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Please, drivers

Old 09-06-20, 08:45 PM
  #1  
Milton Keynes
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Please, drivers

Please learn what bicycle hand signals mean. This is the second time this has happened: I am pulling up to an intersection with a vehicle at a stop sign waiting for me to pass, when I am planning a turn. I use the proper hand signal to point the direction I am turning, and the driver thinks I am telling them to go ahead. Happened this morning, I have the right of way, car is stopped at a stop sign on my left. I am turning right, and point right with my right hand as I begin the turn. Driver starts to go, I reach for my brakes, luckily they see I'm still moving and stop moving through the intersection. l can only assume they thought I was motioning them to go ahead and go through, but I was signaling my turn. It almost makes me want to stop signaling in that particular situation before I get creamed by a driver who thinks I was waving them through.
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Old 09-06-20, 10:30 PM
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I only signal when it directly impacts other drivers/peds. I'd never signal to a car at a stop to my left when I have the r.ow. and am going straight or turning right.
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Old 09-06-20, 11:30 PM
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To riff on what the poster before me said ... if the car was to your left and you were turning right ... what difference would it make to your life if he doesn't wait for you to move off first and complete your turn? And what do you mean by "the proper hand signal"? The proper hand signal for a bicycle turning right is your right hand pointing right. I personally wouldn't assume that a driver to the left of me would even see my right hand, and if I used the (not unique to bicycles) upraised left hand to signal a right turn, yah, the driver might see it but would likely not interpret it as anymore a request to wait than if it was a car that was turning right in the next lane. If we are going to rag on drivers acting badly we should be clear on what 'badly' actually is.
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Old 09-07-20, 12:50 AM
  #4  
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Keep in mind that the OP is in the UK (I think).
So, everything is backwards.

A right hand turn would be crossing 2 lanes of traffic... and a turn signal is appropriate.

Around here, there is some precedence at stop signs, but most people go by first in, first out. And, I really haven't had much problem with people interpreting hand signals. One thing, make sure you move to a lane position that also indicates the direction you're wanting to turn. So move left if turning left, or move right if turning right.

In the USA, a bent left arm with hand pointing up is for a right turn (as a driver would do in a vintage car without turn signals), but most people simply point in the direction they wish to turn, which seems more universal.

Last edited by CliffordK; 09-07-20 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 09-07-20, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
In the USA, a bent left arm with hand pointing up is for a right turn (as a driver would do in a vintage car without turn signals), but most people simply point in the direction they wish to turn, which seems more universal.
An extended right arm is codified as a legal signal for a right turn in some states. But it still doesn't fix the problem of drivers not knowing what hand signals mean.
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Old 09-07-20, 07:18 AM
  #6  
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I always signal my intentions (when safe to do so), but I've found that sometimes (definitely not a majority of times) the drivers treat my signals like they treat yellow lights, i.e. they speed up. There's been a few times I've almost received a Right Hook, because a driver sped up trying to beat me to the turn. But it's very rare. Signaling is the right thing to do.
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Old 09-07-20, 08:07 AM
  #7  
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I've never had a problem, ever, with anyone (motorist, cyclist or pedestrian) being "confused" by my use of standard hand signals (right hand for right turn, left hand for left) to indicate my intent to make a left or right turn. I cycle and drive as if some may choose to ignore it, just as they might with motor vehicles' turn signals.

I consider it useful in providing my turning intentions to affected motorists. I do not expect that every motorist will respond to my signal as a command for them to drive appropriately. I don't ride anticipating that everyone will yield ROW or even slow down due to my hand signals.
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Old 09-07-20, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I've never had a problem, ever, with anyone (motorist, cyclist or pedestrian) being "confused" by my use of standard hand signals (right hand for right turn, left hand for left) to indicate my intent to make a left or right turn. I cycle and drive as if some may choose to ignore it, just as they might with motor vehicles' turn signals.

I consider it useful in providing my turning intentions to affected motorists. I do not expect that every motorist will respond to my signal as a command for them to drive appropriately. I don't ride anticipating that everyone will yield ROW or even slow down due to my hand signals.
This right here people. Seriously. It would NEVER occur to me to interpret a drivers disregard of my hand signals as some lack of understanding on their part. It's a hand signal not American Sign Language. You are, in effect, seriously underestimating their capabilities. Never underestimate your enemy to that degree. That would be more dangerous for you than for them.
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Old 09-07-20, 06:55 PM
  #9  
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Please, drivers:
Slow down
Be patient
Pay attention
Is that so f*****g hard?
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Old 09-07-20, 08:11 PM
  #10  
Iride01
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Whether I'm driving or cycling, I assume the other person is an idiot and plan for as many possible outs as I can.

I've also found that many drivers just don't realize how fast some cyclist are going. So even though they correctly interpret your signal they might just be thinking they'll be long gone before you get there.
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Old 09-08-20, 05:27 AM
  #11  
work4bike
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Pedestrians to cyclists on sidewalks, crosswalks and MUPs...

Please, cyclists:
Slow down
Be patient
Pay attention

Is that so f*****g hard?

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Old 09-08-20, 05:35 AM
  #12  
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The drivers reading these posts are "bike" riding drivers.
I never trust cars and bike defensively.
Watch some of the youtube street bike, mostly track bikes, to see some crazy city road vehicle avoiding skills.
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Old 09-08-20, 07:43 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Keep in mind that the OP is in the UK (I think).
So, everything is backwards.

As I recall, Milton is in the U.S., despite the name.
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Old 09-08-20, 07:52 AM
  #14  
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At a regular 4-way intersection, I would never bother to signal a right turn, I just slow down enough so that the turn can't possibly cross into the traffic lane on either street I signal right-bound lane shifts, and right turns where there's an irregular intersection such that there are cars to my right or possibly crossing to my right. Frankly, I see so few cyclists signal right turns that it's not at all surprising to me that people don't know what that signal is.
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Old 09-08-20, 07:58 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
Please learn what bicycle hand signals mean. This is the second time this has happened: I am pulling up to an intersection with a vehicle at a stop sign waiting for me to pass, when I am planning a turn. I use the proper hand signal to point the direction I am turning, and the driver thinks I am telling them to go ahead. Happened this morning, I have the right of way, car is stopped at a stop sign on my left. I am turning right, and point right with my right hand as I begin the turn. Driver starts to go, I reach for my brakes, luckily they see I'm still moving and stop moving through the intersection. l can only assume they thought I was motioning them to go ahead and go through, but I was signaling my turn. It almost makes me want to stop signaling in that particular situation before I get creamed by a driver who thinks I was waving them through.
Didn't understand it? Didn't see it? Wasn't paying attention?

Signals are "nice to have". It doesn't make sense to rely on them to keep you safe.

(I might have been taking the lane in that situation.)
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Old 09-08-20, 12:39 PM
  #16  
Milton Keynes
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Didn't understand it? Didn't see it? Wasn't paying attention?

Signals are "nice to have". It doesn't make sense to rely on them to keep you safe.

(I might have been taking the lane in that situation.)
I think they didn't understand it. I was taking the lane, I was making my right turn, they were going straight through the intersection. I pointed right and began to turn, they started to go but thankfully quickly stopped. I think they thought when I pointed right I was telling them to go ahead of me, even though I didn't have a stop sign (they did).
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Old 09-08-20, 01:09 PM
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If they are waiting I've been known to hold my hand up to let them know to stand fast, then point at myself then the direction I am turning.
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Old 09-08-20, 01:25 PM
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njkayaker
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
I think they didn't understand it.
It doesn't really matter. There are a few ways this could fail.


Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
I was taking the lane, I was making my right turn, they were going straight through the intersection. I pointed right and began to turn, they started to go but thankfully quickly stopped. I think they thought when I pointed right I was telling them to go ahead of me, even though I didn't have a stop sign (they did).
This is confusing.

They were on your left going straight but you took the lane (and were in front of them?). They went straight and you were turning right (away from them?). And they almost creamed you?

Not to say you shouldn't signal but a signal is really only necessary if you intend to move in front of the other vehicle.

=================================

Ahh. The other vehicle's path was on the road coming the left across the intersection. You were turning right onto the road the other vehicle was going straight on.

I would not expect the driver to see your right hand signal. It might be hard to see a car's right turn signal in such a case.

It might have been safer if the other driver thought you were going straight (not turning). That is, the hand signal might have worked against you.

=================================

I supposed part of the confusion is that I don't expect hand signals to work at all for such cross traffic.

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Old 09-08-20, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
If they are waiting I've been known to hold my hand up to let them know to stand fast, then point at myself then the direction I am turning.
This DOES sound like a method sure to confuse motorists.

You may know what you are going to do do, and what you want the motorist to do, but I have my doubts that most motorists, if any, will know or correctly interpret your combination of body language ("stand fast?") and obscure/arcane/confusing sequence of hand signaling.

I suspect the same probably also applies to the slowing down/stop hand signaling some other BF posters sometimes recommend cyclists use to signal to motorists who are approaching from behind.
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Old 09-08-20, 03:03 PM
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It has also happened to me in the past at one point, only the directions were reversed. I had ROW, driver on my right at stop sign ready to go straight through the intersection, and me making a left turn. So I signaled a regular left turn, and the driver pulled out in front of me and went through the intersection. It really does make me want to stop signaling when turning, even if there's a car behind me.
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Old 09-08-20, 10:36 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
It has also happened to me in the past at one point, only the directions were reversed. I had ROW, driver on my right at stop sign ready to go straight through the intersection, and me making a left turn. So I signaled a regular left turn, and the driver pulled out in front of me and went through the intersection. It really does make me want to stop signaling when turning, even if there's a car behind me.
The driver was treating you like s/he would have treated any other road vehicle that was in front of them when it was clear to go. The nanosecond, and I mean the nanosecond, that the driver (you) ahead starts to accelerate, so do they. No, they aren't going to rear end you, but they aren't going to stand there and wait either. Wait for what? All you had to do was keep moving, but you heard them move off and froze, so of course they did too. Why do you imagine they didn't understand your signal? Because they didn't (in your opinion) behave in the manner you expected? Surely not. The mistake is to expect civility and deference from ordinary people not imbued with Divine forbearance. Who knows, a bit of passive aggression might even have been at play if you in fact had "taken the lane". You don't think that is triggering enough to cause what happened? When I do anything that triggers drivers like take the lane or scorch a stop sign or red signal I am alert to the actions of the drivers nearby until I am safe from them. That would never be the time to have 'expectations'. People definitely vary in their responses to stimulus.
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Old 09-09-20, 07:04 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
The driver was treating you like s/he would have treated any other road vehicle that was in front of them when it was clear to go. The nanosecond, and I mean the nanosecond, that the driver (you) ahead starts to accelerate, so do they. No, they aren't going to rear end you, but they aren't going to stand there and wait either. Wait for what? All you had to do was keep moving, but you heard them move off and froze, so of course they did too. Why do you imagine they didn't understand your signal? Because they didn't (in your opinion) behave in the manner you expected? Surely not. The mistake is to expect civility and deference from ordinary people not imbued with Divine forbearance. Who knows, a bit of passive aggression might even have been at play if you in fact had "taken the lane". You don't think that is triggering enough to cause what happened? When I do anything that triggers drivers like take the lane or scorch a stop sign or red signal I am alert to the actions of the drivers nearby until I am safe from them. That would never be the time to have 'expectations'. People definitely vary in their responses to stimulus.
Nothing in Milton's post indicates that the driver went after he started moving, and it's quite clear from the post that the driver behind actually moved before he did, not the "nanosecond" after. I know you like to make up facts to make people look bad, but this one is really stupid. I'm pretty sure moving before the car ahead of you (or any other vehicle) actually moves is a moving violation in any state and if you rear-ended the vehicle ahead of you as a result, no question you'd be liable.

We agree on one thing, assume drivers' hostile reactions are a distinct possibility you should prepare for. I do think it's ridiculous for you to come down on Milton for expressing frustration with this. You'll excuse me if I'm rather intolerant of your nonsense about blame on the left turn signal scenario, but I had an incident a couple weeks ago where I was moving at a very good clip, signalled that I was moving into the left lane for a left-hand turn, and a guy driving at least a half-block behind me (way far enough to make my lane shift completely legal) actually sped up by about 100% to try to block me and he damn near hit me because that action really was unpredictable and I was already in the lane before I realized what he was doing. Fortunately, we exchanged nothing but words, none of which I can relate here.
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Old 09-09-20, 08:03 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
It has also happened to me in the past at one point, only the directions were reversed. I had ROW, driver on my right at stop sign ready to go straight through the intersection, and me making a left turn. So I signaled a regular left turn, and the driver pulled out in front of me and went through the intersection. It really does make me want to stop signaling when turning, even if there's a car behind me.
The driver was treating you like s/he would have treated any other road vehicle that was in front of them when it was clear to go.
Nothing in Milton's post indicates that the driver went after he started moving, and it's quite clear from the post that the driver behind actually moved before he did, not the "nanosecond" after. I know you like to make up facts to make people look bad, but this one is really stupid. I'm pretty sure moving before the car ahead of you (or any other vehicle) actually moves is a moving violation in any state and if you rear-ended the vehicle ahead of you as a result, no question you'd be liable.

​​​​​​
???

The driver wasn't behind him. The driver was on his right on the cross street.

Last edited by njkayaker; 09-09-20 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 09-09-20, 08:49 AM
  #24  
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Hand signals are a form of communication. Someone told me once that communication will always fail. As you add ambiguity, inattention, and ignorance, the failure could approach catastrophic levels. I usually signal when I feel that other road users would benefit from knowing what I plan, but I always try to be prepared for unexpected things. Play it by ear Milton. Some drivers will appreciate your continued signals.
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Old 09-09-20, 10:45 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I suspect the same probably also applies to the slowing down/stop hand signaling some other BF posters sometimes recommend cyclists use to signal to motorists who are approaching from behind.
Uh, NHTSA on bicycle hand signals.

My opinion, most people understand the straight arm hand signals, few people understand the bent arm hand signals.

BTW, these are the ONLY hand signals that most people should use. (For the few who do group rides, understand and use the hand signals your group uses. Most groups use most of the same hand signals, but there are some variations.)

What gets people in trouble is when they start DIRECTING traffic, no matter if they are behind a wheel, behind handlebars, or on foot. It’s a bad idea even if your hand signals are clear, but when you start using made up out of thin air flappy bird signals it isn’t savvy.

-mr. bill
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