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The importance of motorists making early signals

Published:Sunday | December 1, 2019 | 6:47 AMPaul Glenroy Messam - Automotives Writer

The decision for drivers to communicate with other motorists is a sensible one. It helps to reduce risk in a possible conflict situation.

By communicating, we tell others where we are or what we plan to do. For a conflict to occur, we need people, strong feelings, and different points of view. For example, conflicts usually occur between two people or two groups. Individuals or groups may have strong feelings about the problem or situation.

For example, a driver may feel angry, jealous, scared, confused, lonely, or disappointed. Therefore, some may have certain points of view; one driver may see a situation in a different way, while another has a different idea about what to do.

Body language and spoken language are dependent on each other. As psychologist Julius Fast noted, “If we listen only to the words when someone is talking, we may get as much distortion as we would if we listened only to body language”? Responsible motorists will communicate within a short time and in a variety of ways.


Drivers can use lights to communicate with other drivers. They need to understand what each of them means.

Tail lights: These lights tell drivers behind where the driver in front is positioned. Having one’s tail lights on is extremely important in poor lighting conditions.

Brake lights: Drivers behind will be aware of one’s intention to either slow down, stop, or stand still.

Turn-signal lights: These tell others that we plan to turn or change lanes.

High-beam and low-beam headlights: These lights inform others that we are approaching. Flashing high lights and low beams asks others to dim their high-beam lights.

Emergency flasher lights: These flashing lights let others know that our vehicle is disabled.