Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Turn Signals

Solidarity Signaling

For those that do not know, this is when a driver turns on their signal but does not actually wish to turn. They simply want to inform others that the car in front of them is attempting a turn and once it has done so they will disengage their signal and continue forward. I have never understood the reason for this. I suppose the idea is to reassure all those behind you that you have not chosen to arbitrarily stop in the middle of the road for no reason. I prefer to think of this as a form of “signal perjury” since you are indicating a right turn but have no intention to execute it. 
I do like the idea of simply mirroring the actions of other motorists without taking any personal responsibility. The next time someone gives me the finger I will simply exhibit my own bird to inform my fellow commuters that someone ahead of them has become agitated. Perhaps if I am pulled over for speeding I will simply inform the officer that I myself was in no hurry, but I wanted to remind everyone that the person in front of me was.

The Blink

This is when someone engages their signal so briefly that the electrical circuit does not have time to register more than one cycle. The result is so fleeting that other motorists may assume this is an electrical malfunction with your car and not a display of intent, which explains their surprise when they discover your GMC Leviathan EX is now listing their direction.

The Alternator

This occurs when a motorist seems to have lost control of their extremities and begins to signal back and forth between a left and right-hand turn. More often than not, this will continue for several seconds before their windshield wipers turn on and they decide to continue going straight.This can be due to an unfamiliarity with the vehicle (it is a rental, they stole it, etc.) or they are having a heated exchange with a passenger about leveling up in Skyrim.

The Eventual Left

This term was coined by Jerry Seinfeld when describing someone who does not realize their turn signal is on. Inciting chaos and fear everywhere they go, these people have been known to travel hundreds of miles of interstate before discovering that the incessant rhythmic clicking they have heard since Albuquerque was not their jaw. If they are in the right lane, the rest of us will cross ourselves, tighten our sphincter muscles, and attempt to pass hoping that they do not decide to actually go left. 

I propose that all new cars should be equipped with a feature issues an electric shock if your turn signal remains on for more than five consecutive miles. If this does not work, at ten consecutive miles your sound-system will be overridden and you will be subjected to a recording of Rosanne Barr signing the national anthem until you return to your senses.

The No-Signal

This is the worst offense of all, often perpetrated because the individual is unable to work the stick as their free hand is attempting to press the Siri button after she repeatedly insists on searching the web for something you are trying to text to your wife.This can also be caused by a GPS  unit that suggests you “stay left” on a 15-lane highway just before informing you that you have 87 feet before you need to take an exit on the right. This maneuver often occurs in conjunction with the aforementioned sphincter-tightening.


  1. Ooh! I can help with a good reason for the solidarity signaling. The road I grew up on is right off Highway 18 and it is at a point on 18 where the highway has had nowhere for you to safely pass anyone for miles, then you get to this extremely straight area and my road turns off right in the middle of that straight area. It never fails that the person in front of you will go 5 miles under the speed limit the whole way to my road and then right when you are about to turn left on to that road everyone behind you can finally pass and people from 5 cars back start to pass only to almost slam into the side of you as you are turning left because they thought everyone was still just going slow because of the slow driver in front of everyone. So it is very helpful when the person behind you turns their signal on too so that people don't start passing...

    1. Exceptional MediocritySeptember 5, 2012 at 11:56 AM


      I must admit that is a sold argument for solidarity signaling. Unfortunately my only experience with it seems to be people on 4-lane roads who usually couple it with "the eventual left" thereby creating more confusion than they prevent. At the end of the day I just count myself lucky if the car in front of me has working brake lights.....


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