Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Turn, Turn, Turn

The 1938 Buick was the first American automobile to have factory installed electronic turn signals. Before the electronic turn signal came along, you signaled which way you would be going by sticking your arm out the window of your car. Either straight out for a left turn, or straight out with your forearm in an upright position to signal a right turn. One problem with hand signals was that if you wanted to turn and it was pouring rain, not only would you get moist, but the car behind you might not see your signal. Other drivers could also be confused if you happened to be the friendly type who was always waving at people. I actually had to use those hand signals in my first car, a 1935 Studebaker, because it was not equipped with any turn signals. Luckily, in modern times, an electronic turn signal is considered integral to the auto. Unfortunately, the people of Florida cannot deal with such a high tech concept such as moving a lever. The problem is that almost nobody, and I mean like over ninety percent of the population of Florida, ever uses the turn signal that was installed in their automobile. Not the natives, not the people who moved here to get away from the cold, not the people who moved here to get away from the dead bodies they left up north, not even the tourists use a turn signal. I'm not sure why, or what they think that stick on the steering column is for, but people seem confused about the whole concept. It's like one big guessing game. Where the hell is grandpa going? Should I go, or is that schmuck turning? It's very frustrating when you are trying to get through an intersection. The funny thing is that it has got me using some old hand signals again. Just not the ones they taught me in Driver's Ed.

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