When I look at the signal switch on my car, I sometimes see an image of chicken wings. Why you ask? Because, like chicken wings, I wonder if it will somehow evolve through lack of use into a non-working appendage (only not very good as bar food). Years from now, people will be driving their cars and a youngster will ask, “Dad, what’s that thing sticking out of the steering column?” And Dad will reply, “Well, son, people used to signal their turns, back in the old days.”
Signalling one’s turns is becoming a dying art. I’m guessing that over half of people still do it but the numbers are declining fast. So in the spirit of trying to keep it alive (or at least leave a record for future cultural anthropologists), here is a list of the various types of signallers. Perhaps by identifying which type you are, it will help create awareness (like an addiction: the first step is admitting you’ve got a problem).
The Psychic: This type of signaller assumes you’ll know which way he/she intends to turn by reading their mind. There are two sub-types: the Regular Psychic and the Drifter. The latter just sort of drifts all over the road and you’re never quite sure what they intend to do.
Thanks for Coming Out: This is someone who puts on the signal light once (maybe twice). If you blink you miss it. Then they change lanes.
In Case You Didn’t Notice: This person puts on the signal light…and leaves it on…and on….and on….
Just Wanted to Let You Know: They pull into the lane and then they put on the signal light. (Don’t laugh: I’ve seen this several times!)
The Anal-Retentive: This is me! I signal everything: into my driveway, into a parking spot, merging from an on ramp into traffic, etc. I even signal when I cut someone off! I once saw a video on one of those Cops-type shows of a guy in a high-speed chase who signaled his turns even in the middle of the chase. This would be me.
Of course, sometimes the types combine. My favorite is the combination of the Psychic Signaller with the In Case You Didn’t Notice. They put on their left signal light, change lanes, leave the signal light on for a long time, and then switch back to the right lane without turning the left signal light off.
Know those types. By knowing them, you could save a life – and it could be your own life!