Rethinking turn signals as automobile safety equipment

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2020 | Car Accidents |

When you think of today’s modern car, a whole host of technologically advanced safety features come to mind. There are lane departure warnings, backup cameras, automatic braking systems, stability controls, air bags and so on. Even without these technological marvels, cars have simple safety equipment, such as brakes, rear view mirrors, turn signals and windshield wipers. However, some of this equipment could use improvement.

Do you know what color your turn signals are? If they are red, rather than amber, you could be putting yourself at risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a study in 2008 revealing that cars with red turn signals are, on average, 22% more likely to be hit from behind than those with amber turn signals. In 2009, the organization further studied vehicles that had switched from red to orange in a midyear vehicle face-lift and concluded that the change meant a 5.3% reduction in rear-end collisions.

By comparison, the third brake light mandated in 1986 only accounted for a 4.3% mitigation of rear-end collisions. This begs the question: Why haven’t amber turn signals been mandated?

It’s not a matter of cost. Automakers are now racing to develop the best radars for automatic emergency braking to vehicles, which amounts to both significant research and development costs as well as a hefty bump to the cost of the automobile, but an amber blinker costs virtually nothing. There is no research or development involved and no fancy systems to install. It is a simple change to the color of a piece of plastic.

Be mindful of the color of your turn signal blinkers the next time you buy an automobile. Research whether there is an aftermarket amber alternative to your current vehicle’s red blinkers. This simple change could help prevent an accident.

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, a personal injury attorney may assist you in pursuing compensation. The attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.