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Using hand signals while cycling

Posted by Ken Doane | Feb 02, 2018 | 0 Comments

Recent years have seen many in Jeffersonville take to the streets on bicycles. Whether as a less-expensive method of transportation or a tool to help improve your physical fitness, a bicycle can provide you with years of enjoyment. Yet as many of those that we here at the Doane Law Office, LLC have worked with can attest to, bikes also provide little in the way of protection in an accident. A common claim heard from motorists when they strike bicyclists is that the bike riders suddenly darted out in front of their cars without giving any warning. Thus, it is imperative that you understand how to communicate your intentions while on the road to both ensure your own safety and to be able to answer motorists who make such claims. 

Many often have trouble understanding that bicyclists have the same rights on road as those driving motorized vehicles. Those rights are clearly spelt out in Section 9-21-11-2 to the Code of Indiana. Yet of course, your bike lacks turn signals and other external indicators. How then are you to let drivers know when you wish to turn or change lanes? Standard hand signals have been created that allow those not in traditional vehicles to alert others on the road. The most common of these are: 

  • Extending your left arm out horizontally when turning left
  • Raising your left arm upward (with your elbow at a 90 degree angle) when turning right
  • Lowering your left arm to a 45 degree angle (with your palm facing backward) when slowing or stopping

Using these signals is still no guarantee that motorists will recognize them. It can, however, offer proof that witnesses can verify that you did indicate your intentions. 

More information on navigating the roads on a bike can be found here on our site. 

About the Author

Ken Doane

Ken is an experienced personal injury attorney and practices in southern Indiana and the metro Louisville area. Ken and his team handle every aspect of his clients' cases from pre-suit settlement negotiations through jury trial and appeal, if necessary. He has practiced for over 22 years and has ...


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