Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bicycle Safety 101: Using Turn Signals on a Bike

Did your bike come with turning signals? No? They rarely do. However, there are a few simple things to help others figure out where you might be headed when riding your bike.

Some may remember being taught different ways to bend your arm to indicate a change in direction or stopping to traffic. I think that was envogue in the late 1980's and early 1990's. That's changed for today's cyclists. Just remember these 3 simple tips:

1Point to turn. To make a left turn, point to the left with a finger or hand. To make a right turn, point to the right with a finger or hand.

2.  Count to 5. Stick your hand or finger out in the intended direction of travel, and count out 5 seconds. This gives others around you time to see that you're going to do something.

3. Turn left or right. Preferably not into on-coming traffic or into pedestrians.

It's that simple!  Balancing on your bike with one hand while signalling may take a little bit of practice. These small steps will go a long way in communicating to others that a change is about to happen. It's like using a turn signal in a car.

There arm signal for stopping isn't used anymore (like it was a few decades ago). To help others around you react to the change in speed, consider slowly coming to gradual stop. It's better for them and for your bike's brakes.

When you're on your next ride, whether it's on the road or on a path, remember these three simple tips:  point, count and turn.

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