Although you might have heard that BMW drivers don’t use blinkers when they turn, contrary to popular belief, BMW cars do have standard blinkers installed. Turn signals are required by US law on all cars, in order for them to operate on the road.
Why don’t BMW drivers use turn signals?
BMW drivers are rarely seen using a turn signal regardless of whether they are simply turning, passing someone, or parking their vehicle. The most common reasons for that is that they are either driving the car of a friend or colleague and they feel uncomfortable, or they feel superior on the road.
Standard surveys generally state that more than 40 per cent of BMW drivers don’t use turn lights because “they don’t have time” to signal properly.
Make sure you always use blinkers, since more than 2 million road accidents are caused per year due to drivers omitting to signalize properly.
How to properly use turn signals on a BMW
Studies show that around 20 per cent of US drivers don’t use their turn signals when they are turning and that more than 40 per cent of them don’t use signals when they are switching lanes. That poses many dangers both for them, the passengers, and other drivers and pedestrians on the road.
When driving in town, always aim to signalize around 100 feet before you actually make a turn. Try not to signalize a left turn if you aren’t taking the next immediate left turn since that might confuse the drivers.
BMW turn signals might be a bit counter-intuitive at first, especially on newer BMW models. The BMW blinker switches are more complicated than on other, standard cars. BMW has always been a name for innovation and leading technology, but they’ve outdone themselves with installing such blinkers.
In order to properly signal a turn left, you would need to push down the lever, like on any other car, but the difficulty comes with turning the signal off.
After you’ve pushed the signal lever, then, unlike on other cars, it would automatically come up. And if you push the lever up, trying to stop the blinker, you would activate your right turn signal instead.
So how do you stop the signal lights on BMWs?
If you want to stop the left-turn signal, you need to push the lever to the left once more. This is pretty counterintuitive to everyone who’s been driving another car. This often results in BMW drivers not using the blinkers.
Moreover, things are even more complicated with BMW blinkers if you want to change a lane. In order to call the “Change lane” signal for a few seconds, you need to press down the lever for a few seconds, it comes back and that turns the signal for a while and turns it off automatically.
In the future, we expect engineers to look into the rates of crashes caused by improper use of turn signals and to implement new technologies in order to make them as automated as possible. Of course, that poses certain dangers since artificial intelligence can’t read the driver’s mind, yet. We would, of course, expect the driver to be able to get full manual control over the signalling when needed.
When you switch lanes. Regardless of the type of car or brand you are driving, you would need to use turn signals when you are switching between lanes, when you are stopping on the side of the road, or when you are overtaking another car.
Driving backwards. Moreover, if you are driving backwards you would also need to turn on the emergency lights to signal your movement.
When overtaking other cars, use the left turn signal to start the manoeuvre and use the right one to get back into the lane, unless you’re driving in the United Kingdom, then things are flipped.
Try to not turn your signal too soon or too late, because this could result in other participants on the road being misled and could cause an accident or an unpleasant situation at the very least.
Furthermore, when you are joining the traffic on the highway, or on any motorway, for that matter, make sure to turn on your signal. When you exit lanes, you are also obliged by the law to do so in the direction you’re heading.
Sometimes you would catch yourself red-handed and trying to perform a turn without having signalized, wondering why people don’t regard your turning maneuver with respect. Any signal is better than no signal at all. If you find yourself in a similar position, activate the blinkers, even if it’s late. Moreover, you could also apologize with gestures and show the other participants on the road that you want to make a turn.
All road-worthy cars, regardless of brand, type, use, or model are required by law to come with blinkers installed. The hoax behind BMW cars lacking blinkers has emerged due to the fact that they are somewhat different and counter-intuitive to use. This often leads to BMW drivers not using blinkers when they should be.
How does the triple turn signal on a BMW work and what is it for?
The triple turn signal on a BMW allows you to simply tap the signal stick and it blinks three times in the direction you did. That would facilitate you overtaking someone on the highway, for example. Models after 2006 have the option to adjust that feature to two or three blinks per tap.
Are you obliged by law to indicate when passing a parked car?
You are not legally obliged by law in all states to indicate when passing a parked car. Especially, if you are travelling on a narrow road, there wouldn’t be any difference if you signalize or not. For broader roads, where participants in the traffic expect all lanes to be used properly, you should try to always signalize, in order to prevent dangerous stopping situations when switching lanes.