What's the point of using indicators?

Why do we have indicators on cars when they don't hold anything legally? Basically, the other day a biker heading the opposite way to me indicated to turn left and slowed down to pull in, so at this point, I also turned in. Then, all of a sudden, he was still coming towards me because he didn't turn. It gave me the worst scare, but that would be considered my fault. So, what's the point of indicators when they don't hold any standing in court? If we can't trust them why do we bother having them? There are no excuses not to use them or to use them wrong, it's covered in driving lessons. Can someone explain? Can we change the law on this?

Asked on 28 January 2021 by Rebekah P

Answered by Georgia Petrie
Hi Rebekah, some drivers use their indicators properly, some don't - it's just the way of the world, unfortunately. The first point I'll make is that incidents like this (that result in damage) are often settled on a split liability basis because insurers are getting different stories from each party, often with no way to ascertain who's right. But each driver has an obligation to make sure their path is clear before they proceed along a road. I think I understand the gist of your scenario, which leads me to say that yes - you'd be in the wrong because that driver was already on the road (had right of way) and you crossed in their way to turn, despite the fact they may have indicated when they weren't planning to turn left. Lots of drivers leave their indicators on without realising, I see it all the time - but you have a responsibility to make sure the path is clear for you.

Secondly, I'd advise you get a dash camera - even if it's a cheap one so that you can back up your side of the story if this happens in future. They're exceptionally useful bits of kit. We recommend Nextbase, but there are lots of choices.
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