Parking Lot Turn Signals – Surprisingly Effortless Logic

Signals In The Parking Lot

Everyone knows you’re supposed to use your turn signals when you’re driving forwards. But what about when you are going backwards? In a parking lot, for example.

If you’re wondering about this, you are not alone. Keep reading to learn about parking lot turn signals.

It’s really not that hard. Anyway, let’s dive right into our question for today.

Are You Supposed To Signal When Backing?

Parking lot turn signals, a question: When backing out of a parking spot which way are you supposed to signal? The way you are going or the way your back end goes?

Considering the point of view of other drivers (which is the reason we use signals to being with; to consider ‘other people!’) I think that it makes the most sense to signal which ever way the rear is going to swing out to.

Once you’ve backed up enough and you’re about to drive forward, then usually it will be obvious which way you are going. If it isn’t, then use a new signal at that point.

Parking lot turn signals – which way to signal

If backing out to the left, signal left:

parking lot turn signals

If backing to the right, signal right:

turn signal parking lot

Drive away with appropriate signal (may be none, left, or right):

how to drive

How to use your turn signals – WikiHow

Parking Lot Turn Signals – Conclusion

We use turn signals when driving forwards to let other drivers know what we are planning to do or where we are planning to go. This is a safety habit. When the people behind and around you know where you are planning to go, no one is confused. This is an important communication skill for motorists.

In addition, if the driver behind knows you’re planning to stop, they can get prepared. When they aren’t prepared is when collisions can happen. A collision is basically an unexpected movement pattern manifesting into something crunchy.

When we’re talking about parking lots, signals are still important. Especially for those parking lots that are as big as a small town, including stop signs and other traffic control devices. Sometimes it’s obvious where you are going, or you’re backing straight. In that case your signal will probably be redundant or even confusing.

However, signals in the parking lot are really important. It’s not that much different from any other time we are driving: we need the other road users around us to know what we’re doing in case our actions are going to affect them, and so that they can arrange themselves appropriately so that everyone can move around with wonderful efficiency.

Humans are incredibly impatient and want to get where they’re going with minimal hassle. Turn signals help with this.

Keep in mind, too, that there are often pedestrians. And they in particular may not know where you’re about to go, especially if they aren’t drivers themselves. No offence, but such people seem understandably clueless at times. So yes, please do use your turn signals in the parking lot, if it seems to make any sense.


Carmen became a driving instructor at the age of 22 in North Vancouver, Canada.

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