Cycling is on the rise! This is exciting for the environment and overall health of the country. However, one of the challenges facing most cyclists and motorists is communication.
Fortunately, bike hand signals can help riders communicate with other road users effectively and stay safe on the road. Whether a beginner or an experienced cyclist, this article will teach you everything you need to know about bike hand signals.
Why You Need to Use Bike Signals
CDC estimates about 1,000 bicyclists die annually in road crashes in the US. While some accidents happen due to reckless driving and road conditions, others result from poor communication between cyclists and motorists.
Bike hand signals are essential for communicating your intentions to other road users. When motorists can read your actions on the road, they adjust their driving accordingly, helping you avoid collisions.
If you are cycling in a group, you can also use hand signals to communicate with each other about your next move. It would help if you used these signals when stopping, slowing down, or turning.
Important Bike Hand Signals You Need to Know
Unlike cars, most bicycles don’t have brake lights to warn other road users when stopping. Therefore, you should use the stop signal to let motorists know of your intention to stop. This sign is easy to master and will help you avoid getting hit by passing cars.
Extend your left arm and bend it at a 90-degree angle at the elbow to perform the stop sign while cycling. Then, open your palm and let it face onward. You may move your hand slightly to make the signal more evident.
Turns can be challenging to manage when riding a bicycle. To ensure a safe left turn, you must know how to signal to motorists and other cyclists.
Extend your left arm straight from your side when doing a left turn. Then, with your index finger, point in the direction you are turning. You may also swing your arm up and down to make the left turn sign more visible.
Ideally, you should perform the left turn signal early enough to give motorists adequate time to react to your move. This can be 100 feet or three seconds before turning.
The right turn signal varies from one state to another. In some states, you should extend your right hand straight into the air and signal, just like you would when making a left turn signal. In other states, you must raise your left arm and bend it at a 90-degree angle, with your palm flat.
Handling a Bicycle Accident
You can avoid road accidents better when you play your part and follow traffic laws. But since you share the road with motorists, it’s impossible to rule out the possibility of a crash. That’s why knowing how to respond to a traffic accident is crucial.
“If you get hurt in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries,” says bicycle accident lawyer Daniel Libbey. However, this can be challenging if you are unfamiliar with the legal system. Fortunately, a bicycle accident attorney can guide you through the process and help you receive a fair settlement for your claim.