For a motorist or biker, safe riding is not just about wearing the right riding gear, reflective clothing or bike lights. With more and more vehicles on the road, the safety of not only you but of other riders too is very important. The way of communicating with other riders and commuters while on the road is through the use of hand signals or hand gestures. It’s a basic safety measure and not just a courtesy to let other riders know whether you are about to take a turn, stop or inform them about any road hazard ahead.
Table Of Content:
Introduction to Hand Signals for Bikers
Especially while riding in a group, communicating with fellow riders is through hand signals. There are some basic hand gestures followed by bikers across the world. Some bike hand signals vary as per state rules while most of them remain same. Here, we have explained some basic must-know hand signals/hand gesture for bikers in India and worldwide with meaning and pictorial representation.
Right Turn Hand Signal
There are two hand gestures for turning right. One hand signal is fully extending the right hand out of the side. This way is pretty common but not legally acceptable in many countries. The other way is to extend your left arm out sideways and bent at an angle of 90 degrees at the elbow point. The hand points upwards and pam facing forward.
Left Turn Hand Signal
Fully extend your left arm at shoulder height, away from your body, with the palm facing down and all fingers extended. You may use the index finger to point left.
Slowing or Stopping Hand Signal
Extend your left or right arm straight down, with your arm at an angle of 90 degrees at the elbow joint. With hand pointing down, the palm must be facing backwards.
Follow Me Hand Signal
This hand signal is a message to other bikers or vehicles to follow you. The signal is made by extending your arm straight up from the shoulder with the palm facing forward.
Speed Up Hand Signal
This hand signal is used to tell your fellow bikers to speed up and increase their speed to match your pace. The hand signal is to extend your arm straight out and palm facing upwards. Keep swinging your palm upwards to send the speed up message.
Slow Down Hand Signal
To tell bikers in your group to slow down, the hand signal is somewhat similar to speed up hand signal. The only difference is that this time the palm swings in the downward direction.
Hazard on Road Hand Signal
This hand signal is to let other riders know about the hazard on the road. This two-in-one hand signal depends on whether the road hazard is to your left or right. If the hazard is on the left side, point with your left hand. Point with your right foot if the hazard lies on your right side.
Single File Hand Signal
This hand gesture is used to inform your fellow bikers about a narrow roadway ahead and all have to fit in a single line. This area may include a narrow bridge, a road with other lanes closed or a construction site. Facing the sky, bend and raise your arms with left index finger extended.
Double File Hand Signal
With your arms extended in the air, point towards the sky with index and middle finger. This hand signal is used to inform about a wider road ahead.
Refreshment Stop Hand Signal
To indicate on taking a short break for refreshment or when you’re feeling hungry, use this gesture. All you have to do is point your thumb towards your mouth with fingers closed.
Turn Signal ON Hand Signal
This hand signal can be used as a “blinking” gesture in case of malfunctioning of the turn signal. To let vehicles on your behind know that you are going to take a turn, extend your arms and make a fist by closing and opening. This signal may sometimes be used to let a rider know that they have left their turn signal ON.
Cops Ahead Hand Signal
This hand signal involves using your left palm to pat on the top of your helmet to inform fellow riders about cops or police activity a little distance ahead.
Fuel Hand Signal
With fingers extended, the arm out to the side and pointing towards the fuel tank.