Thursday prompt

What’s something most people don’t understand?

Most people, at least here in the UK, don’t understand that if you move the stick on the left hand side of your steering wheel up and down, these big flashy orange lights appear on the exterior of your car. These lights tell people which way you’re intending to turn.

Bonus: the lights need to be deployed before you change lanes or make your turn. They are not to be deployed during or after your turn/lane change.

Bonus bonus: here in the UK, if you drive a German-model car, it’s likely you’re entirely unaware of the existence of the stick.

Why yes, I have had a terrible drive into the office today and have been cut up by a poorly-driven Audi, how did you guess?

In all seriousness though, most people don’t understand how dangerous not signalling their intentions on the road can be. I cycle too, and while I ride mostly off road, there is an element of road riding to get to the trails. I am always so cautious in traffic, especially when moving through it at a set of traffic lights, because on a bike I’m far more vulnerable than I am in my ton of Swedish steel. Some people don’t see me and I do feel unsafe.

I wonder sometimes if because I cycle, I am hyper aware of making sure I indicate and check around me before I do anything on the road. I have had ‘sodding Volvo driver, stop dithering!’ yelled at me when I dared to stop at a blind junction and check before I pulled out. My windows were open and he was in a convertible, if you’re wondering how I heard him.

But honestly, it takes a nanosecond to flick that stick and tell people around you which way you’re intending to move. Please just do it!


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