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Failing to use indicators while driving can result in £5,000 fine and nine points on your licence, warn motoring experts



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We’ve all complained about another driver not using their indicators at a roundabout, but did you know that failing to use your indicators is a serious driving offence?

While skipping signalling might seem innocent enough on a quiet road, failing to do so can result in a large fine and points on your licence.

GoodBye Car has investigated the circumstances in which you could be penalised for not using your indicators, why that is, and have provided some handy tips to help you remember to signal.

You could be slapped with a massive fine and points on your licence if you don't indicate when you should.
You could be slapped with a massive fine and points on your licence if you don't indicate when you should.

There isn’t a specific offence that details when your indicators should and shouldn’t be used, but failing to use them can fall under the ‘careless and inconsiderate driving’ offence or be classed as driving without due care and attention.

Not using indicators classes as careless and inconsiderate driving as, without proper signalling to other drivers when changing lanes or using a roundabout, you could be responsible for causing an accident.

This offence could land you with a huge fine up to £5,000, up to nine points on your licence, and you could even be disqualified from driving in serious cases.

You could get points on your licence if you're not careful.
You could get points on your licence if you're not careful.

Mark Royal, operations manager at Goodbye Car, said: "Knowing when (and when not) to indicate is a skill of its own, given there are no black and white rules, but it’s incredibly important to learn when they should be used for the safety of yourself and other motorists.”

So how can you remember when indicators should be used? The Highway Code gives some great guidance on signalling.

Read Goodbye Car's top five tips for using your indicators…

Police stock.
Police stock.

1. Mirrors, signal, manoeuvre

This mantra will be well known among driving students, but it’s worth remembering in the years after passing your test.

Whenever you want to make a manoeuvre, check your mirrors to make sure it’s safe to so do then signal your intentions to fellow drivers before moving.

2. Signal at the right time

Indicating in plenty of time can be a blessing or a curse.

For example, if you know you’re turning right at the main junction up ahead but begin signalling when another right turn is available before then, you’re giving other drivers the impression that you’ll be making the earlier right turn.

Only signal when you’re approaching the turn you wish to make.

3. Cancel your indicators after use

Remembering to use your indicators at the right time is one thing, but remembering to cancel them is just as important. If you keep signalling after you’ve made your move, other drivers may be anticipating you to take another turn or change lanes again.

4. Signal manually

Though waving out of your car window may seem like a last resort, it’s perfectly legal to reinforce the signal your indicators are making by using the appropriate arm movements.

If you’re worried about other motorists not seeing your signal, signal manually to make sure.

5. If in doubt, signal

Indicators should be used to signal any move that isn’t moving straight ahead on the road.

This includes changing lanes, turning a corner, taking an exit, turning off a roundabout, and pulling over to the side of the road.

If you’re about to move and you’re unsure of whether indicators are needed, it’s always safer to signal to drivers around you than risk causing an accident.