On Friday, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation decided to use a little humor to pass along a very important message to motorists. On electronic message boards all around Boston (much like the signs we have here) all read: “Changing Lanes? Use Yah Blinkah.”
“Blinkah” is how Bostonians pronounce the word “blinker.” Apparently people not using their blinkers, or turn signals, is as big a problem in Boston as it is here in Atlanta.
Whether you call them blinkers, turn signals, indicators or directionals, it is apparent that their lack of usage is a nationwide problem, not a regional one.
I would actually like to see the Georgia DOT take a page out of the Massachusetts book and start remind drivers down here to use their turn signals. When there is no pertinent traffic information to pass along on the changeable message signs, why not remind commuters about the necessity of indicators?
Just over this past weekend, I counted five separate occasions where my fellow commuters didn’t use their blinkah when they should have. Five times! And, I didn’t even drive that much this weekend.
So, why is this so prevalent? Do people willfully not use their turn signals to annoy other motorists? Are they just too lazy to turn it on? Do they simply forget? Do they not realize it is the law?
I believe laziness is probably the number one reason, if people answered honestly. Which makes no sense to me, because, come on, how much effort does it take to just move your hand?
Maybe technology holds the answer to the non-blinker users. Perhaps someday all cars will be equipped with a Siri-like device that would enable the driver to simply speak “left-turn, Clyde” and the car’s computer would then turn the left hand turn signal on.
Perhaps lack of directional use is just a short term problem. Most computer and automotive experts seem to think that in the not too distant future, we will all be riding in “self-driven” cars. Just get in, tell the car where you want to go, and boom, the computer takes over while you sit back and enjoy the ride.
That does lead to the question though: will the computers become lazy and not turn on the blinkah?