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View Full Version : Is there a standard way of telling a driver their turn signal is on?


Corporate Hippie
08-31-2005, 07:29 AM
On my long daily commutes, I almost always come across some person who has left their turn signal on when they obviously have no intention of turning. I was wondering if there is some soft of accepted code for letting them know their signal is on, similar to flicking your headlights to tell someone they need to turn theirs on.

If there is no such standard, maybe we should make one up! I've thought about pulling in front of the person and turning my turn signal on to the left and then right, alternating back and forth repeatedly, to draw their attention to the idea of turn signals in general so that maybe they become self-conscious and check to see if theirs is on. Then when they notice and turn theirs off, I'd turn mine off and resume driving normally, and they'd surmise that I was indeed doing it for their benefit, perhaps feel a little sheepish, and learn a lesson. What say you, Dopers?

Askia
08-31-2005, 07:32 AM
Honk your horn a couple times, drive past in a huff. Works for me.

Corporate Hippie
08-31-2005, 08:07 AM
Yeah I guess that works, but the whole driving with their signal on doesn't really bother me so I guess I'm looking for a way to let them know in a neutral, friendly sort of way.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
08-31-2005, 08:31 AM
Flash your headlights.

Askia
08-31-2005, 08:34 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor. And risk getting killed in a gang initiation? (http://www.snopes.com/horrors/madmen/lightout.asp) Nuh-uh. Nope. Not the kid.

Xema
08-31-2005, 08:57 AM
It isn't a standard, but this often works (and is not misconstrued as agressive or hostile): Simply flick the turn lever from side to side, so the other driver sees left light, right light, left light, right light, etc. The more perceptive ones understand quickly.

Absolute
08-31-2005, 09:30 AM
PITT maneuver.

Corporate Hippie
08-31-2005, 09:49 AM
PITT maneuver.

lol, yeah I'll just 10-50 their ass. Although I believe it's PIT (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PIT_maneuver) maneuver.

elsquid
08-31-2005, 01:20 PM
I sometimes hold up one hand and flap the four fingers against the thumb, kinda like a shadow-puppet imitation of a quacking duck -- to suggest that something on their car is attracting attention.

Sometimes they get it. Other times they buy supplemental disability insurance.

yerba buena
08-31-2005, 01:50 PM
I'm somewhat less forgiving of people leaving their turn signals on. In the days where I had a smaller wage to garnish in case of lawsuit, I'd honk, pull up next to them, honk again, and give them the "I'm number one" sign.

I'm probably a little anal-retentive on this one, but not only does leaving your turn signal on annoy kind people who might want to let you in, it also dilutes the ability of the turn signal to be properly used.

On a slightly (only slightly!) tangential note, I do wish there was a universal signal for "one of your rear lights burned out" -- especially the brake lights (the only lights that you cannot check by yourself).

I had a kind gentleman point that out to me once while we were waiting in line at a toll plaza.

t-bonham@scc.net
08-31-2005, 02:16 PM
The more perceptive ones understand quickly.But it's usually the less perceptive ones that do this!

Mr. Slant
08-31-2005, 02:26 PM
Pull the gun you keep in your glove compartment out. Shoot rear turn signal out. Pass them. Shoot their front turn signal out.
Run like hell.

Hampshire
08-31-2005, 02:30 PM
Okay, now that we have the problem solved of how to get people to turn them off,
how do we get people to use them when they're supposed to?

Joey P
08-31-2005, 03:03 PM
On a slightly (only slightly!) tangential note, I do wish there was a universal signal for "one of your rear lights burned out" -- especially the brake lights (the only lights that you cannot check by yourself).

When you go to a store at night (or anywhere you can think of that this would work), get your back end facing a big window and just check the reflection.

BubbaDog
08-31-2005, 03:23 PM
It isn't a standard, but this often works (and is not misconstrued as agressive or hostile): Simply flick the turn lever from side to side, so the other driver sees left light, right light, left light, right light, etc. The more perceptive ones understand quickly.

Yep, I've toggled to the ones I've passed on the highway. Just a little less than half figure it out.

You, gotta wonder what they're thinking when they first see you toggling your lights...

Moron Driver:
What's wrong with that guy?
Why does he keep signalling left...then right....then left....then right?

Astute Passenger:
I think that's the universal signal for,"Hey, You're a moron who drives down the road with your turn signal on."

Rysto
08-31-2005, 03:24 PM
On a slightly (only slightly!) tangential note, I do wish there was a universal signal for "one of your rear lights burned out" -- especially the brake lights (the only lights that you cannot check by yourself).
There really should be a light on the dashboard that indicates when one of your rear lights is burned out.

Eve
08-31-2005, 03:33 PM
PITT maneuver.

Leave your wife for Angelina Jolie? I guess that would get their attention, but it would be hard to manage in rush-hour traffic.

scout1222
08-31-2005, 03:59 PM
Sometimes they get it. Other times they buy supplemental disability insurance.

Bless you, elsquid. :cool:

ouryL
08-31-2005, 04:02 PM
I believe the standard way is to point your fingers skyward and then to bend into your palm the first, third and fourth fingers. To emphasize this point you also yell the Aramaic saying, "fa que".

Absolute
08-31-2005, 05:24 PM
There really should be a light on the dashboard that indicates when one of your rear lights is burned out.
Many cars do have such a light.

Xema
08-31-2005, 08:42 PM
But it's usually the less perceptive ones that do this!
Too true.

BobLibDem
08-31-2005, 08:46 PM
There just isn't a substitute for opening the window, extending your hand and raising the middle digit smartly. Works for any traffic situation.

dnooman
08-31-2005, 10:42 PM
I usually get in front of the mook and leave my turn signal on (the same one they've left on). After a bout 40 seconds they think "look at that idiot, he left his turn signal..." Theirs goes off, then mine does. They know they were naughty. I feel vindicated.

aerodave
09-01-2005, 08:34 AM
None of this woupld be a problem if we all had CB radios in our cars.

Imagine how fun that would be!

Elendil's Heir
09-01-2005, 09:44 AM
I usually get in front of the mook and leave my turn signal on (the same one they've left on). After about 40 seconds they think "look at that idiot, he left his turn signal..." Theirs goes off, then mine does. They know they were naughty. I feel vindicated.

That's exactly what I do. I, too, feel an odd sense of satisfaction as I pull away, knowing I've done something to make the world a little (very little, I admit) place.

Elendil's Heir
09-01-2005, 09:45 AM
That's exactly what I do. I, too, feel an odd sense of satisfaction as I pull away, knowing I've done something to make the world a little (very little, I admit) place.

Ooops. Should read, "better place."

yerba buena
09-01-2005, 01:47 PM
I usually get in front of the mook and leave my turn signal on (the same one they've left on). After a bout 40 seconds they think "look at that idiot, he left his turn signal..." Theirs goes off, then mine does. They know they were naughty. I feel vindicated.

I did this once, but in a far more annoying fashion. (I was driving from MA to IL and got bored, okay?)

The offender was in the middle lane of a three-lane highway. I passed on the left, flipped on my left turn signal, and merged right. Leaving my turn signal on for several seconds, I observed he didn't get the hint, so I merged right again (still with my left blinker on) and slowed down so he could pass me.

He passed and made no indication of having noticed in the slightest. I then pulled up behind him and repeated the entire scenario.

Still no response.

I passed him for a third time, and then got bored, and drove off, my left signal (and his) still visible for miles on the straightways of Ohio.

But it's usually the less perceptive ones that do this!

Too true.

Absolute
09-01-2005, 02:59 PM
To be fair, in some cars it is very difficult to tell when the turn signal is on.

I was driving a new Audi A8 the other day, and the clicking of the turn signal was so faint it couldn't be distinguished from road noise unless you really paid attention. Also, the indicator light on the dash was positioned so that steering wheel blocked it when the steering wheel was properly adjusted. It would be very easy to leave the signal on for miles without ever noticing, even if you usually paid attention to such things.