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Thread: Hand signals

  1. #1
    vol
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    Hand signals

    How many people know these hand signals? I didn't know the three variations. I have only signaled when making left turn, and it turns out (according to this site convention) I made the wrong signal--I used straight arm, which seems to be for right turn? But I am sure I had made my intention clear.

    The only possible use for signaling for right turn for me would be if I'm riding on a bike lane that is on the left side of a street.

    Has anyone needed to signal a "stop"? When would that be needed?

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    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    They have the diagram wrong.

    Left hand extended outward is a left turned, pointing up is a right turn and pointing down is a slow/stop. In Colorado and other states, you extend your right arm out to indicate a right turn.

    CDOT's Bike Ped manual indicate the accepted signals in Colorado and are accurate.

    http://www.coloradodot.info/programs...-road.pdf/view
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    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Other hand signals around here for cyclists only are left hand out, go left... right hand out go right. left hand 90-degrees down, stopping.

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    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeybikes View Post
    They have the diagram wrong.
    Thank the Lord you caught it! Guess they should be noticed!

    In what situation would one need to signal for stopping?

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    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    Has anyone needed to signal a "stop"? When would that be needed?
    When you are preparing for or in the process of stopping.

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    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    What is there to discuss? Just point in the direction you are going to turn with the arm on that side of your bike.

    If you want to use the motorist's version of the right turn hand signal, go for it, but it's not necessary.

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    Conservative Hippie
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    Those signals are wrong. Whoever made that diagram doesn't know the signals. The link Mikey posted has them correct. I use left arm straight out for left turns, right arm straight out for right turns.

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    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Some localities don't also allow (by law) the right arm extended for right turn. I doubt that would ever cause any problems for anyone that used it in those places though.
    The only time I use bent arm right turn signal is if there is someone on my right who is also turning and I don't want to whack them.

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    The only times I've used the stop signal to actually signal a stop are on group rides. I have used it to signal to cars about to pass me that that particular moment would not be a good time to pass me. Add frantic waving for emphasis.

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    Senior Member canopus's Avatar
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    Learned the correct ones 26 years ago. Used all the time depending on surroundings.
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    These signals are for the most part pointless. In my jurisdiction they are the law. Not a single person has been observed by me doing them in 50 years. The facts are that turning right is never really dangerous in a way that signaling would help: Oncoming car doesn't care. Passing car doesn't care. Turning right with you either is ahead or behind you, in which case it doesn't mater, or is going with you in which case if they think you are going through it s actually safer for you because they will hang back, if they are going at the exact same time as you, then you better be on your toes, possibly involving braking, oh wait a second the front brake hand is waving in the air... (My bikes all get the front brake switched tot he right handle).

    Similar issues when making a right hand turn against and oncoming car coming left across you.

    Stopping is a whole big thing. First of all unlike brake light on a car, it generally isn't a big issue since bikes keep to the right. in the city, bikes ignore stop signs on a 4 way, and obey them (OK probably not full stop) on a two way where they aren't the through traffic, same with lights. Normally I have better things to do than signal, like use the brakes. This crap must have been developed when coaster brakes were the norm. Attempts to allow cars to take their right of way, are normally pointless. Even in bad areas for bikes, like where I live east of Toronto, most cars just sit there till you clear the intersection, they don't want anything to do with you at stops.

    Often in the city, even where the roads are good, there are large storm drains near corners, and bikes have handling issues as they roll up to the corner. You can go right through the drains, sometimes, but you will need both hands on the bars. Or you go around them, let's say approaching a right hand turn. So that's what, a left signal as yo go around? A stop signal and right hand turn signal? You would look like a windmill if you were still in control of the bike at all.

    Most motorists heads will explode, they have no more idea what your hand signals mean, than apparently the people making the instructional materials.

    So sure, group rides, other situations can come up, good to known them, good around cops. In big cities it's as with cars you throw them in after having jumped the guy you are in traffic with so that it's a fait accomplis before you signal, cause you know he will take an early signal as a chance to cut you off. So If I have the speed to get over for a left hand turn, I will throw one in, just so the guy doesn't get mad. But I am not going out there in the first place unless i have the drop on the traffic anyway.
    Last edited by NoReg; 11-05-10 at 01:57 PM.

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    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    I find all the signals to be very useful and I believe are partly a reason my driving is so trouble free vs. the moaning I hear so often here about motorist this and that.

    The right turn signal is useful as one can't signal slowing and turning at the same time, so drivers behind you know you are slowing and preparing for a turn.

    Stop signal is useful approaching places you plan to stop ahead so driver behind know you are slowing.

    Stop signal is useful approaching intersections where you have a stop sign so drivers who may be coming to intersection at similar time know you intend to stop and will proceed normally if they have the right of way.

    This list goes on especially when adding cases to use those signals to be courteous to others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    ....
    Has anyone needed to signal a "stop"? When would that be needed?
    When you're riding amidst other cyclists you don't know and approach intersections you intend to stop at. I need to do it every once in a while on my commute.

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    There are so many errors on that page, it is comical. Did you know that it is not legal to ride a bicycle in NY without coaster brakes? -
    Do not wear earphones plugged into a radio or tape player while riding a bike - presumably MP3 players or CD players are just fine.

    He also tells you to keep both hands on the handlebars - which makes the backwards hand signals even harder to do.

    This gives me great confidence in those who write the NY state laws.

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    I signal all of the time and it's especially useful when taking the lane or swinging over to a left turn lane. I use the International High Sign almost daily as well.
    Runnin' With The Pack

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    Bicikli Huszár sudo bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    Stop signal is useful approaching intersections where you have a stop sign so drivers who may be coming to intersection at similar time know you intend to stop and will proceed normally if they have the right of way.
    This is the number one situation I use it in, personally. It helps drivers be confident you are going to actually stop and act appropriately at said intersections, in my experience.
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    aka Jerome CritEastwood's Avatar
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    Even with Fresno tweakers?
    Runnin' With The Pack

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    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    I use right and left hand signals all the time for changing lanes and left signal when making left turns at intersections.

    I use the stop/slow signal when someone tailgates me and I start slowing them down
    or
    when a car stops in front of me and I do not think the driver behind me is paying attention ahead.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

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    Bicikli Huszár sudo bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CritEastwood View Post
    Even with Fresno tweakers?
    Even with.
    "The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind. I love the bicycle. I always have. I can think of no sincere, decent human being, male or female, young or old, saint or sinner, who can resist the bicycle."

    - William Saroyan

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    Subjectively Insane MilitantPotato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterRun View Post

    /thread
    You've got a bike, so you gotta move.

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    Mud, Gore & Guts eddubal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    I find all the signals to be very useful and I believe are partly a reason my driving is so trouble free vs. the moaning I hear so often here about motorist this and that...
    +1

    I rode into the lion's den today: a New Jersey mall. Using signals, and getting out of the way (not "taking a lane") unless absolutely necessary, seemed to get a LOT of respect from America's worst drivers. Once my left arm went up to signal my intention, the drivers behind me backed off and let me move where I needed. I was actually quite pleasnatly surprised.

    I also found that instead of the stop signal, a simple wave of the hand left and right worked better to let the driver in the cross street know that I intended to let them go first.

    The one thing that seemed to freak people out was when I was in a track stand position. It was like deer in the headlights....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    These signals are for the most part pointless. [...] The facts are that turning right is never really dangerous in a way that signaling would help:
    That's cool, as long as you don't start moaning when I plough into from behind because I had no idea you were going to turn right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    (My bikes all get the front brake switched tot he right handle).
    So? You can make all the signals with your left hand. That's the point of the crooked-upward arm. Same as motorcycling

    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    Normally I have better things to do than signal, like use the brakes.
    Ah, you're incompent and/or riding like a fool. I can see why you don't like the signals then. Carry on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    Often in the city, even where the roads are good, there are large storm drains near corners, and bikes have handling issues as they roll up to the corner. You can go right through the drains, sometimes, but you will need both hands on the bars. Or you go around them, let's say approaching a right hand turn. So that's what, a left signal as yo go around? A stop signal and right hand turn signal? You would look like a windmill if you were still in control of the bike at all.
    See above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CritEastwood View Post
    I signal all of the time and it's especially useful when taking the lane or swinging over to a left turn lane. I use the International High Sign almost daily as well.
    Like a greedy child, I receive that signal far more often than I give it away. I always assume they are signaling that I am number one, but their index finger doesn't work so they substitute tall man.

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    I learned these signals (in correct form) in motorcycle school, since you need your right hand on the throttle/front brake. If i recall, i also learned them in drivers' ed, since cars are where one-armed signalling comes from.

    Moto school also teaches you to signal and look because you never trust motorists. I suppose this goes double for when you are riding a bicycle and have no brake lights. If there are cyclists behind me, i'll signal before i slow as a courtesy.

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