The last thing I need is a citation from a cop. And it’s been a few years since I’ve had one. Since I teach defensive driving, I’m supposed to be setting a good example (according to my students).

I did, however, get pulled over on the freeway for not using my turn signal when changing lanes. Although, in my defense, I did signal. I just didn’t signal long enough. It’s a bad habit I have, turning my signal off before completing a lane change. But, as I said, I did signal. So when I got pulled over, I was completely oblivious as to why the officer lit me up (which sounds like fun, being “lit up”, but trust me it’s not fun).

When I asked, he retorted with “You didn’t signal, Ma’am.”  Well, there’s no sense in arguing with a State Trooper. So I told him I taught defensive driving and he let me go with a warning.

The law states that you must signal 100 feet before turning or changing lanes. And the fine for failure to signal intent is just shy of $200. Plus, it just plain makes people crazy if you don’t signal. Now that I am a reformed non-signaler, I notice that most people don’t signal. So we can add a wee bit of road rage as a result of not signaling.

If you’re not sure how to gauge 100 feet, get a tape measure at Dollar Tree. When I was in driver education, our instructor said 100 feet was approximately two to three car lengths or a house length. But cars were the size of boats when I was 16.

Cars of today are typically smaller, so perhaps five car lengths. If you take into consideration, 100 feet is 1/3 of a football field. Also, newer cars have a feature to “tap” the blinker and it will automatically shut off after 3 blinks. Perhaps that’s what the police are looking for before you change lanes or turn. Or, again, actually completing your lane change before turning your signal off if you have an older car.

Until next week….


Daun Thompson

Writer / Comedienne / Artist


Turn Signal – Comedy Defensive Driving