Bike Hand Signals

I’m curious how people handle signaling while biking. When I am driving my car I usually signal for every turn or lane change that I make. Even if no other car is in sight, I still signal. When I am on my bike I only signal turns if there are vehicles, bikes, pedestrians in the immediate vicinity (and even then I do not always signal).

I do not use the method of signaling I learned years ago that is exclusive to the left arm (pointing down and to the side for a left turn, raised up like a wave for a right turn), instead I use the simple downward point in the direction I am turning (left arm for left turns, right arm for right turns).

So if you’re a bike rider I’d like to hear how you handle signaling.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Bike Hand Signals

  1. caityrosey

    I actually us both arms, but do the old school signaling. It depends on which arm is most free or most visible to traffic.

    It’s not kosher but I think it’s better than just pointing. People might not notice the pointing. And it’s not always ideal to point in the direction you’re planning to go, balance wise and visibility wise.

    • Thanks for the comment, Caity.

      When I say I point to signal turning I’m not referring to simply using a finger. I extend my full arm in a downward fashion, pointing in the direction I’m turning. My suspicion is that most drivers and pedestrians think the old school right turn signal is either a wave or a signal that you’re stopping (like army scouts use in movies).

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