A lot of us learned to drive as teenagers and young adults, so we might be prone to forget or overlook certain rules of the road every time we drive.
One of the most common traffic laws people forget is that they must always indicate a turn or lane change. Whether you’re indicating with your blinker lights or a hand signal, you are always required to indicate a turn or lane change at least 100 feet before making the maneuver.
Realistically speaking, this doesn’t always happen. If you’ve seen other drivers fail to use their indicators, however, perhaps you’ve experienced the problem this can cause with this firsthand.
Drivers who act predictably give the drivers around them a chance to anticipate their maneuvers and react accordingly; when a driver does something unpredictable, such as failing to indicate a turn or lane change, it can create the circumstances necessary to cause an accident.
In addition to using your indicator light, you should also check your mirrors and blind spots to ensure you have room to maneuver. Keeping a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you is also important because it can help you avoid a collision while checking your surroundings.
Penalties for Failing to Signal a Turn
If you are ticketed for failing to signal a turn, you can expect to face the following penalties of a conviction:
- Fines: Up to $150 for a first offense and up to $300 for a second offense within 18 months. A third offense within 18 months of the first can mean a fine of $450.
- Points: Failing to signal a turn will incur two points against your driving record for each conviction.
- Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) fee: If you accrue six on your driving record, you may be assessed a special fee of $300. For each point in excess of six, you can be fined an additional $75.
Surcharge: Those convicted of traffic violations such as failing to indicate a turn may also face an additional surcharge of $88 or $93, depending on the location of the violation.
- Auto Insurance Premium Increase: Your auto insurance carrier may raise your premium after a traffic violation conviction, especially if you have multiple such convictions in your past or within a recent period.
A first conviction for failing to indicate a turn will cost you hundreds of dollars, and it can be significantly more than the minimal penalty depending on your circumstances. Avoiding these penalties or reducing the impact of a conviction is possible, especially when you get help from an experienced traffic law attorney.
What If My Indicator Light Isn’t Working?
If you’re aware that your turn indicator light isn’t working, you should indicate your turn using hand signals.
There are only three hand signals you need to know how to use:
- Right Turn – To indicate a right turn, extend your arm out the window and create a 90-degree angle with your hand pointing toward the sky.
- Left Turn – To indicate a left turn, extend your arm straight out of your window, perpendicular to the lane markers.
- Slow/Stop – To indicate you are slowing or stopping, extend your arm out of your window and create a 90-degree angle with your hand pointing toward the ground.
Using these hand signals when you’re aware that your turn indicators or even brake lights aren’t working can help you reduce the odds of getting a ticket. If you do get a ticket, share this information with your lawyer because it might help you get your case dismissed or reduce the penalty of a conviction.
We Can Help You Fight Your Ticket
Stites Law can provide the legal representation you need to fight your traffic ticket. We understand that you could be facing potentially severe consequences if you can’t afford the potential fine or if you incur more points on your driving record. Our goal is to help you secure the best possible outcome through personalized representation.
Learn more about how Stites Law can help by contacting us online now.