seem unnecessary sometimes? sure but that .001% chance you didn't see someone but they saw your signal, you will be glad you signaled. That's the way I try and look at it.
    gplutt likes this.
  12. use turn signal when turning, simple as that.

    I need to do that more often. :p
  13. because it tells others you MEAN to be in that lane. There's tons of people that are in it, don't realize it's turn only and jot out at the last minute. A turn signal in a turn lane is a good firm "hey, i'm actually turning"
  14. I use my signal in these cases for a lot of the same reasons as above, so that my intentions are are absolutely clear. But mostly, I use my signals even if I don't feel it's strictly necessary because if I always use my signals I will never forget to use them in a more critical situation.

    And hey, even it it's blindingly obvious that I'm in a turn lane and intend to turn, anyone who's ridden for more than fifteen minutes knows there's a lot of dumb people out there driving around. It can't hurt. It's not like I'm paying by the blink.
    gplutt likes this.
  15. Your turn signals aren't for know your intent...the more info of your intent you can provide for the idiot drivers around you the better. And I think it's reasonable to assume all the drivers around you are many instances, you will be semi-close to reality.

    I use my turn signals almost by auto-pilot just like when I am driving my car. Always on offramps, left and right turns in traffic, left turn lanes or right-turn-only lanes at intersections.

    My one "exception" is the example ltlpagan mentioned above...if I am in a freeway "exit only" lane where the lane of travel I am in continues onto the offramp, I won't signal because I am not changing lanes. There may be a few other "exceptions," but when in doubt, it just makes sense to use your signal so other vehicles will know your takes almost no effort and there really is no down-side to it.
    gplutt likes this.
  16. People don't see bikes anyway...anytime you can have a flashing light on one, I call that a winning situation :mfclap:
  17. james1300

    james1300 Track School Dazed

    Bottom line USE your signals. Or, face getting a ticket.
    Don't Mod. the signals.
    Putting the crappy LED's on in place of DOT approved safety equipment can get you a ticket as well. Modifing Safety equipment is a no-no.
  18. Habit. I use it because I want to keep using it.
  19. Turn signals are there for a reason, to communicate others of your intentions. Not using them will turn into bad habits. I rarely get upset on a bad lane change as long as that driver used their signals. Even a single flash is all it takes for me to execute a corrective action. Without it, it pretty much turns into surprises, which is not good for a motorcyclist.

    Glad to see that everyone uses their signals, let's the motorcyclist lead by example. Also most big rig trucks will always use their signals.

    For the sake of argument with the OP, what about a rider who is using hand signals? Do they have to keep their left hand extended during the length of the light?
  20. lena

    lena Staff Member

    You are all saints then. Or maybe you misunderstood me. I use my turn signals when I need to signal changing lanes, all the other necessities. But when I am in a turn lane already, especially when there are multiple turn lanes, or exit lanes, when there is steady flow of traffic turning - that's what I am asking about. It would be illegal and dangerous for me to not turn, everyone is turning, everyone else can see we are all turning. But I guess it's just me and a small minority that's doesn't in this particular situation.

    On a different note, I have to tell you that 95% people in the US don't know how to use turn signals at roundabouts. Need to learn from Europeans, where these things have been there for years. :roll:
    gplutt likes this.
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