Do we need to use indicators?

Updated: Feb 22


I can't be alone in grinding my teeth and saying to myself " Put a Signal on!!! " - maybe a lot more often than we care to mention.


This may come as a surprise but in most situations I actually do not feel signals (indicators) are needed.


So let me explain!

The biggest concern I have is that signals cannot be trusted. With that in mind why work ourselves up for no reason! They are only part of the information we either give or receive. There are other ways of assessing a driver/vehicle to establish their intentions:

The speed of the vehicle

The position of the vehicle

Where the driver is looking Where their hands are moving

What direction they came from

Body Language from the driver/passengers

Other signals, for example brake lights

Where the face of the car is pointing (by this I refer to the front of the car)

The direction of the wheels, which way they have turned (much easier at slow speeds)

We place far too much reliance on signals, when there is clearly so much move to look for.

I'm not suggesting we should all stop indicating tomorrow, in fact a well timed signal can be the icing on the cake, it will polish off an advanced drive and other drivers will thank you for it!

But when it comes to expecting signals from other drivers if we accept its not going to happen we can begin to change our driving style, and become less stressed when they don't.

Once you begin to plan and anticipate during your drive, you will find that you don't look for indicators and will begin to find space and time you never realised existed.


A few changes to anyones drive can make a huge difference, and will often have other benefits:

Reduction in risk

Reduction in fuel consumption

Reduction in stress levels

Reduction in running costs

A smooth and progressive drive


Why do drivers not signal consistantly? I put this down to standards slipping, and our inheritance to be lazy. Yes, like it or not given the chance we generally take short cuts.

There are also drivers who signal too much, this can be equally as confusing and frustrating to others, along with incorrect signals.

There are possibly some drivers who have misinterpreted advanced driving and decided not to signal.

Ideally everyone should signal if necessary, their signal would be at the correct time and should not confuse other drivers.

Next time you are out driving, try asking yourself whether you are looking for any other signs where a driver intends to move? Am I giving that driver enough space to allow for their mistakes?

I hope you found this blog interesting. If you would like to make any comments please use the box below, I always welcome feedback as we can learn from each other.