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To signal a right turn, do you use your left hand or your right hand?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway
View Poll Results: Do you signal right turns with your right or left hand?
Left hand
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Right hand
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Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 142. You may not vote on this poll

To signal a right turn, do you use your left hand or your right hand?

Old 05-17-10, 04:37 PM
  #26  
tadawdy
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The original signals were intended for drivers, and you can't stick your hand out the passenger window to signal.

On a bike, the UVC includes simply pointing in the direction of the turn, and this was adopted into IL law as acceptable. No need to interpret, and my hand is on my stronger brake most of the time (since most of my turns are to the right).

I wouldn't count on drivers to know the old signals, given that they rarely use or understandf the ones that come with their cars.
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Old 05-17-10, 04:59 PM
  #27  
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Mostly I use left arm to signal lane changes to make left turns, I don't usually signal for right turns, but I use right-arm-out when I do. Drivers get it. Using left-arm-up was made for cars before they had turn-signal blinkers.
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Old 05-17-10, 06:24 PM
  #28  
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I saw someone doing the old school left hand bent 90 degrees up and thought to myself "WTF is he doing" then he turned right. Then I realized what he was doing.

I always use left hand to signal left, right to signal right. Simpler and even the most idiot driver will figure it out
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Old 05-17-10, 06:26 PM
  #29  
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Legal or not, whatever allows the motorist to see you best. It's really moot if they didn't see your signal, no matter which one you use.
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Old 05-17-10, 06:31 PM
  #30  
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Ok, the first guy matches what I was taught as a young lad, but I tend to follow the second guy and (for lack of a better term) point.

I might ask though, who the heck rides a road bike in Jeans!?!?
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Old 05-17-10, 07:03 PM
  #31  
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I use the hip, new version. I agree with previous posters that people don't know what the actual one means, so I just stick with the new one. But I do make sure I am seen because it is more difficult for the driver to see if someone's hand isn't placed in their line of sight while driving.
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Old 05-17-10, 07:54 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by ptle View Post
I use my right hand unless I'm in a group ride... then I usually use both. This is because most drivers don't know the actual correct hand signals. I usually point and kind of shake my hand to get their attention. I'm hoping drivers can understand what you mean when you point.
depends on which finger you use.
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Old 05-17-10, 08:05 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by stien View Post
Old school way, more comfortable with taking my left off the bars than my right.
New school for me. But maybe you're right about more comfortable with right hand controlling the bars. But really not an issue.
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Old 05-17-10, 08:08 PM
  #34  
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I use the left arm up method, but its true that many motorists don't understand.
Last I looked Mass DMV said "regardless of the vehicle you are driving", and yes a bike is a vehicle, there are 3 signals to be used (the third is opposite of right turn with hand down to indicate stop). I should look again because states that allow motor/cyclists to point right have it better.

The way I figure, if there is an accident its all the better situation for me that I signaled lawfully. If I point my right arm then a lawyer could jump all over me for an illegal signal to make something my fault.

EDIT: MA Code Chapter 85, Section 11B:
(2) the bicycle operator shall signal by either hand his intention to stop or turn; provided, however, that signals need not be made continuously and shall not be made when the use of both hands is necessary for the safe operation of the bicycle,...

There we go Mass, either hand is legal.

Last edited by teterider; 05-17-10 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 05-17-10, 08:09 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by mustachiod View Post
i have not seen this hip new version
When I had a "Sport Bike" (Croch rocket) up until 2k, we would use our feet to signal lane changes to fellow riders we were riding with.

Originally Posted by simonaway427 View Post
Definitely the right hand hip version it's way more intuitive and obvious to the motorist
+ What ever the number is up to!

Originally Posted by DScott View Post
I'm the only one that signals a turn by, um, turning? I learned that from drivers around here who put on their turn signal as they entered the turn. It's more of a verification of the turn, than an effort to signal intention.
Or the ones that have the nice expensive car/truck that DIDN'T COME WITH turn siganls. Guess they couldn't afford that option!

Chris
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Old 05-17-10, 09:46 PM
  #36  
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I like to use the right hand because, for some odd reason, I am better at controlling the bike when using the left hand on the handlebars than the right. I'm right handed too. Makes turning left more difficult but I seize every opportunity I can to use the right hand to signal.
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Old 05-17-10, 10:02 PM
  #37  
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For you righties...

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Old 05-17-10, 10:04 PM
  #38  
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And as far as the OP's original post, the right hand signal is clearly visible in a controlled environment with maximum contrast, but in the real world we blend into the landscape.
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Old 05-17-10, 10:15 PM
  #39  
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"hip new way" for me... drivers around here don't read their driving manuals, so I'd rather at least "point" (with the entire hand/arm) to where I'm turning.
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Old 05-17-10, 10:17 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by bryroth View Post
Originally Posted by IndyCommuter View Post
Ok, the first guy matches what I was taught as a young lad, but I tend to follow the second guy and (for lack of a better term) point.
I might ask though, who the heck rides a road bike in Jeans!?!?
I usually point also, and sometimes shake my hand to attract attention to it. I ride to work and back with jeans on from approx. Nov 1 through mid March, but they're not the dreaded mom jeans as in the above example. At least 80% of trips done on the Pinarello. It's significantly more roadie than that dude's rig, as well. No rack and downtube shifters. No where near the 38mm tires he must be rollin'.

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 05-17-10 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 05-17-10, 11:09 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by teterider View Post
I use the left arm up method, but its true that many motorists don't understand.
Last I looked Mass DMV said "regardless of the vehicle you are driving", and yes a bike is a vehicle, there are 3 signals to be used (the third is opposite of right turn with hand down to indicate stop). I should look again because states that allow motor/cyclists to point right have it better.

The way I figure, if there is an accident its all the better situation for me that I signaled lawfully. If I point my right arm then a lawyer could jump all over me for an illegal signal to make something my fault.

EDIT: MA Code Chapter 85, Section 11B:
(2) the bicycle operator shall signal by either hand his intention to stop or turn; provided, however, that signals need not be made continuously and shall not be made when the use of both hands is necessary for the safe operation of the bicycle,...

There we go Mass, either hand is legal.
I'm glad you edited your post, but the idea of doing something just to CYA instead of thinking about what is most safe.........sigh.

Can't blame you really, but jeezuz christ what's wrong with us
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Old 05-17-10, 11:14 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by IndyCommuter View Post
I might ask though, who the heck rides a road bike in Jeans!?!?
normal people
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Old 05-17-10, 11:38 PM
  #43  
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Right hand.

I react slowly when people use the left hand version, and I've always known what it means. It's just counter-intuitive.

Can't think of any real disadvantage to the right-hand signal. It get's slightly obscure if you're going through a counter-clockwise roundabout or something like that, but people who can't see it in those situations aren't going to hit you because of it; right-turn signals don't prevent right-hooks.
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Old 05-18-10, 12:07 AM
  #44  
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Old school way. I was using right hand for a while but did notice that here in Toronto most cyclists who bother to signal doing it the old way.
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Old 05-18-10, 12:50 AM
  #45  
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I use the hip new way. Some guy used the old school way a few months back, and I thought he was giving me a high five, so I went for it...
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Old 05-18-10, 12:52 AM
  #46  
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Both.

Last edited by BengeBoy; 05-18-10 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 05-18-10, 12:56 AM
  #47  
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Am I the only one here who installed blinkers on his road bike?
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Old 05-18-10, 12:21 PM
  #48  
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I had blinkers on my schwinn in first grade, but I wasn't allowed to ride it on the street.
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Old 05-18-10, 12:34 PM
  #49  
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What's that clickin' noise?

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Old 05-18-10, 02:51 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
Based on conversations I've had, it seems that even motorists with a driver's license do not know the "correct" hand signals, so I tend to use the right hand as drivers intuitively know what that means.
I remember it being a part of the written portion of the driver's test, but it never came up during the road test. Fact is 99.9% of drivers will never have to use them, so they forget.

Hell, half the drivers out there don't even use their own vehicle's signals properly. How can we expect them to understand hand signals?
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