Betty Says: That’s a Hand Signal

Learn Your Hand Signals

Since I started riding my bike, I’ve learned that there are three responses to my hand signals, as witnessed in oncoming cars:

  1. She’s waving to me. Why is she waving to me? Where do I know her from? *slows car, gives cautious wave back*
  2. She’s signaling a turn, which must mean that she’s going to cut right in front of me, crazy lady on a bike! *slams on brakes in the middle of traffic, shouts at cyclist*
  3. *Oblivious to signals, runs stop sign while balancing a small dog and a cup of coffee*

So here’s a little hand signal refresher, compliments of Wikipedia.

This is a left turn, not, “Hey, Jane! Good to see you!”

Left turn.

This is a right turn, not an extra enthusiastic wave. (Sometimes I’ll use my right hand and do a mirror image of the left turn, depending on where the car is and if it’s a turn or merge.)

Right turn.

This means braking, but you should have a general idea of this already since I’m following the traffic rules and stopping at that red light. You’ll see this less than the turn signals since I need that hand for braking.


So there you have it, the general rules of hand signals. But go ahead and wave back if you want to.

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