Excuse: “I feel like drivers don’t know what I’m doing”
It’s imperative that you let other vehicles on the road (both bikes and cars) know where you’re going and what you’re doing. Here is a quick guide to communicating with other vehicles.
- Turning Left: Stick your arm out straight to the left, you can even point to the left as you do it to communicate that that’s where you’re headed.
- Turning Right: Stick your arm out straight to the right; again, point if you’d like. You can also signal a right turn by sticking your left arm out and pointing up at a 90 degree angle, elbow straight out, hand up.
- Stopping/Braking: Tell people that you’re coming to a stop by signaling. Put your left arm out at a 90-degree angle; hand down and with your palm flat to the car behind you.
When to Signal: Signal your intentions well before you plan to make your move. Err on the side of over communication by making the gesture again when you get closer and/or when new vehicles arrive at the intersection. Note that you do not have to use a hand signal if it jeopardizes your control over the bike. (This is a job I like to delegate to my passengers when riding the Boda Boda.)
Eye Contact: Make eye contact to establish that you’ve acknowledged each other and that they understand your intentions.
Bells: Use your bell to let people (cyclists, drivers, pedestrians) where you are and when you’re passing. Don’t solely rely on your bell, but use it to complement your verbal and visual signals.
- Bicycle Safety Hand Signal (isaacloo.wordpress.com)
- Steve Wallace: Hand signals make roads safer for all (timescolonist.com)