Failure to Properly Signal in Oregon

When you first begin driving, one of the most basic things you learn is the proper use of turn signals. Turn signals are an essential part of safe driving. When used correctly, they let drivers know what the vehicles around them intend to do and let other drivers respond appropriately. However, it is not uncommon for car accidents to happen because a driver failed to signal in Oregon properly.

Understanding why other drivers fail to properly signal is important, and you need to be vigilant when operating on our roadways.

Failure to properly signal

What causes people to not properly use a turn signal?

Oregon law states that drivers must use appropriate signals when stopping, turning, changing lanes, and suddenly decelerating. The law states that drivers must activate their turn signals at least 100 feet before a turn or lane change is performed. This should give ample time for the drivers around you to adjust their speed and position to allow for your turn or change.

There are various reasons why a person may not use their turn signal, and none of them are good ones. This can include:

  • They forgot. There are times when drivers make mistakes and simply forget to activate their turn signals. This often occurs when a driver is traveling a familiar route or when they need to make a sudden turn. It is important to develop the habit of using a turn signal for every turn, every time.
  • Road rage incidents. Angry drivers may fail to use their turn signals if they want to cut off another driver. Road rage in any form is dangerous, and failing to signal a turn or lane change can result in serious crashes.
  • Too lazy. Some drivers simply make the choice not to use turn signals much of the time. This is dangerous and negligent behavior.

Do you have to have turn signals?

Under Oregon Revised Statute 816.320, a motor vehicle must have turn signals in the front and rear of the vehicle. They must be understandable in normal sunlight and at a distance of 500 feet at night.

What if you fail to properly signal?

Failing to use proper turn signals in Oregon could result in a citation from the police. This could lead to a fine as well as points against your license.

If you are involved in an accident in which you failed to properly use a turn signal, you could be cited for the crash and on the line for any injury and damage expenses incurred by other parties.

During the latest reporting year of data from the Oregon Department of Transportation, we know that there were more than 57,000 total traffic accidents. Out of those, there were 403 fatalities and more than 28,000 injuries.

Failing to use a turn signal could result in a crash involving significant injuries, especially if one or more vehicles involved are operating at high speeds. It is not uncommon for a crash to cause the following:

When you are on the roadway, make sure to always use your turn signals. Be aware of your surroundings and anticipate other drivers not using their signals.