Every horror movie has thrills and surprises that make you jump in your seat. It’s why we go to these movies: for a good scare. The last place you want a good scare is when you’re driving. Yet many drivers seem to enjoy surprising others around them.
There’s the car that suddenly changes lanes on Merrimon Avenue, the one that dashes across two lanes of traffic for an exit ramp on I-40 and the one that suddenly slows to a near stop on an otherwise deserted street, like on Patton Avenue in West Asheville. Even if you’re a defensive driver, surprises can sometimes stop you in your tracks — literally.
There’s actually a simple way to avoid surprises: Use your turn signal. And use it before you apply the brakes or start to swerve. Your turn signal isn’t there to show others that you’re turning. It’s there to alert others that you’re about to turn. Using your blinkers helps you avoid surprising other drivers, no matter how clear you think you’re being.
Get in the habit of using your turn signal for every turn until you just do it naturally. Signal to others that you’re about to turn, whether it’s to change lanes or enter a parking lot. Leave the surprising shocks and thrills to the horror movies.
— Mark H. Bloom