For variety, you could use hand signals, though they might baffle other drivers.
Q Cheers from Southern California. I often have my students ask me if they need to signal. My reply: “Why not?” You won’t run out of turn-signal juice, so why not let folks around you know what you are planning to do anytime you are merging, changing lanes, making a turn, pulling over to park, turning into a parking spot, etc.?
You are moving a 3,000-plus-pound mass of iron, steel, aluminum and plastic around. Let people know what you are doing!
A Oh, I so agree. It amazes me how many drivers say if they are not legally bound to turn on their blinkers, they refuse to do so.
Q In some areas like Boston, signaling is a sign of weakness. It’s an invitation for someone to make sure they don’t leave enough room for you to get into their lane.
A I know this can happen, but still signal.
Q If you are going to be exiting the freeway from a through lane, you should always signal your intent to the driver behind you. This allows him to anticipate that you may be slowing down in order to safely negotiate the exit.
However, if you are an exit-only lane, my belief is that it is unnecessary to signal. Everyone knows you are exiting — the entire lane exits!
A Legally, you are correct. But what’s the harm in signaling?
Q As a cyclist, I rely on motorists using their signals to indicate their intentions and it seems to me that a large portion, if not a majority, of Bay Area motorists do not have functioning turn indicators, or do not know how to use them. On my commute to work one morning, a city of Santa Clara truck changed lanes without using his signal, made a right turn on a red light without stopping and made a right turn without signaling. If we can’t expect city vehicles to obey the law, who can we rely on?
A Mark, who doesn’t own a car and commutes by bicycle every day, has video to back up his claim.
Q To signal or not to signal? Does it ever hurt to signal? Does it take so much effort that it leaves one exhausted? I signal automatically whether there is a car nearby or not. It saves me from a lot of decision-making stress. Now if only I could convince other drivers (my family included) of this!
A This is an issue in other families as well.
Q Here’s my turn signal paradigm: I use my turn signal for every turn and lane change, even turning into my driveway in a residential neighborhood. My wife, on the other hand, NEVER uses her turn signal EXCEPT when she is entering a freeway. We have discussed this ad nauseam with no progress in 42 years.
A Mrs. Gurnee, even after 42 years, you can learn from your hubby.