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  • Writer's pictureAdrian Fedyk

S is for Signalling - Driving Lessons in Basingstoke

Updated: May 13, 2023

Car Signals
S is for Signalling

As you develop your skills during your driving lessons in Basingstoke, you will find that signals are normally given by direction indicators and/or brake lights.

It's important that you use the correct signal.

Use signals:

  • To let others know what you intend to do

  • To help all other road users, including pedestrians

  • In good time and for long enough to allow other road users to see the signal and act upon it.

Signal in good time, particularly before:

  • Turning right or left

  • Overtaking another moving vehicle

  • Moving from one lane to another.

Signalling too soon can confuse rather than help, for example, when there are several side roads very close together.

Signalling too late can cause vehicles behind you to brake hard or swerve.

Watch out for situations which call for special timing in signalling. For example, when you signal to pull up on the left, make sure there isn't a junction just before the place you intend to stop. If you signal left too soon, a driver waiting at that junction might think that you intend to turn left. Delay signalling until you're in a position where your signal can't be misunderstood.

Unnecessary signals

A signal may not be necessary where there is no-one to benefit from it, or where the signal could confuse other road users. Consider if a signal is necessary before:

  • Moving off

  • Pulling up

  • Passing stationary vehicles, when you can position early and maintain a steady course.


  • Signal carelessly

  • Wave pedestrians across the road

  • Fail to check if the signal is cancelled after your movement is completed

  • Mislead other road users. Always use the correct signal

Remember: Mirrors - Signal - Manoeuvre.

Signalling with brake lights

Brake in good time. If necessary, lightly press the brake pedal early, or more than once, to show your brake lights to traffic behind you.

Flashing your headlights

Flashing the headlights can be used to warn other road users that you are there.

Avoid flashing your headlights to:

  • Instruct other road users

  • Reprimand another road user

  • Intimidate a driver ahead.

Other drivers flashing their lights

Some drivers flash their headlights for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Inviting you to pass before them

  • Thanking you for your courtesy

  • Warning you of some fault with your vehicle

  • Telling you that your headlights are dazzling them.

When other drivers flash their headlights, don't rely on what you think they mean. Use your own judgement; the signal:

  • Might not mean what you think

  • Might not be intended for you.

Make sure you know their intention before you act on the signal.

Remember, flashing of headlights might not be an invitation. The other driver might have flashed someone else or have flashed accidentally.

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