Call

Blog

Law
02

Blog

Bike Hand Signals

Before you get a driver’s license, you typically have to take a test that demonstrates your understanding of the rules of the road. This includes the importance of signaling your intentions when you are turning or changing lanes.

Across the United States, bicyclists are required to use signals to let others know what they plan to do. Although these laws regarding bike hand signals are rarely enforced, using hand signals is incredibly important for all bicyclists, as a way to alert others of their intended movements. Learning three basic bike hand signals can protect you from danger and help to prevent bike crashes.

If you aren’t using bike hand signals, now is the perfect time to start. Below, we outline the top three signals that you need to know to stay safe on the road and ensure predicting riding.

Why Are Bike Hand Signals Important?

In 2015 alone, more than 1,000 bicyclists died and almost 467,000 bicyclists suffered injuries in accidents and crashes. While there are many possible causes of these accidents, like potholes and poor road conditions, many crashes occur because of misunderstandings between motorists and cyclists.

Bike hand signals are a way to reduce the risk of being hit by a car. While there is still a chance of a motor vehicle driving carelessly and hitting you while you’re on your bike, signaling your intentions can make this possibility less likely.

Beyond motorists, learning signals is vital to the safety of other bicyclists. If you’re group riding in a peloton or simply in an area where a lot of people are cycling, using hand signals can warn them of your intention to stop, slow down, or turn – giving them the time that they need to react appropriately.

The Bike Hand Signals That You Need to Know


Below are three primary bike hand signals that you should use. For each, make sure that you look back quickly and make eye contact with others on the road. This gives you a better idea of what is happening on the road around you – and increases the likelihood of them noticing your signals.

When possible, signal about 100 feet before you intend to turn or stop. This gives other drivers and cyclists time to react and gives you the chance to put both hands back on the handlebars as you turn or stop. Hold the signal for about 3 seconds before making your turn or coming to a stop.

Left Turn

Left turnTo signal a left turn, fully extend your left arm out to your side. Make this signal approximately 100 feet before you turn, to alert others and so that you can get your hands back onto your bike as you turn.


Right Turn

right turnThere are two ways to signal e a right turn. The first, and most frequently used, is to simply extend your right arm out to your side – just as you would for a left turn, on the opposite side.

Some states do not allow this type of signal. Instead, to signal a right turn, extend your left arm out to the side and turn your arm up at a 90-degree angle. Whichever method you use, be sure to make the signal about 100 feet before turning, and leave your arm extended for about 3 seconds.


Stop

The most common hand signal used by cyclists is the “stop.” This signal is necessary because – unlike motor vehicles – most bikes don’t have brake lights. To indicate that you are stopping or slowing down, simply extend your left arm out, and bend your arm down at a 90-degree angle, with your hand open.

Hurt in a Bike Crash? Reach Out to the Bike Law Network  Today.

There are few things more devastating to a cyclist than being injured in a bike crash. After being struck by a car, you may be dealing with painful physical injuries as well as ongoing trauma. We can help.

The Bike Law Network isn’t a law firm. Instead, we are a network of independent lawyers and law firms, all of whom share a passion for cycling. Reach out to us today at 1-866-370-8796 to get connected with a Bike Law Lawyer today.

Comments

Contributory Negligence
Ann Groninger Apr 08, 2021

There is finally a positive development in the fight against Contributory Negligence in North Carolina. Last week a bill called the “Victims’ Fair Treatment Act” was filed in the North Carolina Senate. If passed, the bill would finally bring North Carolina into line with all but 3 other states by eradicating this deeply unfair law. […]

Read More
Bike Shop with wheels
Danny Feldman Apr 04, 2021

Birmingham is blessed to have a number of great bike shops.  Two of these shops, although very different, are the focus here.  Future blog posts from Bike Law Alabama will focus on some of the other great shops in Birmingham and throughout Alabama. A NON-PROFIT BIKE SHOP: REDEMPTIVE CYCLES Why choose Redemptive as your Bike […]

Read More
Dooring of bicyclist
Charlie Thomas Mar 24, 2021

Buena Batiste did not plan to be “doored.” She was knocked off her bike by a car door and then yelled at by the woman who opened it. Fortunately, we were able to take Buena’s dooring case to trial and win. And in doing so, we set a new precedent for bicyclists who suffer a […]

Read More
Bike Hand Signals
Peter Wilborn Mar 12, 2021

Before you get a driver’s license, you typically have to take a test that demonstrates your understanding of the rules of the road. This includes the importance of signaling your intentions when you are turning or changing lanes. Across the United States, bicyclists are required to use signals to let others know what they plan […]

Read More
Ash Our Streets
Daniel Brazil Jan 13, 2021

As a Minneapolis-based attorney, I live, work, play and bike in the city. Although my city might be known for its lakes and our infamous Juicy Lucy, Minneapolis’ dedication to having safer streets for all should be included in that list. To reach the safe streets goal, numerous non-profit organizations and groups are working tirelessly […]

Read More
Ambassador
Rachael Maney Jan 11, 2021

Applications for the Bike Law Foundation Ambassador Program are now live. CLICK HERE FOR THE APPLICATION. The deadline to apply is Sunday, January 24th. Those selected will be notified on or before February 1. Thanks for your support and willingness to work together to make bicycling safer for all. We are committed to you, to one another, and […]

Read More
3-foot passing close call
Charlie Thomas Jan 11, 2021

It happens all the time: Someone emails me video footage, clearly showing they were biking along when a car buzzes past, coming within inches of a horrible crash — and there’s nothing I can do about it because we don’t have the laws in place to do something to help. Luckily, that might be about […]

Read More
killing cyclist bike law
Rachael Maney Dec 22, 2020

BIKE LAW ANNOUNCES THE INDICTMENT OF CARL BEHLER FOR KILLING CYCLIST AND INJURING OTHERS   Today, Carl Behler appeared in court for the first time for killing cyclist Arthur Carter and injuring others. He was indicted on Friday (12/18) by the Anne Arundel County Grand Jury and promptly arrested and detained for 7 crimes related […]

Read More
Bicycle Mayor
Bruce Hagen Dec 03, 2020

When I (Maria of Bike Law Georgia) called Pattie Baker, the first Metro Atlanta Bicycle Mayor, she was trudging through marshland on her bicycle on Alpharetta’s Big Creek Greenway. I pictured her in my mind with her bike, wearing her signature skirts, and mud on her sandals. Always on the go, the newly minted Metro […]

Read More
Load More