When I encounter a driver swerving in and out of traffic without using their turn signals, it appears as though they are “driving erratically” as I have no idea where or when their next lane change might be. As such, the surrounding drivers and I start driving defensively, tapping the breaks, and causing the rest of the traffic behind us to slow down. Eventually, this interruption to the flow of traffic causes a significant backup, and the inevitable fender-bender, which then leads to a major traffic jam.
…And all because one driver thought it was too much of an inconvenience to use their turn signals.
As a car’s turn signals are the way we communicate our intentions and desires to the drivers around us, they are absolutely essential to the ultimate success of our travels. Likewise, communicating to the people around us in life is essential to the success of our life journey.
Can I Get Over? – Communicating Our Desires
When traffic is thick and you want to switch lanes, using your turn signal will let the drivers in the other lanes know that you want to move over and they will hopefully make room for you. The same rule applies for the people around us when it comes to our desires. If I want something, it is unrealistic for me to simply expect others to know my desires and help me obtain them. But, if I tell people about what I want, they will more than likely help me out in any way they can.
For example: If I’m wanting to switch jobs, my friends and family would happily let me know of any open positions they might come across and even submit my resume if it would help. But, if I don’t tell them my desires, how could I possibly expect them to help me out?
I’m Turning Right – Communicating Our Intentions
Advising others of your intentions on the road allows them to navigate safely and quickly around you and your intended path. Alternatively, not signaling can cause the opposite affect. Such is the case in life: If I state my goals clearly and often, the people around me will know where I’m headed. If they’re heading the same way, we can work together. If they have a different (perhaps conflicting) destination, they will know to steer clear.
For example: If my plan is to live a healthier lifestyle that includes eating right, exercising, and abstaining from alcohol / tobacco, it is important that I let others know. This will immediately attract others who have similar intentions and repel those with opposite plans, thus making it easier for me to stay on track and avoid the temptations.
My Turn Signal is On? – All Talk, No Action
Perhaps the worst abuse of a turn signal is when a driver forgets to turn it off. As they drive down the road, the signal to every passing car that they are going to switch lanes / turn, but they never do. This is equivalent to the person who incessantly talks about their desires and plans, but never takes any action. Though this might not be the most dangerous abuse of miscommunication, it is definitely the most annoying. Not to mention, it is the quickest way to lose credibility.
That said, turn signals are a communication tool. Using them effectively, both on the road and in life, will make for a much smoother and successful journey.
Use your turn signals.