Knowing universal hand signals is essential for all motorcyclists. Not only is it courteous to wave back to a fellow rider, but hand signals are also an essential and effective way to communicate with other motorists as well as bikers. Such communication can keep you safe from hazards on the road. Riders can use motorcycle hand signals to indicate anything from warning another motorcyclist that there is debris on the road to telling another motorist that you are about to make a turn.
Communication Improves Your Safety
Every motorcyclist knows very well that he or she is exposed to a lot more dangerous situations than drivers of other vehicles. Even the smallest misstep can land you in the hospital with serious injuries or worse. Hand signals and communication are ways in which motorcyclists can make sure they see and are seen. This is not just a way of showing off, but to make sure car and truck drivers will see you soon enough so they won't pull up in front of you. A number of major injury motorcycle accidents occur when other vehicles fail to yield motorcycles the right of way.
Motorcycle Hand Signals
Every motorcycle is equipped with a headlight, taillight and passing light, a brake light, turn signals, a horn and several reflectors. Occasionally, revving up is also a way to attract attention or let a motorist know you are close. But, that might not always be the best or most polite way to communicate.
Here are a few hand signals you can use on your next ride:
High beams on: When a motorcyclist taps his or her head, that indicates that high beams are on. In some groups, this signal can also be used to mean that there are police vehicles ahead.
Debris on the road: Debris can be among the most dangerous road hazards for motorcyclists. When a rider shakes his leg, it is meant to alert riders behind him that there is debris coming up ahead on that side of the road.
Turn signal on: If a motorcyclist flashes his hands at you, it means you've left your turn signal on.
Start your engines: When a motorcyclist circles his or her finger that could mean a couple of different things. The person could be telling you to start your engine if you are stopped. If you are on the move, it could mean that you need to turn around or because you're going the wrong way.
Gas station stop: If a biker points to his or her gas tank, it means they need to stop at the next gas station.
Single/double formation: When riders need to ride in a single file for traffic or other reasons, a rider will point his or her finger straight up in the air. When the group needs to get back in double formation, the lead rider will usually raise two fingers in the air.
Pass: If a biker in front swoops his arm forward, he is usually trying to tell you to get in front or pass him.
Speeding up/slowing down: If a motorcyclist wants you to speed up, he or she will extend an arm straight out with palm facing up. If they want you to slow down, they'll extend am arm straight down with palm facing down. Their arm will then move down and back up.
Comfort stop: If a rider needs to stop at the nearest restroom, he or she will extend the forearm with a fist clenched.
Contacting an Experienced Motorcycle Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused by someone else's negligence or wrongdoing, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. The knowledgeable Orange County motorcycle accident lawyers at Timothy J. Ryan & Associates know how to help you secure maximum compensation for your losses including but not limited to medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities and pain and suffering. Call us today to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.