All road users need to start learning these hand signals

And other safety tips
by Lio Mangubat for Spin.ph | Oct 25, 2020
PHOTO: COURTESY OF CYCLING MATTERS

When you go out to bike, do you use these hand signals? 

With so many vehicles, both two- and four-wheeled, sharing the road now, it’s important to communicate your intentions to other commuters. Of course, bikers don’t have signal lights, but they do have hands. Highly visible gestures will tell everyone behind you—cars, motorcyclists, fellow bikers—what you’re about to do.

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“Being visible and predictable are key to riding safely as we share the road with other modes of transport,” writes Jan-Daniel Belmonte for Philippine biking advocacy group Cycling Matters. 

He added: While drivers are able to use brake and signal lights to warn other road users of their next move, our simple bicycles come with an obvious limitation. Informing our fellow cyclists and the drivers around us of our next move is a smart way to maintain the harmony we desire.

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Among the most important hand signals, of course, are your turn signals: a wide, outstretched arm to the left if you’re going left, and the same to the right if you’re heading the other way. But a raised fist can also function as yourbrake light while pointing out a pothole or other obstruction on the road can be helpful for bikers or motorcyclists on your tail.

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This guide to turn signals is only one page of a very helpful guide that Cycling Matters has made available on their website and social media. The guide is available in English and Filipino, with other languages hopefully coming soon.

Among other helpful pages in the safety guide is the correct way to wear a helmet (The distance between the strap and the chin should not exceed the width of two fingers) and tips for riding in the rain (Be cautious of slippery areas on the road like moss, metal plates or covers, and painted parts of the street).

Ride when you are visible and wear bright-colored clothing as much as possible, says the safety guide in one of its pages.Use a white light for the front of your bicycle and a red light for the back of your bicycle. With the help of a reflector, these will allow others to see you without difficulty. Look motorists in the eye and do not ride on the sidewalks.

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View the full album here:

NOTE: This article first appeared on Spin.ph. Minor edits have been made. 

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PHOTO: COURTESY OF CYCLING MATTERS
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