There are many crucial motorcycle hand signals that you can use to communicate with other vehicle drivers, pedestrians, and fellow motorcyclists. But not all of them are important. You must first know the crucial daily signals, which is a good practice. If you follow these signals correctly, you can increase your odds of safe road sharing and make it easier for other vehicles to navigate around your motorcycle.
There are 8 Significant Motorcycle Hand Signals to Other Riders:
- Cop/Speedtrap Ahead: Alert other riders or friends that you noticed cops ahead.
- Hazards on The Roadway: Show a signal that tells there are hazards on the roadway.
- Stop: Use the ‘stop’ signal to let other drivers know you want a space to stop.
- Speed Up: Use this hand signal to express that you want nearby drivers to speed up.
- Slow Down: You want your fellow riders to slow down.
- Comfort Stop: This signal will help you to tell others that it’s time to take a rest.
- Blinker is on: If the vehicles ahead have their blinker turned on unknowingly, let them know.
- Right or Left Turning Signals: When turning at a curve or intersection, you can notify others.
Now, read below for a list of standard hand signals with an in-detail guide and pictures that you may find helpful on the road.
When Are Motorcycle Hand Signals to Other Riders Crucial?
You will mostly need professional hand signals at night as a motorcyclist. Hand signals can help tell other riders where you are going. Ensure your intention is visible since you will ride when the sun is out, so other people may not see you. Therefore, it’s more important during the night than daylight.
But you will need them in daylight too. In a world of increasing communication, sometimes you need to communicate without words. And hands are a perfectly understandable means of communicating your position as a rider to other riders on the road. It isn’t something that you need in a dark setting.
But yes, there are some exceptions. The hand signals you use at night differ from those you should use during the day. Keep this in mind when riding on the road and ensure your fellow riders go home safely every day.
The necessity of Motorcycle Hand Signals to Other Riders
You must use hand signals to communicate with other drivers on the road and ensure they understand you well. It is because it’s’ not always easy to hear instructions over the sound of a revving engine or traffic noise. Studies have shown that many crashes occur due to a lack of understanding of instructions/signals.
Besides, Knowing what the signals mean can help you pass your motorcycle rules of the road knowledge test. It’s not hard to learn the different types of calls and ensure you’re prepared for any run-in with police on the road. You won’t have anything to worry about if you know what those signals mean!
Motorcycle signals to each other are messages displayed by a motorcyclist to other motorists or pedestrians. By doing this, the rider can avoid any accidents and injuries while riding. There are different kinds of signals that you can use. They help communicate with surrounding vehicles but can be beneficial in an emergency. A simple gesture of one or two fingers could mean the difference between life and death.
SOME MUST-LEARN MOTORCYCLE HAND SIGNALS
We will serially start from the most needed ones. Some calls can do multiple works, meaning one gesture can tell another. Therefore, we will explain the necessity of the variety of each signal in detail.
Here are some essential motorcycle hand signals you should learn before hitting the streets.
Take a cup of black tea and keep on reading!
1. Cop/Speedtrap Ahead
The Cop or Speedtrap signal is one of the most valuable and vital signals in motorcycling, allowing fellow riders to share information on the nearest police and speed traps. If you pass a speed trap or see police ahead, tap your helmet twice with your left hand to alert other riders.
While I’m not sure why they do it this way (it seems like a lot of effort for something that could be done easier by saying “Watch out for cops!” or something), this always gets laughs from other motorcyclists.
Sometimes you want to go for a nice ride, but it’s also a good idea to be aware of any speed traps in case there are. Besides, you have to tell other riders too.
This application is a must if you like to drive fast, travel long distances alone, and want to avoid being fined for speeding tickets or having your car impounded by the police.
2. Hazards on The Roadway
Over 5.8 million accidents happen every year. Among them, 25 accidents occur due to weather-related and other problems.
Accidents on highways and roadways can be dangerous things to face. Many people die in these accidents. Some even kill others. Therefore, you have to be aware of potential problems in the roadway. For example, closed lanes, flash floods, and weather hazards are common road issues that can trigger accidents.
Fortunately, a vital motorcycle hand signal can make the picture look suitable for other riders.
A sign of trouble ahead, the Hazard in the Roadway warning has been a staple of safety tactics for decades. Extend your left arm with your index finger toward the ground and your right foot toward the floor to get drivers to slow down and keep their eyes peeled for impending danger.
Give a friendly indication when you’re about to stop—it makes the other riders around you more aware of your actions. Turn your left arm down, with your palm facing backward.
Suppose, You’re headed down the highway and have a truck in your rearview mirror. You know it will pass you, but it is going too fast. You can feel the vibrations from its engine echoing in your chest and hear the rush of air as it pulls past you. Then, it would help if you stopped for some reason; let’s say some of the motorcycle warning lights start blinking. In this case, the back/brake light behind you can’t make sense to the other driver. Instead, you will have to express the matter through your hand to make aware of the emergency.
4. Speed Up
The speed-up sign is a valuable hand signal you can use if you ever find yourself riding with an inexperienced group of bikers or other drivers. If the nearby person starts to slow down, you will need to issue this hand signal indicating their intent to speed up again.
It is a crucial hand signal that will impact your motorcycle crash survival odds.
It is usually performed by extending your arm out, palm up, and swinging it in a quick upward motion.
5. Slow Down
When riding at high speed, signaling a change in momentum can be incredibly challenging. You want to make others slow down for any unexpected problem. For example, you noticed a slippery road. In this case, it’s your obedient duty to help others stay safe, and you want to slow down too.
Fortunately, It’s not a big deal at all. Extend your arm straight out and swing it toward the road to let everyone know to slow down.
6. Comfort Stop
The long ride’s comfort stop signal helps you indicate to your riding partner that it’s time for a rest. A simple hand gesture makes it easy to communicate from a far distance.
Extend your left forearm out to your side with your fist closed, move it up and down in small movements, and others will understand that you want to pull over at the next available opportunity.
7. Your Blinker is On (Unofficial Motorcycle Hand Signal to Other Riders)
Are you looking for a way to let your fellow riders know that one of their turn indicators is on? If so, this hand signal is for you. New riders often forget that they have their turn signal on and ride for miles with it blinking. As a result, it can cause misunderstandings among other drivers.
Tap your head and two fingers to indicate that a turn signal is still on. It is not an official hand signal, but it could save someone from wondering why they turn left for another mile.
8. Turn Right or Left (Most Common Among The Motorcycle Hand Signals to Other Riders)
Turn left or right with the Left Turn and Right Turn gestures. Just put your left arm out straight to signal a left turn, or hold your arm out with a right angle and make a fist for a right turn.
Turn signals indicate a change in course or direction of travel. Turn signals can also be used when making a lane change and imply which lane you intend to get over.
Some People may think that the indicator blinker light is enough for turn signals. Yes, it does clarify that you will turn, but others won’t understand when you will turn. A light sign is good but does not allow others to know when you will turn. Also, a driver behind you can’t quickly notice a curve or intersection. That’s why many drivers use hand signals to clarify their turn.
That’s why both the indicator light and hand signal is equally essential.
FAQs Related to Motorcycle Hand Signals to Other Riders
What does it mean when bikers point two fingers down?
The pointing gesture with two fingers down signals that another biker should take the back position (following your lead). When you see another rider pointing with two fingers down, he asks you to go ahead and take the road.
How do bikers say hi to each other?
Many bikers wave to each other as a greeting. We often use this wave to show respect or say thanks for allowing the other person to pass, although sometimes it simply means hello.
What hand signals do bikers give each other?
Bikers can make a particular gesture with one hand to warn their riding partners about potential dangers on the road ahead. Bikers can extend one hand out to their sides with the palm up to signal that it's an excellent place to stop the ride. These are just some typical signals by bikers.
What do motorcyclist hand gestures mean?
Hand gestures for motorcyclists mean a way to communicate with other drivers. For additional awareness, motorcyclists should use these hand gestures to express what they will do (e.g., stop, turn, pass, etc.)
What does it mean when a motorcyclist taps his helmet?
It means he is trying to get your attention. He wants you to look over and see what he is pointing at. It could be many things, such as something interesting on the ground, a traffic sign, or the road.