All drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles safely and responsibly. When a driver fails to do so, an accident can happen. While there are some obvious dangerous behaviors—like speeding or swerving in and out of traffic—failing to signal is a seemingly innocuous behavior that could be deadly. If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by not using turn signals in Massachusetts, Tetzel Law can help. Call us today for a free consultation to learn more about your rights. 

What’s the Law on Using Turn Signals?

Massachusetts law on using turn signals is found in Section 14B: Uniform stopping and turning signals on ways. The law explains that any person who is operating a motor vehicle must “give a plainly visible signal” when stopping or making any turning movement that would affect the operation of any other vehicle. In other words, if you’re performing any maneuver other than proceeding directly ahead in a straight line, it is likely you are required to signal. You should signal when making a turn to the right or left, changing lanes, or slowing down or braking (the signal given for slowing or braking is via brake lights). 

In the vast majority of cases, your intent to perform one of the above maneuvers will be signaled via the electrical and mechanical components of your car—i.e. brake lights and blinkers. In the event these components are not working, you are still required to signal using your arm and hand.  

The Dangers of Not Using Turn Signals

Using turn signals helps other drivers to be on the alert about your planned actions. When a driver doesn’t use turn signals before turning or changing lanes, they put themselves and others on the road at risk of accident. Some examples of situations that can be dangerous when a turn signal is not used include:

  • A driver attempting to make a left-hand turn failing to signal, resulting in a collision with an oncoming vehicle
  • Two drivers both attempting to park in the same parking spot, not understanding the other’s intention due to failure to signal
  • One driver attempting to merge, pass, or change lanes when traveling at high speeds and failing to signal, resulting in a collision as the other driver misunderstands the intentions

Of course, the above are just a few examples of situations in which a crash could happen as a result of failure to signal. 

Preparing for Your Claim After an Accident

Failure to signal is not only negligence, it’s negligence per se. This means that it’s a breach of an ordinance. When a driver causes an accident as a result of negligence or the failure to follow a traffic safety law, they can be held liable for damages. The best way to prepare for your claim after an accident is to gather evidence, get the other driver’s information, report the accident to your insurer, get medical care, and to call an attorney. 

Call Tetzel Law Today

At the office of Tetzel Law, our experienced car accident attorney is here to support you. Reach us today by phone at (617) 742-1700 or online to get started. We offer free consultations.