Turn Signal: Do You Know What It Is?

High Mileage Truck

By: Heidi O.

Do You Know What It is?

Too many people these days do not seem to know what that small arm to the left of the steering column is for, so I’m here to explain a little of the history and what it is meant to be used for. This small arm, it is a TURN SIGNAL!

From 4 wheelers to big rigs, I see people every day failing to use this nice little device.  Prior to this device being developed, people used “hand” signals. Putting your left arm straight out the window parallel to the ground, meant you were turning left.   If you wanted to turn right, you placed your left elbow on the window and raised your forearm up with your hand open. And to stop, well that was signaled by putting your left arm out parallel to the road and angling it downward. These hand signals were required no matter the weather so that other drivers knew your intent.

The first U.S. automaker to introduce the “Flash-Way Directional Signal” was Buick in 1939. They enhanced the design in 1940 and this is the year they became standard on Buick, Cadillac, LaSalle, and the Hudson Country Club vehicles and listed as optional on Chevy, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac.   In 1941, Dodge then offered the turn signal as an option on all models.

So, we can deduce from the above information that this nice little device has been around for a mighty long time, yet some people, 4 wheelers and big rigs alike, do NOT know how it operates. So, I will say, you push the arm down to make the left signal blink and up to make the right signal blink and then the people on the road around you will know what your intentions are and will cause less accidents on the roadways.

For the sake of all the drivers on the road, please let us ALL use our turn signals.