Is the turn signal necessary in the turning lane?

June 28, 2016

Is the turn signal necessary in the turning lane?I recently challenged our team on a Wednesday morning with the question, “If you’re in the turning lane, do you have to use your turn signal?”

Following the question, there was an outburst of opinions and response across the room. Statements like, “Yes, it’s the law” and “Of course you do.” One person replied, “You have to let other people know which way you’re turning.”

After several minutes of discussion, I ended the meeting with this statement. “So, if you’re in the turning lane, there is an assumption that you’re turning. However, without using your turn signal to alert on coming traffic and setting an expectation, there could potentially be chaos.”

This crazy exercise was born from my early morning commute. I was sitting in the left turning lane and did not have my turn signal on. While sitting and staring at oncoming traffic, it hit me. How do they know I’m actually turning? They may assume that I am turning, but there’s no level of expectation set. One thing that we strive to do as an organization is to set expectations. Something small in our daily lives, like using a turn single, can be an example of how to set and execute expectations. We can take the example of using a turn signal and apply it to anything in our life.


Setting expectations is one of the most difficult and yet one of the simplest things that we can do. All it takes is a little communication.

Set expectations. Exceed them. Assume nothing.

How are you setting expectations?

Chad Lingafelt

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