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Hand signals....doesn't anybody use them right anymore?

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Hand signals....doesn't anybody use them right anymore?

Old 06-01-11, 06:16 PM
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MLKATO
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Hand signals....doesn't anybody use them right anymore?

When I make a turn,especially a left hand turn,I extend my hand out as much as possible being on the safe side and hold it there for a while. I've seen some cyclist/motorcyclist whip it up in a blinding speed then putting it back. To me it looks like they're waving at somebody.Most cyclists I've seen use signals like I do.How do you do it,and what is the correct way to use hand signals?
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Old 06-01-11, 06:33 PM
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I use them regularly, and I use the extended right arm to signal a right turn since most motorists today do not understand the upward bent left arm signaling method.
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Old 06-01-11, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
I use them regularly, and I use the extended right arm to signal a right turn since most motorists today do not understand the upward bent left arm signaling method.
I do the same, including the extended right arm. (I think that the bent left arm was developed for cars, as drivers typically can't extend their right arm out through the righthand passenger window).
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Old 06-01-11, 09:31 PM
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I tried using the extended right arm for a right turn... and forgot that the left brake lever controls the front brakes.
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Old 06-01-11, 09:33 PM
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+1 to the 2 above posts
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Old 06-01-11, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by MLKATO View Post
How do you do it,and what is the correct way to use hand signals?
Check your state laws. In CA: "22108. Any signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given continuously during the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning."

There's an exception in the bike laws that says you don't have to signal if both hands are required to control the bike, which I take to include heavy braking, turning, and accelerating.
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Old 06-01-11, 09:50 PM
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I use them - although i just read on another site that a right turn signal for a bike should be with your right arm pointing to the right. Point in the direction you want to go, drivers understand that better than the right hand signal. I don't think some drivers even know the hand signals anyhow.
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Old 06-02-11, 12:45 AM
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I use the left and right arm extended signals all the time. Last week I signaled a left and a construction company driver behind me stopped to let me go, even though he had the right of way. I waved thanks as I turned.
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Old 06-02-11, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by MLKATO View Post
When I make a turn,especially a left hand turn,I extend my hand out as much as possible being on the safe side and hold it there for a while. I've seen some cyclist/motorcyclist whip it up in a blinding speed then putting it back. To me it looks like they're waving at somebody.Most cyclists I've seen use signals like I do.How do you do it,and what is the correct way to use hand signals?
I use them all the time. And being "old school" I signal all signals with the left arm.
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Old 06-02-11, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
I use them regularly, and I use the extended right arm to signal a right turn since most motorists today do not understand the upward bent left arm signaling method.
I know that these days that it's accepted to signal a right turn using the right arm. But I do not find it to be comfortable. It could be as noted above that I am "old school." I have also talked with friends who agree that when looking for a right turn that they look for it to be given with the left arm.

It's probably that like me that they're "old school." At least one of them is a professional driver and looks for turn signals to be given on the left side.
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Old 06-02-11, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by alhedges View Post
I do the same, including the extended right arm. (I think that the bent left arm was developed for cars, as drivers typically can't extend their right arm out through the right hand passenger window).
I believe that that is correct, plus also stop and think about this. If one is riding a motorcycle the throttle is on the right side. How smart would it be to take one's hand of the throttle?
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Old 06-02-11, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by CaptainCool View Post
Check your state laws. In CA: "22108. Any signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given continuously during the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning."

There's an exception in the bike laws that says you don't have to signal if both hands are required to control the bike, which I take to include heavy braking, turning, and accelerating.
Florida has a similar passage in our law regarding the use of signals. It wouldn't surprise me if most if not all states have a similar passage in their laws.
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Old 06-02-11, 01:49 AM
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I use my arms (the side that I'm turning to) signal if I'm stopped or if I want to make it crystal clear where I'm headed. If I'm moving along with traffic at a fairly high speed, I use a head check to indicate I'm lane changing since I feel safer keeping both hands on the wheels while maneuvering the bike with cars nearby.
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Old 06-02-11, 04:28 AM
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The bent left arm signal is afaik totally unknown in Europe - (and the rest of the world outside the U.S?)
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Old 06-02-11, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
The bent left arm signal is afaik totally unknown in Europe - (and the rest of the world outside the U.S?)
I still use a bent left arm from years of habit, but it's also more visible to drivers since I'm usually on their right. They may have to think for a moment but they should probably learn to think anyway.

Marc
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Old 06-02-11, 06:35 AM
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So is everyone signaling their stops as well? Since that is one of the three signals used. And it's 'old school'.
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Old 06-02-11, 06:47 AM
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Growing up in england in the mid 1800's I was taught to slowly flap my straight outstretched arm up and down to signal a stop... Dunno if they still do that there - not if the youtube bike vids in London are anything to go by
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Old 06-02-11, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
Growing up in england in the mid 1800's I was taught to slowly flap my straight outstretched arm up and down to signal a stop... Dunno if they still do that there - not if the youtube bike vids in London are anything to go by
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Old 06-02-11, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
Growing up in england in the mid 1800's I was taught to slowly flap my straight outstretched arm up and down to signal a stop... Dunno if they still do that there - not if the youtube bike vids in London are anything to go by
Never heard of that one. I've only ever seen the bent left arm with hand facing down. Opposite of the right turn signal with left arm.
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Old 06-02-11, 06:56 AM
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how dare you suggest such a thing, you young whippersnapper... Bicycling has kept my body healthy, though my mind has been a bit feeble for the last hundred years or so!
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Old 06-02-11, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by MLKATO View Post
When I make a turn,especially a left hand turn,I extend my hand out as much as possible being on the safe side and hold it there for a while. I've seen some cyclist/motorcyclist whip it up in a blinding speed then putting it back. To me it looks like they're waving at somebody.Most cyclists I've seen use signals like I do.How do you do it,and what is the correct way to use hand signals?
Wierd, what's the point of them signaling so fast that no one can see it? May as well have not at all.
come to think of it, i see cars do a lot of pointlessly late/brief signaling as well. I guess people follow the letter of the law but the reasoning behind it gets lost on them...

I take a practical approach, If I need to merge/turn left and there's traffic, then my left hand stays out as long as it takes for someone to take notice and make some room for me. That's the whole point right?to communicate and thus enable you to manuver.
conversly, if there's no traffic blocking me, I don't bother to signal and just keep hands on bars where they're the most useful for bike control.
Also I tend to never find a need to signal right turns, since there is either a dedicated right turn lane that I'll use for those; or I'll be taking a lane position to the right, in either case there's no one blocking my way who needs to be informed that they should be letting me by...

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Old 06-02-11, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
I know that these days that it's accepted to signal a right turn using the right arm. But I do not find it to be comfortable. It could be as noted above that I am "old school." I have also talked with friends who agree that when looking for a right turn that they look for it to be given with the left arm.

It's probably that like me that they're "old school." At least one of them is a professional driver and looks for turn signals to be given on the left side.
DC, I used the "old school" right turn signal for a number of years, with only a limited number of motorists understanding it's meaning. From my personal experiences with local motorists, the extended right arm method seems to be better understood, but in your locale, the bent left arm method might be the better option.
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Old 06-02-11, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by suprchunk View Post
So is everyone signaling their stops as well? Since that is one of the three signals used. And it's 'old school'.
Not so much at stop signs or signal lights, but most definitely when I have motorists behind me, I'm making a left hand turn and I'm in the process of making a stop in the middle of an intersection to wait for oncoming traffic to pass by (left signal first then drop to a stop signal).
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Old 06-02-11, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
If one is riding a motorcycle the throttle is on the right side. How smart would it be to take one's hand of the throttle?
Thinking back, like in my early days of bicycling, I don't even recall using hand signals on any of my motorcycles that didn't have turn signals, plus the left hand was kept busy enough working the clutch.
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Old 06-02-11, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
May as well have not at all.
come to think of it, i see cars do a lot of pointlessly late/brief signaling as well. I guess people follow the letter of the law but the reasoning behind it gets lost on them...
On LA Freeways, signaling is more of a thank you for letting me in rather than an single of intent. If you signal too soon, the gap will be closed up and you won't get in. I've seen that habit carry over to other turns as well.

On a bike, I try to make sure my signals are seen or why bother taking a hand of the handle bars. I'm old school as well using just the left hand, but I rarely single a right turn or stop as I live in a pretty uncrowded town and don't have that much traffic to signal intent to.
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