Beginner Hand Signals for Cyclists

Hand Signals pic
Hand Signals

John Heintz is the former assistant superintendent of operations and chief legal officer with Niles Township High School District 219 in the Chicago suburb of Skokie, Illinois. Now a cofounder and senior legal consultant with Lydian, Inc., in Chicago, John Heintz spends his free time staying in shape through cycling.

The three primary signals for cyclists are the left turn signal, the right turn signal, and the deceleration or stop signal. To signal a left turn, riders must fully extend their left arm and point in the direction of the turn. A right turn, meanwhile, is indicated by raising the left arm and bending the elbow to make a 90-degree angle with the fingers pointing up. Cyclists can also signal a right turn by extending their right arm.

As riders prepare to slow their bike or come to a complete stop, they should signal this move to other cyclists and car drivers by extending their left arm and bending the elbow to form a 90-degree angle with their fingers pointing down. Individuals can further signal their intentions to fellow riders by pointing to the spot on the road where they plan to come to a full rest. Over time, riders should expand their knowledge of road signals by learning how to notify other riders of a road hazard, a hazard on the shoulder, loose gravel, or debris on the road and how to signal for another cyclist to move over.