Whether you ride a bicycle solo or as a group, learning hand signals can be a great way to communicate quickly with one another and the cars around you. Bicyclists often have to share the road with vehicle drivers. Sadly, drivers are not always so attentive and on the lookout for bicyclists. This is why bicycle riders must be alert and proactive when it comes to safety, as they should not rely on a driver to prevent an accident from happening. In the worst case scenario, a bicycle accident can even lead to a fatality. The human body being struck by the force of a hard exterior car body at a moderate to high speed can be deadly.
Here we have listed some key hand signals to learn, in order to help prevent an accident from happening to you or someone else on your bike team. The information is provided below in a question and answer format.
What are some hand signals I should know how to use?
The more hand signals an individual bicyclist and his or her team learn, the better. There are a set of hand signals that are used frequently when on the road. Listed below are nine hand gestures that a rider should practice before putting it to use on the streets.
- Turning left – about ten yards before your planned turn, extend your left arm straight out from your body and point with your first finger.
- Stop – abrupt stops can be signaled with a fist place behind your back.
- Slow down – with a palm out, place your hand on your lower back.
- Turning right – about ten yards before your planned turn, extend your right arm straight out from your body and point with first finger.
- Draft (to be used for group rides) – a rider pats the right or left lower hip, depending on which side they want a rider to draft.
- Single road hazard (to be used for group rides) – point directly at the single hazard on road with pointer finger.
- Debris on road (to be used for group rides) – to signal either debri or loose gravel, the rider points with his or her harm towards the area with a shaking, open palm.
- Hazard on shoulder – point arm straight out towards the hazard with a palm open, then place on lower back to suggest slowing down.
What if myself or someone else on the bicycle team gets hit by a car?
The most important thing to consider if you or anyone else is struck by a vehicle, is to put safety first. Check yourself or the other person for any injuries that may require medical attention. Because bicycle accidents rarely end with someone walking away unscathed, it is best to call for an ambulance at the scene just in case.
Is it possible to sue the driver for causing the bicycle accident?
Yes, the driver at-fault for hitting someone on a bicycle may have to pay retribution for medical expenses and other losses. If this situation applies to you or a loved one, you may want to schedule an appointment with a personal injury lawyer Memphis, TN trusts about filing a civil lawsuit.
Thank you to our friend and contributors at Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC for their insight into bike accidents and personal injuries.