Rear red turn signal, unique to US cars

(Photo: Pexels)
The United States has been always unique in many ways, playing by a different playbook, even in automotive terms. Many features are unique to “US spec” cars. One of these is the car’s rear turn signal that come exceptionally in American cars in the color red. First, let’s look back at origins of the turn signal, which as is “turns out” is an American invention. So why do rear turn signals turn yellow in almost all countries of the world, while they are still red in the United States until today?اضافة اعلان

The turn indicators in the form of a flashing light appeared on cars in 1939, but they have seen little development since then, but the concept of turn signals go back a few decades back.

In 1907, American engineer Percy Douglas Hamilton, for the first time in automotive history, filed for a patent with the patent office for a “car direction indicator”, even though this mechanical device was far from what is now commonly called a “turn-by-turn” indicator. Made somewhat like modern lighting technology by Edgar Waltz Jr., who in 1925 patented a “turn signal” in the form of a flashing light bulb. He tried to sell the idea to the automakers, but they did not take the device seriously.

In 1939, exactly when Waltz Jr.’s patent expired, the American brand Buick was the first in the world to introduce a car with standard direction indicators in the rear lights — it was with its star model, the famous Roadmaster.

The turn signals were called “flash-way directional signals” and were controlled by a special switch called a handi-shift. A year later, Buick added turn signals to the front lights, and equipped them with an automatic shutdown mechanism after returning the steering wheel to the “zero” position.

After World War II, the turn signal levers moved from the dashboard to the left side of the steering column, where it remains today.

At the same time, “turn signals” appeared for the first time abroad — in Europe. Initially, they were white on the front and red in the back, but in the late 1950s, experts decided to urge the authorities to change the color of lighting equipment lights: For safety reasons, it was proposed to make the lamps yellow or orange to distinguish them from side lights or brake lights.

As a result, in 1967, the European Union ordered that white or yellow “turn signals” be used in the front, and only yellow ones in the back.

In the United States, in 1968, the authorities decided to do something a little different: in the front, the use of only yellow LEDs was described, in the back, yellow or red. As a result, the automakers took advantage of this loophole and left the lights red just like before, primarily for the sake of the economy, or perhaps for design.

According to some studies, red “turn signals” are less safe than yellow ones, but even safety considerations have not helped change this American tradition.

However, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has nothing against the red direction indicators, stating that “there is no compelling reason for the ban.” In Russia, in the CIS, the European Union, most countries in Asia and Africa, as well as in Australia, the “turn signal” is yellow.