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The optional turn signal

April 27, 2010 - Pam Rodgers

I will admit that before my sister got a job in Chariton, I didn’t travel to southern Iowa very much. For the most part, the drivers of Iowa are similar in methods so it’s easy to drive through any area and not have to change my own driving style. The thing Trish and I have discussed at length is the use of the turn signal, or the lack thereof.
Now, most of the time it’s not an issue mainly up here in central Iowa. I have even traveled down to Chariton many a time without encountering someone who doesn’t understand the function of the turn signal. Most occurrences happen in places where I can avoid them by changing lanes. But I know to be on the look out for those turning and who have decided not to use their blinker.  Also nine times out of 10 in some big pickup that I don't really want to rear-end.
It’s usually safe to assume that if the person in front of you is laying on the brake and it’s not a speed zone, they are probably turning. These people are easy to look out for and adjust to. It’s the ones where I am stopped at a stop sign and cross traffic doesn’t have to stop and fail to use their turn signal that drive me crazy.
Granted, I live in a tiny town where using a turn signal is a luxury not a necessity but that is totally different terrain. These people aren’t navigating the streets of Garwin where most people know where your headed anyway. It is especially frightening when navigating through Red Rock outside of Knoxville when people turn off on some obscure road to go to a fishing or boating spot and give you about two seconds heads up they turn. It’s frustrating.
This issue isn’t exclusively in southern Iowa but I have noticed it more on my travels in that area. So those who use their turn signals, kudos to you!


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