Taking a driver’s license means that you understand the rules of the road and trust me, they are really important. The rules of the road include letting other bicyclists and other drivers know about your intended movements. These rules make sure that you and others are safe on the road!
You might not know this but all over the United States, it is very important to know about the bike hand signals and using them. The law concerning these hand signals isn’t that much reinforced but it helps the riders, these signals help them communicate about their movements to others.
If you don’t know how to use the bike hand signals then now is the perfect time to start, indicating left turn and right turn through the hand signals is quite fun and this guide will help you learn everything about these signs.
The Importance of Bike Hand Signals
According to a research study made, there were many bicycle-related accidents in 2015 alone. There were 1000 reported bicyclist deaths and more than 467,000 bicyclists suffered injuries in accidents and crashes. The reasons for these accidents are varied, there are various hazards on the roads, poor road conditions, but one of the main reasons is the misunderstanding that occurs between the cyclists and motorists.
Did you know that using bike hand signals actually reduces the risk of being hit by a car? Using hand signals does not fully protect you from motor vehicles, I mean they might get careless and hit you on the road. Although using hand signals definitely reduces the possibility of that ever happening.
No matter what direction you are going on, turning left, right turn, or slowing down, these hand signals will definitely make your life easier. The turn signal, no matter how you use it, will come in handy and make not just yours but also others’ lives easier.
What are The Essential Bike Hand Signals?
There are many bike hand signals that you need to know. In order to use any kind of bike hand sign, you just need to look back on the road while riding and make eye contact with whomever you wish to tell about your movement or indication.
Looking back on the road will give you a broad idea of what is happening around you and you can also communicate better that way. Many cyclists, both professionals, and casuals sometimes have a problem when they intend to stop or slow down. That is why it is recommended to signal 100 feet before if you want to stop or slow down, this will let others give time to process the signal and stop.
When using the signal, it is also recommended to hold the signal for about 3-4 seconds before you stop, slow down, or make a turn!
Taking a Left Turn
Let’s start with the most basic of bike hand signals. If you want to signal a left turn while riding, all you need to do is extend your left arm to your side, that’s it. You need to keep your hand open, otherwise, there would be confusion with the signal.
The timing also needs to be proper, make the signal exactly 100 feet before making the turn. This perfect signal window allows you to make the signal properly, and get your hand back on the bike before you make the turn. Just make sure that the arm extended in the right direction.
Taking A Right Turn
When it comes to taking a right turn, there are two bike hand signals for it. The two methods are famous because of the frequency and ease of usage, you can use either one of these methods to signal for a right turn.
Let’s start with the method that is the most popular. You just need to extend your right arm to your side, the same way as you did with the left turn. In order to make the arm fully extend, don’t make other movements. This is a very easy method to use but it is not allowed in some states of America.
There is another method that you can use, extend your left arm straight to the side as you did with the left turn, then turn the arm up at a 90-degree angle, this might seem confusing but you can practice it over and over again. Keeping the arm straight is a priority here.
As with the other bike hand signal, make sure that you make the signal 100 feet before turning. This will alert the other vehicles and cyclists in time.
Stopping Or Slowing Down
Stopping or Slowing Down is another common bike hand signal used by cyclists. Many cyclists are mistaken that this sign is handy or important but it actually is because most of the bikes don’t have brake lights, thus telling when they are slowing down is difficult.
In order to indicate that you are slowing or stopping down just extend your left arm to the left side, and bend your left hand down to a 90-degree angle, make sure that your hand is open and not closed. Even if you are changing lanes, this sign will come in extremely handy!
There is another bike hand signal that you should know about, it is called the road hazard or pothole. If there is a hazard on the road and you are approaching it then you can indicate it to others, the hazard could be anything from pothole to a drain cover.
All you have to do is stretch your arm to the side and point at the hazard, and if there is time you can even make a circle with your hand. This is a good way of letting others know about potential dangers.
Bike Hand Signals are very necessary for when you are riding on the road. These won’t just make your life easier but also for others. Remember, these hand signal laws are not reinforced but they are important for road riding, and they also lessen the possibility of accidents.
We hope that through this guide, you now know the importance of bike hand signs and the important signals. Be safe out there!