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Hand signals - antiquated?(7 posts)

Hand signals - antiquated?Thaddeus
Sep 6, 2002 11:57 AM
First of all, how many use them?


When you first learned to ride a bike, or were first given permission to ride in the streets you were taught three simple hand signals: Right turn, left turn and slowing/stopping. All signaled with the left hand.

The left hand was selected, because these signals are from early auto use, when there were no indicator lights and the driver had to signal his intentions. However, I have noticed that many drivers do not recognise the right turn signal when I give it, and I am afraid that these hand-indicators are no longer being taught to new drivers.

Is it time to signal a right turn with the right arm extended much like we indicate a left turn?

One is still usefulmr_spin
Sep 6, 2002 12:06 PM
It's the one where you extend your arm, then close your hand except for the middle finger, which extends outward. This is not as effective internationally, but it works quite well in the USA.

Seriously, official hand signals as listed in driver training manuals are useless. Nobody knows what they mean, and they make sense for bikes anyway. In a car, the left arm is always used to signal because the right arm is inside the car (unless you are in the UK).

Bikes don't have this problem. If you want to signal left, simply point with your left arm extended. If you want to turn right, point with your right arm. No one can misinterpret these signals.
So, emulate Harley drivers?RickC5
Sep 6, 2002 1:14 PM
Seriously, whether or not they are actually "recognized" by younger drivers, I still use them because it just MIGHT give the car driver behind you the idea that you are about to do something other than proceed in a straight line.
Already codified....KEN2
Sep 6, 2002 2:00 PM
Many states (including Texas, where I live) already have the right-arm-extended signal in their statutes. In TX it says something like "bicyclists may substitute an extended right arm for the vertical left arm to signal a right turn." And it just makes sense as effective communication, whether it's in your state's laws or not.
Right arm=right turn, left arm=left turn. no others.fbg111
Sep 7, 2002 7:21 AM
I figure those are the only two that drivers these days recognize. They certainly don't know that left arm up = right turn, and I seriously doubt that they even know the slow down signal. When I need to slow down, I just make sure there's no one directly behind me, and I do it.
Right arm=right turn, left arm=left turn. no others.jtolleson
Sep 7, 2002 10:09 AM
Yep. I only use the "slowing/stopping" gesture on group rides (pace line, pack, or otherwise someone crowded route) and even then accompany in by loudly saying "slowing!" and pulling all the way over if I can.

But pointing in the direction of a turn is never understood.
Sep 7, 2002 11:48 AM
Sure, everyone supposed to know the "right" way to signal a turn, but they don't. So you can either use the official driver's manual signal and get run over, or you can point (with emphasis) in a way everyone can understand.