Nobody tell Ray LaHood this, but things other than distracted driving cause car accidents. According to NHTSA, distracted driving causes 950,000 accidents per year. While that is certainly a big number, there’s a simple task that is reported by the Society of Automotive Engineers to cause over two million accidents per year: Turn signal neglect.
The SAE analyzed 12,000 vehicles and found that 48% of them neglected turn signals during lane change maneuvers and 25% neglected to signal when turning. Like NHTSA, The SAE doesn’t dare tackle the subject of driver responsibility or education, but instead thinks that the solution is “Smart Turn Signals” that automatically shut off the signal or annoy you, like a seatbelt warning, if you habitually forget to indicate. “Drivers who neglect their turn signals will quickly improve their habits and therefore reduce their overall risk of involvement in a crash as well as reducing the risk of getting a traffic citation,” says the report. “Smart turn signals are the perfect complement to the stability control system since stability control predominately prevents single-vehicle crashes, whereas the smart turn signal prevents multi-vehicle crashes.” Read the full report here.
There were no statistics to say how many people didn’t signal due to distracted driving, but we bet LaHood is trying to dig those up now.
(SAE via Autoblog)
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