Turn Signals: What They Are and How to Use Them

Most drivers don’t seem to know where a turn signal is, what it is for, or that it even exists. Since I do know, and have over a quarter century of experience using them on a daily basis, I shall serve as willing tutor.

A turn signal knob is found on the left side of the steering column, behind the steering wheel. The following is an example of a turn signal knob.

Your turn signal knob was not installed as a decorative ornament. It has a function.

The method is simple: Move it upward before turning right or changing lanes to the right, downward to turn left or change lanes to the left.

Here is an example of how to use one before a left turn or leftward lane change. Remember: Pull the knob down before going leftward.

Move the knob upward before turning right. Isn’t that easy?

A turn signal knob activates special, distinctive, flashing lights on the front and back of a car that lets other people (yes, other people do exist!) know what you are about to do. This is for their safety and yours. The following example also is for a left turn, as seen from in front of a car.

The law in every state is the same: A turn signal must be used with every turn and lane change. Not “should”, not” could”, but must.

Turn signal usage also is basic common sense, for safety’s sake. After all, you are not the only driver on the road, and this world is not only about you. Other people live in it too. Other people also drive on the roads of this world. If you didn’t know before about turn signals, congratulations; now you do. Use them every time, for any turn or lane change; and please turn them off after the turn or lane change if they don’t deactivate on their own.


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