Right turn hand signal?

EdC

Member
What is the proper way to hand signal a right turn on a bike. Do use your left arm cocked up at a right angle or your right arm straight out? Ed
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
The Texas driver's manual 1966 showed the arm as in post 2, out the left window of the car.
I've never seen those arm movements in any Indiana driver's manual, and I've been here since 1983. When I do that, or stick my arm straight out left or right, people tend to wave back. They have no idea what I am trying to communicate.
 

PatriciaK

Active Member
Vehicle drivers are used to looking at the left hand for hand signals, because that's what they're taught to do. Using your right hand can be dangerous because drivers aren't looking for that.
 

AlanDB

Well-Known Member
I learned to drive at age 14 in 1961. At that time there were still a lot of 40's and 50's (and older) cars on the road that didn't have turn signals, not to mention tractors and other farm implements in the rural area where I lived that not only didn't have turn signals but also didn't have stop lights. So hand signals were common for right turn, left turn and stop and were taught in the drivers education class I took at my school as a HS sophomore. My first car that I bought at age 16 was a 1950 Plymouth Custom and it had an "add on" turn signal strapped to the steering column that had a rubber wheel rubbing on the steering wheel that was supposed to turn it off as you exited a turn. It sort of worked, but you still used hand signals in most situations … left arm up at right angle for right turn, strait out for left turn and down at right angle with hand open and fingers extended for stop.

I don't ride on streets very often, but when I have to, these hand signals still seem pretty natural after all these years.
 

Dave Bodnar

New Member
Patrick - I checked the Pennsylvania State web pages and found this link


it specifically says that using one's right arm for a right turn is A-OK, as is the bent left arm.

Hand and Arm Signals

  • To signal a left turn, extend the left hand and arm horizontally.
  • To signal a right turn, extend the right hand and arm horizontally, or extend your left hand and arm upward.
  • To signal a stop or decrease in speed, extend the left hand and arm downward.
I think that most drivers these days never learned or used hand signals and that the right arm is more intuitive.

dave
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Check your individual state regs. Some states do allow a cyclist to simply use a straight out right hand, as shown above.
I’d be curious to see if any rider got a ticket for not signaling correctly. Lol 😆
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Right arm straight out pointing right. Common sense, 14 motorcycles, and 50 years of bicycles
I agree. here is a more detailed chart of hand signals... with my favorite, cop ahead. ;)


1574873465068.png
 

Tars Tarkas

Active Member
Right arm straight out pointing right. Common sense, 14 motorcycles, and 50 years of bicycles
If I saw someone giving that signal I might understand it or I might think they were pointing to something on the right. I get it that at least in some states it's a legal and proper right turn signal, but to me it seems like answering the phone with "Ahoy". Affectatious. For safety's sake, I prefer what I think is the more widely recognized left arm out and up.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone use the right arm out for right turn signal. Could be a regional thing or it could be that most people just don't use turn signals.

I get the logic of the right arm signal on a bike, but I think signals should be standardized to the extent possible.

TT
 

phoenixtoohot

Active Member
If I saw someone giving that signal I might understand it or I might think they were pointing to something on the right. I get it that at least in some states it's a legal and proper right turn signal, but to me it seems like answering the phone with "Ahoy". Affectatious. For safety's sake, I prefer what I think is the more widely recognized left arm out and up.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone use the right arm out for right turn signal. Could be a regional thing or it could be that most people just don't use turn signals.

I get the logic of the right arm signal on a bike, but I think signals should be standardized to the extent possible.

TT
The OP's question was about bikes.
 

Tars Tarkas

Active Member
The OP's question was about bikes.
I see the ambiguity in what I said now. Maybe this is more clear: "I understand why a right arm signal might seem to make sense on a bike, but I think everyone should use the same signals."

Saying that I understand the logic of a right arm signal on a bike wasn't intended to mean that I agreed that it was a good thing.

TT
 

ilanarama

Member
Now that most people on the road have never driven a car without turn signals and never learned hand signals for driving, the bent left arm to signal a right turn is at worst confusing and at best quaint, like "dialing" a phone. Additionally, I know people (okay, my husband) whose left-arm right-turn signal looks more like a salute than the crisp angled gesture I recognize. I have always felt that if your right arm is visible to others on the road (i.e., you're not in a car sticking your hand out the window) and it's not needed on the throttle (i.e., you're not on a motorcycle, or you are and using cruise control - but really, your motorcycle probably has turn signals!) you should use your right arm to signal a right turn.
 
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Tars Tarkas

Active Member
Perhaps quaint, but still the law (in Tennessee anyway):

2010 Tennessee Code
Title 55 - Motor and Other Vehicles
Chapter 8 - Operation of VehiclesRules of the Road
55-8-143 - Signals for turns.


55-8-143. Signals for turns.


(a) Every driver who intends to start, stop or turn, or partly turn from a direct line, shall first see that that movement can be made in safety, and whenever the operation of any other vehicle may be affected by such movement, shall give a signal required in this section, plainly visible to the driver of the other vehicle of the intention to make such movement.

(b) The signal required in this section shall be given by means of the hand and arm, or by some mechanical or electrical device approved by the department of safety, in the manner specified in this section. Whenever the signal is given by means of the hand and arm, the driver shall indicate the intention to start, stop, or turn, or partly turn, by extending the hand and arm from and beyond the left side of the vehicle, in the following manner:

(1) For left turn, or to pull to the left, the arm shall be extended in a horizontal position straight from and level with the shoulder;

(2) For right turn, or pull to the right, the arm shall be extended upward; and

(3) For slowing down or to stop, the arm shall be extended downward.

(c) These signals shall be given continuously for a distance of at least fifty feet (50¢) before stopping, turning, partly turning, or materially altering the course of the vehicle.

(d) Drivers having once given a hand, electrical or mechanical device signal, must continue the course thus indicated, unless they alter the original signal and take care that drivers of vehicles and pedestrians have seen and are aware of the change.

(e) Drivers receiving a signal from another driver shall keep their vehicles under complete control and shall be able to avoid an accident resulting from a misunderstanding of the signal.

(f) Drivers of vehicles, standing or stopped at the curb or edge before moving these vehicles, shall give signals of their intention to move into traffic, as provided in this section, before turning in the direction the vehicle shall proceed from the curb.

[Acts 1955, ch. 329, § 41; T.C.A., § 59-843.]


So there's the law and there are your feelings about what makes sense. My argument is that everyone playing by the same rules is better from the standpoint of safety. Ultimately, I don't care which arm is used to signal a right turn, but I think it's better if everyone uses the same arm.

I'm pretty sure hand signals are still taught and tested for on the written exam for a drivers license in Tennessee. What if your tail light is burned out? (I know, most people don't signal anyway.) And if a driver of an automobile is going to signal manually, they certainly aren't going to use their right arm -- in most cases in the US.

TT
 

erider_61

Well-Known Member
I grew up where the left arm was used for indicating all turns and stops. That being said, on my ebike the only time I use hand signals for turns is if I am in heavy traffic or I see a cop.