Many driving tests fail due to the over/under/incorrect use of the indicator, so knowing when to signal is very important. This is due to the fact that over using the indicator could mislead drivers as to what your intentions are. For example, be aware when exiting a roundabout to cancel your signal as it won’t always cancel itself. Failing to do so may cause you to not pass your driving test. It is also very important not to signal too early. If there are roads in between where you want to turn and you signal too early, this should cause you not to pass your test as drivers will be thinking that you are taking the next available road. Be sure to talk to a qualified driving instructor for more advice.
When to use your indicator - Pulling away from the side of a road
If you feel anyone will benefit from your signal then yes you should indicate. If no one is around and you cannot decide, then a signal should not affect the outcome of the driving test. However, be aware that if a car is approaching from the rear and you have decided to let it pass, use caution when signalling. If you signal and plan on waiting for the car to pass, this is showing the driver that you may pull out on them which may cause them to slow down or make an erratic movement to try and stay out of your way.
Indicating when parking
Following the same rules as pulling away, if anyone at all will benefit you should signal, if no one will then you do not need to. When in doubt and if you are unsure about indicating it will not hurt to do so.
Overtaking a cyclist
Overtaking a cyclist and when to signal is completely dependent on the situation. The general rule of thumb is to indicate to make drivers aware that you are overtaking a cyclist, there are in fact situations where signalling will confuse drivers as they may think you are about to turn. When deciding whether to indicate, you must do so on an individual situation basis.
It is not normally necessary to indicate when passing parked cars although if you think that it is important or will help traffic, then signal.
It is a must to signal whenever you over take no matter what size road you are on, although when returning back it is not essential to signal. However, to alert drivers about moving back into the left hand lane (as to not middle lane hog) it may be worth it.
When leaving a motorway you should indicate at the 300 yard marker. When turning in more residential areas you should signal around 30 meters before the turning. This only changes if there are any other turns in between.
Other times to signal
We have mentioned a few times when you should signal, but not all, remember you must indicate at a junction, roundabouts and when overtaking any moving vehicle. There will be another blog to continue this topic.
Ever wondered about any other habits that are picked up when driving? Take a look at our other blogs! If you have any questions about the topics we cover or when you are learning to drive feel free to comment or email us, you could also speak to your driving instructor. If you need any more help or looking for driving lessons in South East London contact us