In this ever more self-centered world in which we live, I have come to notice an odd “indicator” of our condition. The humble turn signal is a mid-modern device that lets us communicate our navigational intentions without the primitive arm waving that used to be required for signaling a turn or a stop.
As a public endeavor, driving must harmonize many individual driver’s goals under a set of rules about how we relate to each other out on the road. Thus, I acknowledge the importance of your purposes and plans by letting you know what my intentions are, as a fellow motorist. This lets you begin to slow down, to know when to proceed, or to plan a means of avoiding a delay.
This is a small thing to many people and one may seem petty for its mention, but I think it serves to illustrate what has become the norm for our society. Me-ism. I just don’t have time to take my civic, social, citizen, or motoring responsibilities seriously. The common attitude is to assume that others will make allowances for my actions and I would be foolish for not taking advantage of this fact.
Signaling my turning plans may not seem like an important activity (many police officers are apathetic towards this violation) but it is a small way to acknowledge others and their rights and importance. Signaling says “I want to do my part to integrate my individual driving into the community of driving.” It is an act of respect.
How’s your turn signal?