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Give The Right Signal at The Right Time

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Many drivers do not realise the importance of giving signals to indicate their intentions and those who do often do not realise how important it is to give signals at the right time.

For example, it is essential that if you want to change lanes you indicate this to the vehicle behind you in the lane which you intend to leave and also to the one you want to enter so they are prepared to slow down and give way to you.

But equally important is the timing of your action. There is no point in showing the indicator at the last moment. In such a scenario the vehicles behind you in both lanes, if they are close to your vehicle, might be compelled to apply their brakes all of a sudden, thereby causing an accident – or nearly so. Therefore, you must show the indicator at least 20 metres before you actually change the lane, thus giving time to the drivers of other vehicles to act accordingly.

The same rule applies to drivers wanting to turn left or right.

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No less important is the need to switch off the indicator once its purpose is over. Quite often one notices cars racing along with their indicator blinking, whereas they have no intention of turning either left or right; they may have just forgotten to switch it off. But this can cause confusion among the vehicles behind the forgetful driver. In the worst-case scenario, some drivers unintentionally indicating a right turn for a long distance have been noticed to take a sudden left turn, ignorant about their errant behavior!

Just as indicators are important, so are hazard lights. If you notice any object blocking the road ahead (a dead animal, a tree branch torn by high winds, a suspicious object etc.), slow down and put the hazard lights on (or you’re your indicator if you mean to change lanes). If there is an accident on the road ahead, do the same. You must also show hazard lights if you mean to park – even if briefly – at a place where one should not be parking generally. And like the indicators, switch them off once their purpose is over.

However, it is bad manners to park in the middle of a busy road which has constantly-flowing traffic, unless your vehicle has broken down. Switching the hazards lights on cannot be a license to park where no parking is allowed whether it is a road, a lane,  or behind another vehicle thus blocking its exit or a lay by for buses

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