Safe drivers will always signal prior to turning or when changing lanes. Proper signaling alerts other drivers of your intent to maneuver around the roadway. Texas law requires drivers to signal when changing lanes, making a turn, pulling away from a parking space parallel to a curb and when slowing down to a stop.
Knowing how and when to signal is key to successful and safe driving. Majority of drivers on Texas roadways use “blinkers” or signal lights located on the corners of a vehicle. Some drivers use manual or hand signals too. Either way make sure other drivers can easily see your signal so they know your intent and can drive around you safely.
When using hand signals be sure your arm is extended out the driver window as far as possible. Hand signals should be used more during the day when light is prevalent. Non-daylight hours pose a risk as other drivers may not see your arm signaling a turn.
Manual Hand Signals:
Right Turn: Drivers left arm should be out the window and bent up at the elbow so fingers point to the sky.
Left Turn: Drivers left arm is sticking straight out the window and remains straight. Be sure the arm is straight out and not leaning up or down as other drivers might misinterpret as a stop or right turn.
Stop or Slow Down: Drivers left arm should be out the window and bent downward at the elbow so fingers point down to the pavement.
Regardless of using hand signals or signal lights, all drivers are required to signal their intent 100 feet before a turn or stop. Always be sure to turn off signal lights once the turn or stop has been executed or completed.
When you complete an online defensive driving course at www.defensivedrivingnow.com, you will learn more about turn signals as well as what is legal and illegal when executing a left and right turn. By expanding your knowledge of Texas driving laws you can avoid more tickets in the future.