The right motorcycle hand signs are a must-know if you plan to travel in a group ride on the open road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2020, motorcycle riders were nearly four times more likely than passenger car occupants to sustain injuries in a collision.
These hand signals for motorcycle riders communicate turns, stops, and roadway hazards within your group. Knowing and identifying these gestures can ensure your and other motorists’ safety and comfort.
When signaling a right turn, the gesture is to extend your left arm and move your elbow upward to a 90-degree angle. Make a clenched fist with your left hand. Using your left hand to signal right lets you keep your right hand on the throttle and handlebar.
Your left turn signal is as simple as extending your left arm with your palm facing downward. The lead rider uses this gesture to direct the rest of the group into making a left turn. It may also indicate that a rider is breaking away from the group.
To signal a stop, extend your left arm, and bend your elbow downward at a right angle. Expose your palm facing behind you with your fingers pointing toward the road. If the lead rider makes this gesture, it will send a chain reaction down to the riders at the back.
You can signal riders in your group to speed up by extending your left arm and making an upward gesture with your palm facing the sky. The group should speed up to match the lead rider.
As you slow down, extend your left arm outward with your palm facing toward the road and execute a repeated downward swinging motion to let those behind you know that you are slowing down. This is useful when engine braking, as applying engine brakes will not activate the rear brake lights.
If you see a roadway hazard, you can use either of these two gestures to point out the location of the hazard. It’s important to recognize these gestures as you may see them occasionally from other motorcyclists.
- When pointing at a left-side hazard, extend your left arm and point with your index finger
- Right-side hazards can be indicated by pointing your right foot in the hazard’s direction.
To make this gesture, lift your left hand above your head with your palm facing up. This gesture is commonly used when taking part in a group ride, but it can have different meanings based on the situation. It communicates to the group that there is a new leader in the group. Additionally, the gesture can also be interpreted as dividing a large group into a smaller one.
If you want to signal to the riders behind you that you want to make a comfort stop, make sure the road is clear of obstructions. Extend your left arm out to your side with a clenched fist. Make a repeated up and down motion with your clenched fist, as if you’re shaking a can of paint.
To signal a refreshment stop, extend your left arm out and make a thumbs-up gesture. Bring your thumb toward your mouth or your helmet’s front as though you are drinking from a straw.
When you make this gesture to the group, it is a sign that there may be a concerning situation on the highway. You can motion this gesture by extending your left arm and pointing your finger upward toward the sky. Repeatedly swing your arm above your head to show getting off the highway immediately or at the next exit.
As part of your motorcycling experience, familiarize yourself with these hand signals to enhance your riding experience. However, in the event of a serious accident occurring that involves you or one of your riding partners, contact the Syracuse motorcycle crash lawyers at Catalano law.
We are committed to fighting on behalf of all motorcyclists experiencing hardship in filing lawsuits against negligent motorists and obtaining lawful compensation.