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Do they still teach hand signals in driver's ed?

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Do they still teach hand signals in driver's ed?

Old 01-19-05, 10:44 PM
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sbhikes
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Do they still teach hand signals in driver's ed?

I've been wondering this for a while. I use hand signals both when riding my bike and on my Vespa. No problems with left turn hand signals. People seem to understand them. But right turn hand signals, nobody seems to know what that is. I think they believe I'm waving hello or something. Do they still teach hand signals in driver's ed?

The other weird thing I see all the time is I give a hand signal (and on my Vespa it's in addition to my electric turn signal) and it appears the cars don't believe me. Sure, you can accidentally have an electronic turn signal blinking away so I can see why you might not trust that, but if I'm sticking my hand out there it's no accident. I didn't just "forget" my hand was sticking out after my last turn.

Anyway, the right turn signal is left arm bent up at the elbow, right? That's what it used to be anyway.
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Old 01-19-05, 11:13 PM
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I have seen this "I think they believe I'm waving hello" kind of thing posted quite a few times recently. I am curious what makes people believe this? I use the standard right-turn hand signal (left arm bent 90 degrees with hand above elbow) and have never had any cause to believe that people thought I was waving hello. Do people wave back at you or what? I have never had that happen. I just carry out my turn as signaled. Just curious what makes people say this.
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Old 01-20-05, 02:53 AM
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I still believe they teach they proper hand signals in drivers ed. The downside though was that during the auctaul driving practium of the course we were using the flicking light car signals and there was no stress on the hand signals.
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Old 01-20-05, 09:28 AM
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Very timely post.

On my commute home yesterday I was riding along in a very low volume 25mph zone at about 20mph approaching an intersection where I was to turn left. A car was approaching behind. I signaled left with a stiff arm pointing 90 deg to me left for about 10sec, car was still far enough behind to merge left to the left side of the lane to make the left turn from. I stopped at intersection and suddenly found this same car on my left IN THE WRONG LANE. I looked over at driver with a puzzled look and she looked back, realized she had screwed up and said to me (it was 81deg and windows were down) "Oh, I thought you wanted me to go around you" At least she knew she was an idiot so I didn't need to say any more and we went on our ways (me first)

Al
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Old 01-20-05, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam
Very timely post.

On my commute home yesterday I was riding along in a very low volume 25mph zone at about 20mph approaching an intersection where I was to turn left. A car was approaching behind. I signaled left with a stiff arm pointing 90 deg to me left for about 10sec, car was still far enough behind to merge left to the left side of the lane to make the left turn from. I stopped at intersection and suddenly found this same car on my left IN THE WRONG LANE. I looked over at driver with a puzzled look and she looked back, realized she had screwed up and said to me (it was 81deg and windows were down) "Oh, I thought you wanted me to go around you" At least she knew she was an idiot so I didn't need to say any more and we went on our ways (me first)

Al
DOUBLE timely post. I gave a hand signal in my car to turn left into my driveway because I knew my left directional light was out (it had been smashed in a parking lot). The car behind me prompty whipped to the left and passed me...he was my neighbor down the street, and also assumed I was waving him by.

Hand signals are a very very poor way to signal your intentions, for many of the reasons discussed here: (1) They can be ambiguous; (2) they are not always visible, especially at night; (3) worst of all they require you to remove your hand from the steering mechanism at the very moment you probably need it the most!

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Old 01-20-05, 09:52 AM
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Most people seem to understand hand signals for "stop" and "left".

The hand signal for "Right" is a little too abstract for the general public. When it really matters, I prefer to point with my right hand to indicate that I am going "right".
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Old 01-20-05, 09:52 AM
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They don't teach them at Driver's Ed. now. I took Driver's Ed. in Maryland about a year and a half ago and there was no mention of it. I just happen to know the signals from when I was a kid, but there's no effort to even let drivers these days know that these signals exist. I never use the traditional right-turn signal (left arm up), I just point right with my right hand, most drivers seem befuddled by the left hand up thing.
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Old 01-20-05, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Roughstuff
Hand signals are a very very poor way to signal your intentions, for many of the reasons discussed here: (1) They can be ambiguous; (2) they are not always visible, especially at night; (3) worst of all they require you to remove your hand from the steering mechanism at the very moment you probably need it the most!

roughstuff
Thats why cars have had turn signals since 1938.
Al
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Old 01-20-05, 10:37 AM
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I point which way I'm going, but I also use an exaggerated gesture - first I put my arm up, and then point my finger in the direction I intend to turn, using kind of a snap. It's similar to the hand motions used by Australian Rules Football referees when a goal is scored, if that makes sense. Point and snap.
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Old 01-20-05, 03:30 PM
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-- OK here is how it shapes up so far:

From noisebeam: [she said] "Oh, I thought you wanted me to go around you"
From Roughstuff: The car behind me prompty whipped to the left and ... assumed I was waving him by.
From B10Cycle: They don't teach them at Driver's Ed. now.

This is very scary folks.

iowarose's idea may be onto something.
I will have to be more obvious in my signals to keep them from being misunderstood, plus use the "head turn" gesture.
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Old 01-20-05, 04:11 PM
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For what it's worth, I've never experienced a motorist misinterpreting a hand signal as meaning "go around me".
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Old 01-20-05, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by sbhikes
I've been wondering this for a while. I use hand signals both when riding my bike and on my Vespa. No problems with left turn hand signals. People seem to understand them. But right turn hand signals, nobody seems to know what that is. I think they believe I'm waving hello or something. Do they still teach hand signals in driver's ed?

The other weird thing I see all the time is I give a hand signal (and on my Vespa it's in addition to my electric turn signal) and it appears the cars don't believe me. Sure, you can accidentally have an electronic turn signal blinking away so I can see why you might not trust that, but if I'm sticking my hand out there it's no accident. I didn't just "forget" my hand was sticking out after my last turn.

Anyway, the right turn signal is left arm bent up at the elbow, right? That's what it used to be anyway.
I don't think they teach any turn signals based upon what I observe in traffic. A good portion of the police vehicles I observe fail to signal lane changes and turns.
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Old 01-20-05, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Serge *******
For what it's worth, I've never experienced a motorist misinterpreting a hand signal as meaning "go around me".
I had never either. And to clarify my previous story, this was not some floppy left turn signal that could be misinterpreted as a wave. This was my left arm held out rigidily for a solid 10sec with index finger extended. I also think this was a very rare instance involving a very inexperienced driver who just had no clue.

Al
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Old 01-20-05, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by skydive69
I don't think they teach any turn signals based upon what I observe in traffic. A good portion of the police vehicles I observe fail to signal lane changes and turns.
It is no freaking easy to use turn signals on a car. I obsessively use them.

I have noted that if I come to an intersection on my bike and a car is opposite in the left turn lane, they often then put on their signal - it almost like acknoledging they see me. Same thing when I come up behind a car in the right lane, they put on right turn signal only after they see me so as to (rightfully) say don't pass me on my right, I'm turning.

Al
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Old 01-20-05, 06:36 PM
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I am not sure if the hand signals are not taught in Drivers Ed in CAlifornia but it is in the CA Vehicle Code.

For Californians, here's an excerpt from the CA Vehicle Code:

22110. (a) The signals required by this chapter shall be given by
signal lamp, unless a vehicle is not required to be and is not
equipped with turn signals. Drivers of vehicles not required to be
and not equipped with turn signals shall give a hand and arm signal
when required by this chapter.
(b) In the event the signal lamps become inoperable while driving,
hand and arm signals shall be used in the manner required in this
chapter.


22111. All required signals given by hand and arm shall be given
from the left side of a vehicle in the following manner:
(a) Left turn--hand and arm extended horizontally beyond the side
of the vehicle.
(b) Right turn--hand and arm extended upward beyond the side of
the vehicle, except that a bicyclist may extend the right hand and
arm horizontally to the right side of the bicycle.
(c) Stop or sudden decrease of speed signal--hand and arm extended
downward beyond the side of the vehicle.

Source: https://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.html/veh_..._contents.html
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Old 01-20-05, 07:28 PM
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One thing I will add on this . . . I dunno if it's local or general "roadie" culture, I see guys doing some kind of signal with their left arm, pointed sort of diagonally down and back. Somewhere between "left" and "slow/stop" but not close enough to either one (!). From what I can gather by guesswork, it means, "I'm NOT turning right", because people seem to use it when they are proceeding straight through a right-turn lane or similar (I don't know why they bother signaling at all in that case but there are a lot of mysterious "ways of the roadie" that I don't understand).

Also: there are lots of things not taught in driver's ed about driving and the rules of the road that you are still responsible for knowing if you have a license (see Jeprox's post above). I suspect many states' vehicle codes have a section similar to this; they have to have some allowance for the case of a broken lighted signal. I like the fact that here in CA you have the option of using your right arm to signal right on a bike (though I never use it, guess I'm old school). Do a lot of other states have that?
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Old 01-20-05, 07:45 PM
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How I "know" they are misunderstanding my hand signal: I'm turning right. Cross traffic to my right wants to turn left (pull out in front of me). I signal so they can just go ahead and go. They appear to not believe it until they see me do it. The thing is, I can see that as being a valid defensive driving thing because I could have my turn signal in my car on for no reason. That is why I use my arm in addition to my light on my Vespa is so they know I really mean it. But they still look like they don't believe me. Why would I stick my arm out on a bike or motorcycle if I didn't mean it?

Oddly, I don't have many left turns on my commute, so the hand signal I use most is the right turn. I don't use my right arm because a) that wasn't how I was taught in driver's ed, and b) I'm right handed and if I'm gonna let go of the bars I'm gonna let go with my weaker hand.

I do use the half-way left arm signal usually to let people know I'm merging into a left lane.

I don't think I like the idea of everybody making up their own hand signals. Standards are a good thing. It's too bad they don't teach it anymore because a large population of vehicles obviously need hand signals to be understood. Another example of car-centered culture.
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Old 01-20-05, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam
I had never either. And to clarify my previous story, this was not some floppy left turn signal that could be misinterpreted as a wave. This was my left arm held out rigidily for a solid 10sec with index finger extended. I also think this was a very rare instance involving a very inexperienced driver who just had no clue.

Al
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Old 01-20-05, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Serge *******
For what it's worth, I've never experienced a motorist misinterpreting a hand signal as meaning "go around me".
Oddly enough it is common in Mexico to use a left turn signal to indicate that you can go around. There may easily be a time Serge when you meet a motorist from Mexico and they interpret your signal to mean "go around."
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Old 01-21-05, 06:24 AM
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Not sure if it's in driver's ed here, but it is in the State Driver's Handbook.

However, the vehicle code here mandates the raised, bent left arm signal for a right turn, and does not allow the extended right arm for cyclists to signal a right turn.
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Old 01-21-05, 07:41 AM
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Here is how the Texas Transportation Code is worded:

"Sec. 545.107. Method of Giving Hand and Arm Signals

An operator who is permitted to give a hand and arm signal shall give the signal from the left side of the vehicle as follows:



1) to make a left turn signal, extend hand and arm horizontally;


2) to make a right turn signal, extend hand and arm upward, except that a bicycle operator may signal from the right side of the vehicle with the hand and arm extended horizontally; and


3) to stop or decrease speed, extend hand and arm downward. "
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Old 01-21-05, 10:26 AM
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I usually just use my middle finger. If you are going to turn left then use your left arm, and if you are going to turn right, use your right arm, I find it is much easier.
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Old 01-21-05, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by H23
Most people seem to understand hand signals for "stop" and "left".

The hand signal for "Right" is a little too abstract for the general public. When it really matters, I prefer to point with my right hand to indicate that I am going "right".
i'm inclined to agree that the right hand turn signal is a little too ambiguous for most people, so whenever i'm riding on my bike, i'll always just point to the right. if you were to point to the right inside a car, no one would be able to see, so it's pointless there, but if you're on a two-wheeled vehicle, everyone can get the point.
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Old 01-21-05, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by 'nother
One thing I will add on this . . . I dunno if it's local or general "roadie" culture, I see guys doing some kind of signal with their left arm, pointed sort of diagonally down and back. Somewhere between "left" and "slow/stop" but not close enough to either one (!). From what I can gather by guesswork, it means, "I'm NOT turning right", because people seem to use it when they are proceeding straight through a right-turn lane or similar (I don't know why they bother signaling at all in that case but there are a lot of mysterious "ways of the roadie" that I don't understand).
that's to indicate road hazards (potholes, glass, what have you). they're sometimes accompanied by a verbal description of what's in the road ("hole!"). they're a good sign to watch out for. another interesting signal is slapping your own ass with your right hand, and then pointing to the right. that means that there's someone traveling slow ahead, and the slow traveler will be passed by the pack.
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Old 01-21-05, 06:56 PM
  #25  
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Nope.

No turn signals in my driver's ed class.

I just use my right arm to turn right and left arm to turn left, and signal for a good period before turning. Seems to works
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