Learn basic motorcycle hand signals for group rides

The warm summer months are a good time to head out on the highway on your big two-wheeler with a group of like-minded motorcycle riders. Group rides can be a great bonding experience and a lot of fun for everyone involved.

But as with any motorcycle experience, a group ride poses certain dangers. However, with some planning and a little foresight, many of these can be overcome. One way to be safer on your group ride is to make sure that everyone knows the basic motorcycle hand signals.

Signals keep riders safer

Helmets and the noises from the road make verbal communication on a group ride impossible. But communication is vital to keep all riders apprised of directional changes and road hazards ahead. Below are some basic signals all bikers should know before their next group ride.

  • The wave: This is a courtesy wave bikers extend to fellow highway riders when they cross paths. It can be brief as a two-finger salute of acknowledgement or a hearty wave, but it signals good intent.
  • Turning right: Left arm out and up at 90 degrees, fist clenched.
  • Turning left: Left arm out parallel to the road, palm down.
  • Stop: Left arm out, elbow bent down at 90 degrees, palm back.
  • Road hazard: On the left, extend arm out and point. On right, use right foot to point ahead.
  • Police ahead: Left hand taps top of helmet, palm down.
  • Slow down: Left arm extended out, palm down. Lower and raise several times in quick succession.
  • Speed up: Left arm out and extended down, palm up. Raise and lower several times in quick succession.

These, of course, are just the basics that anyone riding with other motorcyclists should know. At the above link are many more, including signals to pull off — and why, such as needing fuel, or food or beverages.

Safer riding gives you peace of mind

Accidents happen to motorcyclists all the time regardless of their own safety skills because some motorists appear oblivious to bikers' presence on the roads. But anything motorcyclists can do to keep themselves safer is a good thing.

If you wind up injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver, you need to know and understand your rights to seek compensation in Tennessee from the liable parties.

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