Liability for a Car Crash if No Turn Signal Was Used

Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Jul 10, 2020 in Auto Accident

hands-using-turn-signal-in-car_BLOGAbout half of drivers today do not use their turn signal, despite the potential for preventing, or causing, a dangerous accident. Even though neglecting to signal is illegal in most states, including Oregon, many still choose to ignore this law.

Rizk Law discusses the types of crashes that may occur due to turn signal neglect and how you may benefit from hiring an attorney after this type of accident.

Our trusted attorneys are available to provide legal help after an accident caused by another’s negligence. We offer free initial consultations to discuss your legal options.

Turn Signal Neglect Versus Distracted Driving

According to recent studies, approximately two million accidents per year are caused by the failure to signal compared to just under a million for distracted driving behaviors.

About half of these accidents happen when drivers fail to signal that they are about to change lanes. Another 10 percent of those who do signal, do not use it properly, so their efforts are mostly useless.

In a national survey where as many as 57 percent of drivers admitted to never using their turn signal, the reasons they gave as to why are surprising. Nearly half of these drivers said they thought it took too much time. The remaining drivers gave a variety of answers, including that they were too lazy, it was not that important, they changed lanes too often to bother or said it added excitement to their ride.

What Crashes Are Caused by Drivers Who Fail to Signal?

When used properly, a turn signal can alert other drivers and pedestrians to a maneuver you are about to make, giving them the opportunity to respond appropriately. Our car accident lawyers in Hillsboro have helped many car crash victims who were injured because of another’s negligence. Here are some of the most common ways that failing to signal, or use a signal properly, can lead to an accident:

Rear-End Collisions While Making a Turn

A driver in front of you who does not signal, or does not signal properly, that they are turning may not leave you enough time to slow down or avoid rear-ending that vehicle.

In this scenario, even though you are the driver in back, the person in front could share liability for the crash for failing to use his or her turn signal.

Sideswipes and Head-on Collisions While Changing Lanes

If a driver fails to signal that he or she is preparing to change lanes, you could be caught off-guard by their maneuver. This could cause you to swerve into another lane of traffic to avoid that car and be sideswiped or, if you end up in a lane of oncoming traffic, you could collide head-on with another vehicle.

Preventing Pedestrian Accidents at Intersections

Turn signals are required whenever you must make a turn, but when driving where pedestrians commonly walk or cross the street, it serves a dual purpose. Without that warning, a pedestrian, who does not realize you are about to turn, may walk across the intersection and be hit by your car.

What is Oregon’s Law on Using a Turn Signal?

Using a turn signal at the last second before turning or changing lanes is not effective because it does not give other drivers a chance to safely respond to your warning. What is the proper use of a turn signal in Oregon?

Oregon state law is straightforward when it comes to when a turn signal must be used. A driver operating a vehicle as defined under Oregon 811.405, is required to warn other vehicles by using a signal to turn or change lanes under all normal driving conditions and at other times when visibility is limited.

These conditions include when a vehicle is:

  • Merging, passing or changing lanes
  • Making a turn
  • Parallel parking
  • Exiting a traffic circle or roundabout
  • Pulling out of or into a parking spot

Any driver who fails to signal as defined under Oregon 811.335, commits a traffic violation when:

  • The turn cannot be made in a reasonably safe manner
  • The driver fails to signal from at least 100 feet away – even if in a dedicated turn-only lane

Turn signal neglect is not only a class D traffic violation, but if ticketed for this offense, you will also have to pay a $115 fine.

Why Proving Turn Signal Neglect is Challenging

Establishing evidence for an accident due to turn signal neglect may be challenging, which is why you may benefit from hiring a qualified attorney. However, some types of evidence that may help to strengthen your claim include:

  • Police report
  • Citations issued
  • Traffic or dash cam footage
  • Eyewitness testimony

Contact a Qualified Attorney for Legal Help Today

At Rizk Law, we have decades of experience helping victims who were injured due to someone else’s negligence. However, instead of just taking our word for it, we encourage you to read some actual testimonies from the clients we have helped.

If you were injured in a car crash caused by turn signal neglect or other reckless driving behavior, we are prepared to help you fight for maximum compensation.

Contact our firm day or night to set up your free consultation and learn how we may be able to help.