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Amber turn signals could avert rear-end collisions

You may want to take a look at your vehicle and see if the turn signal lights are red or amber/orange. The latter, as a number of studies over the decades show, may more effectively protect you as you drive here in Florida.

What NHTSA has discovered about them

In a 2008 study, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that amber turn signals make a collision from behind 22% less likely when compared to red turn signals. This was only during those maneuvers that require turn signals, such as parking and changing lanes.

A second study in 2009 that eliminated biases stemming from factors like lens type still came out with positive results. Researchers found that vehicles had roughly 5% fewer rear-end collisions when they switched from red to amber turn signals. Compare this with the fact that third brake lights, which became mandatory back in 1986, reduce rear-end collisions by 4.3%.

No mandate in sight for amber turn signals

NHTSA has no intention thus far of mandating amber turn signals; although, they may become a necessity for vehicles aiming for a Five Star Safety Rating. In any event, some safety advocates point out how ironic it is that automakers, hesitant about installing these relatively inexpensive components, have no problem installing costly features like radar sensors and automatic emergency braking.

What crash victims can do when not at fault

Most car accidents are the result of negligence such as distracted or drowsy driving. If you were rear-ended by a negligent driver, and if your losses are so severe that your insurance provider cannot cover them, you may be allowed to file a third-party insurance claim. This is a no-fault state, so you’re advised to see a lawyer before attempting anything. Legal representation can make the filing and negotiation process easier.

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