Washington Roads: Understanding the Legal Requirements for Blinker Usage

It might seem like a simple question but how many times have you been following a car and the driver never uses their turn signals?

car turn signal and and light switch

Washington State Traffic Laws: The Legal Obligation of Using Blinkers

As a Washingtonian, I get frustrated especially when someone is turning left into traffic and making a turn without signaling --- so what are the laws in Washington State when it comes to blinkers and turn signals?

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The answer is yes, you are legally required to use them while driving. According to the Washington State Department of Licensing, "Drivers must use their turn signals or hand signals to show their intention to turn, change lanes, or stop."

Using turn signals or blinkers is not just a legal requirement, but it is also a safety measure.


Failing to use turn signals or blinkers can result in a ticket and a fine. Under Washington State law, a driver can be ticketed for failing to use signals while driving, and the fine can be up to $124. Additionally, if failing to use the blinkers leads to an accident, the driver can be held liable for any injuries or damage that result.

It's essential to remember that turn signals or blinkers are not just for making turns. They are also required when changing lanes or merging onto the freeway. By using them in these situations, you are signaling your intent to other drivers, which can help prevent accidents.

Now I just wish some drivers would get this through their thick-headed skulls that they need to use their turn signals.

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