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Thread: Hand Signals

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    Member Davey62's Avatar
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    Hand Signals

    Ok, I know that the correct hand signals utilize the left arm, and that stop is the left hand down at 90 degrees, and a left turn is the left arm fully extended. The correct right hand signal is the left arm extended up at 90 degrees, which is fine for a turn, but hardly visible for changing lanes from the left lane to the right lane. Shouldn't they change the right turn signal to something more visible?

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    Check section 545.107 Texas Bike Laws - Be Kind to Cyclists

    to wit:

    Sec. 545.107. METHOD OF GIVING HAND AND ARM SIGNALS
    -
    To indicate turning left, extend your left arm horizontally
    - To indicate turning right, cyclists can either extend their right arm or extend left arm and hand upward
    - To indicate slowing down or stopping, extend hand and arm downward

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    Not quite there yet Matariki's Avatar
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    In NC, the Driver's Handbook shows right arm extended as an acceptable substitute to the standard left hand up (which I doubt that most non-cyclists understand anyway).
    Any information, no matter how good, will always under-represent reality.
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    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBinNYC View Post
    Check section 545.107 Texas Bike Laws - Be Kind to Cyclists

    to wit:

    Sec. 545.107. METHOD OF GIVING HAND AND ARM SIGNALS
    -
    To indicate turning left, extend your left arm horizontally
    - To indicate turning right, cyclists can either extend their right arm or extend left arm and hand upward
    - To indicate slowing down or stopping, extend hand and arm downward
    we have the same choices in Michigan.
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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Do what you think will be the most conspicuous and informative to the other road users around you, not what at driver's manual might suggest/dictate.
    Ride more. Fret less.

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    I ride mainly neighborhood streets in a small town. At intersections, I've found that to be sure motorists know what my intentions are, I point at myself and then the direction I intend to go. And I make sure they are looking at me when I signal. I use my right arm, for no particular reason. The motorists all seem to get the signals just fine, usually giving me a nod and a wave.

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    Washington also gives the option of using the right arm to signal,
    Keeping it simple and using the standard hand signals as prescribed seems to work the best, and cause the least confusion.


    All hand signals required of persons operating bicycles shall be given in the following manner:

    (1) Left turn. Left hand and arm extended horizontally beyond the side of the bicycle;

    (2) Right turn. Left hand and arm extended upward beyond the side of the bicycle, or right hand and arm extended horizontally to the right side of the bicycle;

    (3) Stop or decrease speed. Left hand and arm extended downward beyond the side of the bicycle.

    The hand signals required by this section shall be given before initiation of a turn.

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    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    I usually signal a right hand turn by pointing right with my right index finger and a right arm extended.

    But the other day, I was herding my motorcycle to storage and faced a right hand turn... Dangit, bicycle habit was thwarted, and I had to use my left hand to indicate a right turn, while grabbing the clutch.

    Confused the heck out of me.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    I don't use hand signals because. While I have a balance issue related to my physical health. Some motorists' just don't understand them.

    Apart from that. When I am at a stoplight where there is a right turn-only lane, and a left/straight lane. I will position myself on the line between the two lanes. So the right-turn traffic can still make their turn, and get the attention of the motorist in the left/straight to let them know what direction I will be headed.

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    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    I don't use hand signals because. While I have a balance issue related to my physical health. Some motorists' just don't understand them.

    Apart from that. When I am at a stoplight where there is a right turn-only lane, and a left/straight lane. I will position myself on the line between the two lanes. So the right-turn traffic can still make their turn, and get the attention of the motorist in the left/straight to let them know what direction I will be headed.
    Non-turn-signaller!

    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

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    I've worried that using my left arm to signal right will give a driver the impression I am "flipping them off," with unintended consequences.
    Never try to teach a pig to sing...

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    In Minnesota the right arm extended is OK to use as a right turn. I also think this makes much more sense because you are basically pointing the way you are going. I believe drivers understand what I am doing when in traffic.

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    The all right arm signal rules are based on the logical assumption that driver's left arms aren't long enough to reach through the passenger window. They don't apply to bicycles, and are an anachronism since cars now all have turn signal lights.

    The left for left turn and slow are fine for bicycles, but the left for right is illogical since the car a cyclist most wants to communicate with for a right is to the right. If you signal with the right, the driver to the right will get and understand the message. Do so with the upturned left and who knows.

    So regardless of the law, cyclists should act in a way that offers the best odds of correct interpretation of their signals.

    I suspect that this is simply a failure of laws to keep up with reality, and IMO reality trumps law every time.
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    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Using your right arm to signal a right turn is fine and proper. A right turn signal with your left hand is confusing. It was made this way regarding motorists, who are either in a car or covering the brake in anticipation of a turn.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    But the other day, I was herding my motorcycle to storage and faced a right hand turn... Dangit, bicycle habit was thwarted, and I had to use my left hand to indicate a right turn, while grabbing the clutch.
    Why didn't you just use your turn signal?

    I always signal with the hand on the side I'm turning;doubt many folks nowadays would recognize a right signal with the left arm,they'd prolly think I was waving.

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    Right hand use is allowed in PA as well, and is much more easily understood.

    If only my signals could be seen in the dark...

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    ^^^^ Use day glow wrist bands or gloves that reflect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
    ^^^^ Use day glow wrist bands or gloves that reflect.
    When I expect to need turn signals I wear a lighted leg band on my left wrist. For me, left turn and "slow" signals are more important than right turn since I can generally avoid having cars to my right. The only time I feel the need to signal anything on my daily commute is on the way home where I have to move left on a busy & dark 4 lane climb where I need to be sure that no one will attempt to pass as I make the lane switch.
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    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    Right hand use is allowed in PA as well, and is much more easily understood.

    If only my signals could be seen in the dark...
    This is what those retroreflective snap bracelets are best for. There's also the Glo-Glove, or just get some Scotchlite iron-on for your regular gloves. I put a strip of yellow on the back of the hand just for signalling.

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    I use high-viz work gloves that have reflective material on them.

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    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    I use high-viz work gloves that have reflective material on them.
    How much? I've seen some where it was a good 3-4 square inches, but others where it's just a little piping that's not nearly as easy to see as a 1" wide strip across the whole hand. Personally, I've thought about adding a strip down the back of the index finger so I can actually point more effectively.

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