When you are driving, how often have you seen people who do not use their blinkers correctly? Riding behind someone who misuses their turn signal can be incredibly frustrating for drivers. Turn signals make it easier for everyone to know what is going on around them. They can anticipate another driver’s moves and respond accordingly. However, the misuse of a blinker can lead to serious accidents.

What is the reality in West Virginia?

Car accidents are going to happen. When we look at the data from the latest reporting year in West Virginia, we can see that there were 268 total crash fatalities and 1,381 total serious injuries. Thousands of other people suffered from less serious injuries and property damage. Most of these accidents are preventable, and many of them occurred due to improper turn signal use.

How can someone misuse a blinker?

There are several ways in which a person can cause an accident due to turn signal misuse. These can include:

  • Not using their turn signals. The law requires a person to use a turn signal when making a turn. Turn signals should be activated at least 100 feet from a turn. When a driver is changing lanes, they need to use their turn signals to let drivers around them know what they are about to do.
  • Failure to turn off a turn signal. Many drivers fail to turn off their blinkers. While this is often only an inconvenience or annoyance to other drivers, it can lead to confusion on the roadway. Drivers see a turn signal and are not sure what to do. For blinkers that have been on for excessive amounts of time, a driver may assume the non-stop blinker driver is never going to turn or change lanes. This may not be the case. You should exercise caution around a vehicle that has had its blinker on for a long period of time.
  • Using turn signals too late. If a driver uses their turn signal at the last second before a turn, this does not give the drivers behind them time to adjust their speeds accordingly. This can lead to serious rear-end collisions.

Who is liable in these cases?

Those injured due to another driver’s misuse of a blinker are often left in a difficult situation. If it can be proven that a driver’s failure to use a blinker directly caused an accident, they could be held liable because drivers are required by law to use their signals. For example, if a driver used their turn signal, did not turn as indicated by the blinker, and a crash occurred, there may be enough evidence to suggest that the accident was caused by the driver who did not use their turn signals properly.

While it certainly may be true that the driver who misused their blinker was to blame, you could also be held liable for failing to keep a proper distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. There is also the matter of proving that the other driver actually misused their turn signal and caused the crash.

The answer to who is liable is – it should be the driver who misused their signal, but you may need to secure an attorney to help prove the other driver’s fault.

These accidents can cause serious harm

Whether a misused blinker results in a rear-end, side wipe, or t-bone collision, the injuries can be severe. It is not uncommon for us to see the following after a collision:

  • Broken and dislocated bones
  • Severe lacerations
  • Internal organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Concussions

All of these injuries can lead to major medical expenses, so it is important to determine who is liable in these incidents.

Contact our Charleston car accident lawyers today.