PHOENIX — The turn signal. It is the one warning you have to let other drivers know what you're thinking and what your next move on the road will be.
But, it is often a simple step far too many drivers do not take.
Dan, an ABC15 viewer, sent an email to ABC15's Operation Safe Roads team. "I'd like to see a crackdown on this problem as it's an epidemic and I believe dangerous, as I've been so close to accidents due to not using the single instrument that every car comes with," Dan wrote.
"The reality of it is, if somebody uses a blinker and the other driver sees it, the accident would never happen," said Doug Zanes with Zanes Law.
"As the study showed, the numbers are huge," Zanes said. "The number of accidents caused by people who failed to use their turn signals correctly are significant."
The study estimated that drivers not using their blinkers is the cause behind $2 million in crashes each year.
"If I'm not using my blinker, the other drivers on the road have no idea what I'm doing," Zanes said.
The data is from 2012 and we know cell phones are more widely used now. But, Zanes said, it is still one of the top reasons why accidents are happening.
"Me saying well, 'Oh drivers are lazy.' is really probably a huge simplification of the problem," he said. "And it probably really comes back to distractions and all the other things that go on and a blinker is just something else that you have to remember to do."
Zanes said, it is not only crucial for other drivers to use their turn signals, but for motorcyclists, too.
There are many times there is an accident because the driver did not see the rider, but using a blinker is a flashing warning.
"At least it gives that rider an opportunity to see what you're doing and protect himself or herself and get out of the way," Zanes said.
Have a road issue that is driving you crazy? You can let Operation Safe Roads know by calling 1-833-AZROADS or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.