How to Use Hand Signals on a Bicycle

Bicycles don't come with turn signals and brake lights. Fortunately, there's already a universal language for indicating turns and stops on a bike.

You will need

  • Helmet
  • Left arm
  • Bike

Step 1 Prepare to turn left Learn how to signal a left turn. About 50 yards before the turn, take your left hand off the handlebars and extend it to the left, perpendicular to your body.

Step 2 Turn left Hold your hand open and point it in the direction you’re turning. Keeping your arm extended, start riding from the right shoulder of the street to the left side of the lane. Once you reach the intersection, turn left.

Step 3 Turn right Know how to signal a right turn. About 25 yards before you turn right, raise your left hand with the elbow bent 90 degrees, your hand pointing skyward, and your left arm forming an “L.” Check for traffic before entering the intersection to turn.

Step 4 Stop Learn the signal for a stop. About 50 yards before you come to a stop, raise your left elbow until it is perpendicular to your body. Point your fingers down to the pavement, palm facing the traffic or riders behind you, so your arm forms a reverse “7.” Hold this position until you come to a stop.

Step 5 Signal for a group Know the signal for a group of riders. If you are riding with a group behind you, signal drivers in front of you by raising your left hand straight above your head, palm forward.

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