Hand Signals for Driving Explained – What to Do When Your Car’s Lights Fail

Hand Signals for Driving Explained – What to Do When Your Car’s Lights Fail

When driving, there may be times that your turning lights or brake lights malfunction. It is important to be aware of driver hand signals so you can communicate to other drivers and pedestrians, your upcoming driving actions if your lights don’t work.

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You don’t want to be a driver that fails to use their vehicle’s turn signal or show that you are braking since that can cause accidents to occur. Not only that, but state laws require you to signal your intentions to others on the road.

Also, you may be required to recall the signals on your driver’s license test.

Learn about the different hand signals to use while driving and which situations it makes sense to use them in.

Left Turn Hand Signal: How Do I Perform It?

Before making a left turn or changing lanes from right to left, stick your left arm with fingers extended, straight out of your vehicle past your side mirror. Make sure your left arm is straight and as visible as possible, without causing a disruption to your right hand on the wheel.

Right Turn Hand Signal: How Do I Perform It?

Before making a right turn or changing lanes from left to right, rest your left arm on the window sill and point your hand up with your palm facing forward. Try to make your arm easily visible to other drivers while being in a safe and comfortable driving position.

Slow Down or Stop Hand Signal: How Do I Perform It?

If you intend to stop or slow down, extend your left arm out the window and point your hand down with your palm facing the drivers behind you.

When to Use Hand Signals?

Most of the time, hand signals aren’t needed. But there are a few instances you will need to use them to abide by your local traffic laws.

When Tail Lights or Brake Lights aren’t Working

Keeping on top of your regular vehicle maintenance means making sure all your external car lights function properly. Lightbulbs will go out over time, and you may not have the parts or time to change them right away. If this is the case, and you are in need of your car, using hand signals in this situation is best. Remember to signal at least 100 feet before turning!

While Riding a Motorcycle

Riding a motorcycle with a large group or with damaged signal lights is a good time to use hand signals. When engine braking, the brake light won’t light up, so communicating to your motorcycle group with your hands will keep everybody safe.

While Riding a Bicycle

Bicycles usually don’t have built-in brake lights or turn signals, so using hand signals while on your road bike is a must. Using hand signals while in traffic on a bicycle will help reduce the likelihood of any collisions.

Whether you are in a car, motorcycle, or bicycle, using hand signals will keep you safe and riding forward. Outside of the safety benefits, knowing these will help you get your license and can help you avoid tickets.

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