Flashing, Please!

When travelling by car in traffic, you have to set the indicator – for example when turning off – clearly and in good time. But only around half of motorists in Germany adhere to all turn signal rules. This is the result of a traffic monitoring study by DEKRA Accident Research.

Besonders bei abknickenden Vorfahrtstraßen wissen viele Autofahrer nicht, wie man richtig blinkt. Foto: DEKRA

Particularly with bends in priority roads, many drivers do not know how to flash correctly. Photo: DEKRA

“Correct flashing is a safety factor because it accounts for a large part of communication between road users. It is extremely important for road safety that one road user can assess what another is up to,” says DEKRA accident researcher Andreas Schäuble. “This makes it all the more important for everyone to know and adhere to the applicable rules. This creates clarity and can help to avoid dangerous situations or possible accidents due to misunderstandings”.

DEKRA’s experts have observed more than 5,500 vehicles – in roundabouts, on bends in priority roads, at intersections with and without turning lanes and on the motorway. On average, 50 percent of all drivers flashed correctly across all traffic situations. However, there were major differences between the individual situations.

About 53 percent flashed correctly in the roundabout, about 56 percent at intersections and about 67 percent on the motorway. On bends in priority roads, on the other hand, only 22 percent did.

“Anyone who follows the course of a bend-off priority road must set the indicator in good time; anyone who wants to leave it straight ahead, on the other hand, must not set it,” says DEKRA accident researcher Schäuble. “This is obviously not clear to many road users.

Nur jeder zweite Autofahrer blinkt nach einer DEKRA Verkehrsbeobachtung richtig.

Only every second driver flashes correctly. Photo: DEKRA

Even at roundabouts not all drivers know how to do it right. “When entering the roundabout, you must not flash; you only have to set the right indicator to leave the roundabout,” explains the expert. “Those are the rules in Germany. However, other countries have different rules in some cases”. DEKRA’s long-standing demand in road safety work is to harmonize the traffic rules at least within the European Union as far as possible and sensible.

Incidentally, when DEKRA accident researchers observed traffic, women (53 percent) flashed correctly more frequently than men (45 percent). It was also noticeable that the proportion of truck drivers who flashed correctly, at 62 percent, was significantly higher than the overall average of all road users observed.

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