DIY Urbanism of the Day: How Many Drivers in Your Nabe Aren't Signaling?

And are they better or worse than the national average?

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Every urban cyclist, pedaling in the path of a right turn, knows that a car's turn signal can be the difference between a smooth ride and an awful accident.

Over at Streetfilms, Clarence Eckerson Jr. decided to find out just how often drivers in his neighborhood of Jackson Heights, Queens, were using their turn signal. The answer? On about three out of four turns.

Eckerson postulated that New York City's signaling habits are deteriorating, but his data from Jackson Heights is consistent with the national average from 2012: nationwide, a full 25 percent of turns aren't signaled.

Even more alarming? Forty-eight percent of the time, drivers don't signal when changing lanes. That said, a 2006 survey found that 57 percent of drivers didn't signal when changing lanes, so perhaps things are getting better. On the other hand, in that survey, seven percent of respondents admitted that not signalling "adds excitement to driving."

How Many NYC Drivers Don't Signal? from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Top image: Corepics VOF /Shutterstock

About the Author

  • Henry Grabar is a freelance writer and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.