It goes without saying that using hand signals while riding a motorcycle in pairs or a group is a must. This is the safest way to make your intentions clear to other riders, and how you make sure everyone is on the same page. Moreover, it’s an extremely effective way to communicate with your riding partners when speed and noise get in the way—especially since yelling or using walkie talkie headsets will be a bust. Simple hand gestures will tell the people around you when you’re stopping, turning, changing lanes or speeding up.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at why hand signals are such an important part of motorcycle safety in Las Vegas.
The importance of hand signals
While motorists may use hand signals to indicate their intentions on the road when a blinker goes out, these gestures help motorcycle riders in a group stay organized and coordinate directions. Hand signals can warn of road hazards up ahead and indicate when it’s time for a pit stop or to exit the freeway. Consider what could happen if the leader of a group fails to signal their desire to speed up. All the other riders in the group will have to accelerate faster to catch up, which can lead to congestion and dangerous speeds.
When you signal ahead of time, the rest of the group can prepare to match the pace or navigate a turn in a controlled and safe fashion. Slowing down also calls for gesturing, as it’s best for everyone to slow down gradually. And what if the lead rider decides to downshift instead of applying the brakes? Their lights won’t illuminate, so hand signals can communicate this to their fellow riders.
Some common hand signals
In the world of biking, there are 16 commonly-used hand signals. The following are the most essential and universally understood of the list:
- Turning: Left and right turn signals are very important for rider safety. As such, all modern bikes have brake lamps and turn signals installed in them, but these lights are small, and it can be difficult to see them light up or blink from a distance. Light bulbs can also burn out, or the wiring can fail. Plan to use hand signals if the lights are hard to see or aren’t working.
- Stopping: You must use the appropriate hand signal to pull off the freeway or stop for gas. This keeps your riding group coordinated and together, and is a way for all group riders to communicate individual needs to stop.
- Speeding up and slowing down: To ensure a safe trip, always communicate to other motorcyclists your intention to speed up or slow down.
- Road hazards: Plan to point out road hazards like oil slicks, potholes, loose gravel and other debris. Doing this can help fellow riders avoid accidents.
- Following gestures: Using the correct hand signals is the ideal way to indicate who everyone is supposed to follow, and they help to keep the group organized.
At Escape Eagles, motorcycle safety in Las Vegas is our number one priority. Call us anytime for information about our bike rentals!