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Turn Signal Blues

The following is a guest post written by a man we affectionately call crazy Uncle Pete.  He is Fiddledaddy’s younger brother.   I recently read Uncle Pete’s dissertation on his feelings regarding people who use the turn signal becoming a vanishing breed.  I feel the same as he does.  I use my turn indicator to signal a right into my own driveway.  Even when no one is around.

I am comforted to know I’m not alone.  Uncle Pete gave me permission to reprint.  And just to put things in perspective, Uncle Pete is a pilot.

I now present to you, Uncle Pete’s Turn Signal Blues:




I’m at the traffic light. I look to the right, clear. I look to the left, car coming 300 meters away. I wait. Still coming, still coming, still coming. TURN. No signal. NO SIGNAL. I say to my wife, “Have you noticed that no one uses their turn signal anymore?” She says, “Haven’t noticed.”

I’m driving 75mph on I-95. Driver leaves the far right lane, cuts off 3 other cars and moves to the far left lane. No signal. Then he slows down. Perfect. I’m on A1A driving south. Northbound car makes a turn thru the passing lane, slices thru the turn lane, and make me spill my coffee avoiding the noisy congruence of pricey, leased Japanese metals. No signal. Huh.

Have we become so lazy as a society that we can’t use the limited motion required of our left forefinger to engage the turn signal so eloquently installed by our favorite automobile manufacturers? Is it really that much effort? My parents taught me that common courtesy to others was learned at an early age. IT’S COMMON COURTESY. It’s letting your fellow drivers know “Hey, I’m about to adjust my forward trajectory to one of a perpendicular course, so adjust your actions and driving decisions as necessary. Thank you.

Seriously. If I’m on a country road, and I’m gonna make a turn, I signal. Even if no ones around. Its what we are taught, it’s procedure, its required by law. Its not hard. You’re lazy if you don’t do it. You don’t care about other drivers if you don’t do it. You are a hater of other humans if you don’t do it. Life is short, you are wasting my valuable seconds day in and day out waiting for your rudeness and apathy. Just TELL me if you’re gonna turn. That’s all. That’s it. “Flick”, I’m turning. “I’M TURNING” is the first step to world peace. Simple. We don’t have to become BFF’s, hug, and exchange Christmas cards. It’s Straight, Left or Right. Tell me. That’s all.

I find myself in my mini-van with my three kids, enjoying a happy ride to the beach, singing Barney songs, when I witness the NTSA. Now I will be the first to admit, it’s really not good role model material when your 6’2, 240 lb. Daddy is hanging out the window of the family wagon yelling obscene vernacular at alleged NTSA’s. “November Tango Sierra Alpha’s” (No Turn Signal *******s) with my offspring innocently caught in the tyrannical verbal crossfire, due to said NTSA’s lack of courtesy, let alone common sense as “I love you, you love me…” blares through my speakers. That’s not good for anyone. It’s really not.


The moral of the story is: Help me be a better parent. Keep me inside the window of my Ballet stickered mini-van. Let me sing Barney songs.

Use your bleeping turn signal….



14 Responses to Turn Signal Blues

  • On the flip side – equally annoying is the driver that never turns OFF the signal!!!

    I signal into my own driveway too. 😉

  • I too use my signal to get into my driveway. I live in the country with dirt roads and I use my signal and I agree, those people who do not are driving me nuts. I say shoot the tires out of one of them and others will start to use the signal again! But sice I live with a policeman, shooting the tires is out of the question- however I will not rat out the person who does this.

  • Hear hear Brooke’s comment! And, yes! This is a marvel to me as well. Do folk’s just forget? Or are their brains so over saturated with other “things” that they can’t remember this one simple driving courtesy/law?!

  • Well, how is a person supposed to remember to signal when he/she is so busy talking on their cell phone, drinking their beverage of choice, fiddling with the radio or applying makeup? I mean come on…there are priorities…and being safe is not one of them!
    Hahaha. Your bro-in-law is right. It is infuriating. I had to laugh out loud at his story. I’m picturing a crazy, mini van driving daddy:)

  • I’d be willing to bet the NTSA’s are too busy trying to text or check email, and can’t get the turn signal AND keep a hand on the steering wheel. So they opt out of the turn signal. Let’s put the phones down for a minute, friends.

  • I totally agree, but I constantly experience a strange thing on the freeway when I DO signal a need to change lanes. People speed up and cut me off so I can’t cross over, then I miss my exit. And this hasn’t just happened one time. It’s all the stinkin’ time. So very often, I will see if the lane is clear and start making my move, because like clock work, if I signal, the person in the next lane will speed up so I don’t get in front of him. Grrrr. But other than that, I signal to turn in my driveway too. : )

  • We live in Memphis. I’m not sure the majority of drivers know that blinkers are a standard feature of cars. Or if they do, a great majority signal one way and turn the other. Not kidding.

    I was taught to signal every time by a mother who put her blinker on twelve miles before turning.

  • Thank you, Uncle Pete. You are so very eloquent and make the point. I just wonder, all these nice cars and they forgot to put a turn signal indicator in at the factory? It’s gotta be that, right?

  • Amen and amen! There is no quicker way to get me to road rage than to fail to use your turn signal. Sadly this, as with most common courtesies, is not part today’s culture. I too use my signal to turn in my driveway when no one is around.

  • Ya it is becoming an epidemic, something about being lazy is the reason I think!!!! But I bet they can text really good and play those video games without much trouble…. Just sayin

  • I have a close relative who doesn’t use hers because she insists that “it will wear it out.”

    Seriously, MOM?

  • What he said! This has been the topic of our household this very week. Bring back the common courtesy of turn signals! Maybe we need a bumper sticker?

  • I have to forcibly restrain myself from turning on the turn signal when rounding the corner of the bend in our road. As in, there is no intersection; the road itself just bends 90 degrees. It FEELS like I should turn on the blinker to round that corner.

    Immediately after that, I have to make a SECOND 90 degree turn into my driveway, wherein again I must JUST SO NO to the turn signal. It’s not like anyone could miss the fact that I’m about to turn in; the Suburban does not make sharp right turns very easily. Thankfully, our road ends in a cul-de-sac and is not very well-traveled.

  • This man is my hero.

    I completely and utterly agree with his statement: “It is the first step toward world peace.”

    Truly! In fact, I’d say gas prices would drop, lines at the DMV would get shorter, unemployment would diminish and global warming would reverse if everyone embraced common courtesy and used their freaking turn signals.

    I propose that we adopt a social-media style method of governing our roads. Everyone who witnesses someone turning or changing lanes without using their signals can fire a big “dislike” sticker at that car. If you get more than 100 dislikes you get pulled over by the state police and issued a citation. That’d solve the problem real quick.

    Uncle Pete, you rock on.