That rod in your steering column has a purpose

Today’s subject is the ubiquitous “turn reminder.” You know, that rod protruding from the side of a car’s steering column. When activated, it clicks away and even activates lights on your instrument panel which, if you know how to interpret them, also indicate the direction in which you may wish to turn. It might interest some to know that this device’s primary purpose, as originally designed and since improved, was to let others know of your intentions.

So give us all a clue (or at least those of us who are not clairvoyant) and some reaction time and use this device. You will find that, in Bend, at least, drivers will generally try to accommodate you.

One can use this signal not only for turns and lane changes, but while awaiting a parking spot, entering traffic from the roadside or highway ramp, or pulling off to the side of a road. When you run out of room in the passing lane, you can use it to let the vehicle ahead know that you are pulling in behind so he can resume his speed and not be concerned about either of you being run off the road. And finally, regarding roundabouts, please signal your intention to exit these. It’s not just the nice thing to do. It’s the law!

Oh, and if that annoying clicking and the flashing arrow on your dash persists, there is a manual override available. Simply lower or raise the “turn reminder” rod.

Ross Flavel

Bend