Observations from an Eataliano
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Helping others find their Italy!


Turn Signals?

Don’t use your blinker!

Americans are fanatical about turn-signal (blinker) usage in their cars. It’s an emotional part of driving that they obsess over, swear at others, and post social media rants about. It’s mandatory that everyone use their turn signal! 

Italians don’t bother.

Americans believe that everyones safety is tied to universal blinker usage. Of course they’re right, but are they? A recent (US) study claimed  twice as many accidents are because of people not using their blinker than due to texting. Hard to believe but, I’m really not so interested that I’ll research it.

If everyone consistently uses their blinker, then everyone is more informed about what others are doing, and the world is a safe place. 

But, if a whole culture didn’t use their blinker – what would happen? When drivers (thinking of the Italians here), consistently don’t use their blinker, then everyone drives with the assumption of ‘who knows what that other driver might do next – I’d better drive defensively’. The world is a safer place. Seriously, if no one uses their blinker, we ALL pay more attention! That’s what happens in Italy.

So, it’s not so much about those that do or don’t use the blinker – it’s about how we drive as a culture.

The problem comes from what happens when someone doesn’t follow the cultural rules. In Italy – no big deal – someone signaled and turned. But in America when people don’t use their blinker – accidents happen. In the US, the estimate is that only half the drivers consistently use their turn signals. Now, you’ve got a driving population that thinks they are informed (of the other drivers intentions), but aren’t. They drive under that assumption and make catastrophic mistakes because of it.

In Italy, I almost never use my blinker, and drive aware that others don’t either. In the US I almost always use my blinker, even in the middle of the night, with no one else visible. I’m not  sure why I’m signalling to no one, but I do.

Eatalianos drive as if other drivers had minds of their own.

(Image from wikihow. Seriously, 10 steps with pictures? No wonder we have a problem…)

1 thought on “Don’t use your blinker!”

  1. Have you also noticed how an Italian driver on a small side road comes up to an intersection with a main road, slows down to make sure there are cars coming on the main road and then cuts out in front of them? Makes it more of a sport! And certainly keeps you on your toes!

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