Failing to Properly Signal Turns and Lane Changes
It is common courtesy to let others drivers know when you intend to turn or to pass other vehicles. Along with minimizing your risk of serious and potentially life threatening car accidents and injuries, signaling before making turns and changing lanes is the law in Nevada. Not doing so could result in fines and other penalties, while making you legally liable in the event a crash or collision does occur.
Car Accidents Caused by Failing to Signal
According to fact sheets on highway safety from Target Zero Nevada, intersection-related car accidents are a leading cause of injuries and fatalities throughout out area. Between the years 2011 and 2015, more than 300 people were killed and close to 2,400 suffered serious injuries as a result of these types of crashes and collisions. Failing to signal and making improper, sudden lane changes were the most common causes cited in these car accidents. In addition to endangering drivers and their passengers, not signaling also puts pedestrians and bicyclists at risk.
Drivers can be ticketed for failure to signal when making turns and changing lanes. In the Las Vegas court system, a first offense for failing to signal results in a $205 fine and one demerit point on your driver’s license. Failure to pay your ticket or appear at a hearing could cause a bench warrant to be issued, resulting in additional fines and potential arrest.
Along with imposed fines, any amount of points on your driver’s license will likely increase your automobile insurance premiums. Getting 12 or more within a 12-month time frame will result in your driver’s license being suspended. If you are involved in a car accident due to failing to signal, you can be held financially liable for any injuries and damages that other drivers suffer as a result.
Guidelines for Signaling at Turns and when Changing Lanes
As a driver, it is your responsibility to make sure your vehicle is properly maintained. This includes making sure your turn signals and traffic brake lights are working at all times. Even if they are not working, the Nevada Driver Handbook advises that you are responsible for using hand signals to indicate your intentions to other driver. This includes holding your arm and your hand out to indicate a left turn, pointing your hand upward to indicate a right turn, and pointing your hand down to indicate stopping or slowing suddenly. Additional guidelines for signaling before making turns and lane changes include:
- Signal for turns and lane changes at least 100 feet or roughly ten car lengths on city streets;
- On highways, signal at least 300 feet or 30 car lengths ahead of making turns;
- When making a lane change, look over your shoulder to make sure it is safe;
- Remember to turn your signal off once the turn or lane change is completed.
In addition to using your turn signals, it is also important to obey all traffic signals. Of course, other drivers are responsible for signaling, as well; and, in the event that you were injured by a driver who failed to signal, it may be in your best interests to reach out to a Las Vegas car accident attorney immediately.