Most of the time when you’re behind the wheel, you know exactly where you want to go. Unfortunately, the drivers around you can’t read your mind. Turn signals were invented to improve safety by alerting other drivers of your intentions.
These days, all vehicles are equipped with blinking turn signals to indicate where you want to go. In recent models, those turn signals may also connect to safety systems to alert you of vehicles or obstacles in the lane you are signaling to merge into.
Turn signals have a long history of various designs. The earliest on record was by Percy Douglas-Hamilton who applied for a patent (received in 1909 as U.S. patent 912831) for a device "indicating the intended movements of vehicles." Along the way there were many other innovations. Here’s a link to a great article about the history of the turn signal - http://www.secondchancegarage.com/public/history-of-turn-signal.cfm
Since today is Debby Boone’s birthday, here’s a blast from the past - https://youtu.be/b07-yKnKRMQ
For 2019, there have been 225 fatalities reported. That’s an increase of 10 since last Monday. The 2018 fatality count stands at 319. This is subject to change as law enforcement reports are completed. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at https://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/stats/daily.pdf.