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How to Signal on a Bike

how to signal on a bike

There is no better way to maximize your safety on the road than to learn how to signal on a bike. In particular, doing arm signals while biking on the road also means that you are already a part of the traffic flow.

Learning how to signal is essential for your safety on the road. It is one of the best ways to prevent accidents while enhancing the safety of other users as well. In this article, our team will be dealing with the different ways to signal on your bike while on the road.

Necessary Hand Signals You Can Do on a Bike

Learning hand signals is important because our precious bicycle does not come with turn signals and brake lights. However, bikers are fortunate enough to have a universal language in indicating turns, stops, and other actions on the bike through hand signals.

But before familiarizing how to do it, you need to ride the bike one-handed. You will need to learn to steer and brake your bike with just one hand for you to do the hand signals easily.

If you are doing a hand signal, you must also do it confidently. You will need to deliver your signal or message to the other road users clearly to ensure that they understand what you mean. You should be able to tell them that the hand signal you are doing will be my next course of action on the road.

There are three essential hand signals you will need to learn while you are biking. Please check on each one and learn how to do it on the list below:

Learning How to Signal a Left Turn

Approximately 50 yards before doing the left turn, you will need to take your left hand off the handlebars and extend it to the left perpendicular to your body. Now, please take note that these signals apply to countries where the road users drive on the right side of the road.

Then, you will need to hold your hand open and point it in the direction of your turn. Keeping your arms extended, start riding from the right side of the street to the left side of the lane. Once you reach the intersection, you can now turn left.

Always remember, do not assume that the cars behind you notice your hand signal. Please take the necessary precautions by quickly seeing behind y before initiating your turn when checking the traffic.

Knowing How to Signal the Right Turn

About 25 yards before you will turn right, raise your left hand with the elbow bent at ninety degrees. Your hand should point skyward, and your left-hand forms an “L” shape. Then, you will need to check the traffic before entering the intersection of your turn. It is also possible to extend the right arm to show the indication of you turning right.

Learn the Signal for a Stop

When it comes to signaling for a stop, approximately 50 yards before you will come to a stop, you will need to raise your elbow until such time that it is perpendicular to your body. Then, you will need to point your fingers down to the road while your palm is facing the traffic to the road users behind you so that your arms will form a reverse “7” shape.

You will need to stay still and hold this position until you come to a stop. Meanwhile, if you are biking with a group of bikers behind you, you will need to signal the drivers in front of you. You can raise your left hand straight above your head with the palm in a forwarding position.

Other Signals You Will Need to Know as a Biker


Apart from the three essential hand signals, there are also other motions that you can show while biking that signify something. Please find the list below:

Making your right arm with a downward flapping motion

This signal is when you are slowing down. Most of the bikers today are not using this signal anymore and are rarely used on the road.

Holding the right hand up from the elbow with the palm forward when stopping at a junction

Another one of those lost signals that are barely used nowadays is this one. However, this signal means you will be going straight ahead of the other bikers in the group.

Holding the palm out towards the rear

This signal means you are reminding the road users at the back not to overtake because it is too dangerous. This signal is essential when biking in a group where some bikers try to overtake blind summits or bends where they do not see oncoming traffic.

Looking back over your right shoulder

The meaning of this signal is straightforward. You are merely giving a sign that you are about to turn right while changing your position on the road.

Doing a Thumbs Up Sign

This hand signal is a universal gesture of saying approved. In biking, it is the best way to say thank you.


Learning how to signal on a bike is a must-have to ensure your safety on the road. Signaling to other road users does not guarantee to give you the right of the way, but it is a part of the negotiating process on the road to communicate with other road users and ensure your safety while biking.

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