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bike signaling rules

lmcamoeslmcamoes Posts: 51
edited May 2015 in Commuting chat
Down hill, slow speed and breaking all the time and car just on my tail for a while.
He had plenty of time and space to overtake me but he didn't, so I realized that that we was turning left like me and I did not signed.
After I turned left the car turned left as well and the guy started shouting at me and come to my side squeezing me and continuing shouting.
I needed to break and stop and the guy said "I am a biker as well and you are a shame for all of us, you should sign".

Do you always sign even turning left even if you know that you have cars behind you and they are not overtaking you and swing left?
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  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Yes I signal whenever turning left, just adjust your speed in time and use the front brake only (or rear if setup the other way round).
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    I guess the answer is that you should signal but I don't always do it when turning left. However if I had someone up my rear I would think I should so as to let them know, but then only having one hand on the bars going at speed might be risky too.

    Just don't do what I saw an idiot cyclist do - signal right then pull out. Without looking.

    Look, Signal, Manoeuvre. In that order ;-)
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  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    Whilst you should always signal, it sounds like the guy behind you was a bit of a 4rse.
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  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    "I am a biker as well" or "I'm a cyclist too" seems to be the driver equivalent of saying "I'm not racist but"

    Basically a term used by censored who wants to behave like one without you calling them out on it.
  • lmcamoeslmcamoes Posts: 51
    I start cycling about a month ago to go to work and back home and I am finding a bit intimidating.
    Obviously I try to follow all the rules but I had:
    - on a junction with two lanes, one to turn right the other one to turn left, a car signalling right and stopped on the right lane, I start overtaking her on the left lane and suddenly she just changed her mind and turned left. I just crashed against front passenger door... luckily I was stopping at junction and nothing happened. She just looked at me, and rush off.
    - A car just jumped on a junction from the right in front of me and I needed to break hard to not crash against it

    I try to cycle with carefully but I find hard to be safe...
    -
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 23,446 Lives Here
    I understand it can feel intimidating. You should try to be clear and predicatable in what you are going to do, signalling helps in this case. Unfortunately some people are arseholes and do stupid things, like changing their mind and turning left when indicating right, so you also have to expect the unexpected. Basically you have to try to ensure that you are perfect whilst remembering that nobody is perfect and many fall far below that level.
    Think how stupid the average person is, half of the population will be stupider than that.
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    The world is full of ar$ehOles, whether they be drivers, cyclists or priests. Just don't be a man of the cloth driving to a cycling event.
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  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 4,088
    Yes you should signal, but tbf in this case it makes no difference to the car behind you, it still would have had to wait behind you whether you were turning left or going straight on. I don't think the lack of signalling in this case is anything to get angry about.
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  • rower63rower63 Posts: 1,991
    I agree that the driver was a bit of an eejit.
    As for the signalling, ideally you should but sometimes you just can't, for instance if you need both hands to control the bike, like descending and braking on a steep poor surface, you have to choose between the safer of two crimes, risking losing control of the bike by indicating whilst braking downhill with one hand, or failing to indicate. The most important thing is that whatever maneouvre you want to do, you can do safely. The less important thing is the driver's inconvenience.
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  • dhopedhope Posts: 6,699
    rower63 wrote:
    I agree that the driver was a bit of an eejit.
    As for the signalling, ideally you should but sometimes you just can't, for instance if you need both hands to control the bike, like descending and braking on a steep poor surface, you have to choose between the safer of two crimes, risking losing control of the bike by indicating whilst braking downhill with one hand, or failing to indicate. The most important thing is that whatever maneouvre you want to do, you can do safely. The less important thing is the driver's inconvenience.

    This.

    Also, you can generally give an indication you're thinking of doing something without waving around. A shoulder check before beginning to slow, plus another just before you're about to turn is sensible to be sure there's nobody sitting there about to undertake you, and a driver *should* be able to figure out that if someone's slowing down and checking inside that they're likely to be about to change direction.
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  • lmcamoeslmcamoes Posts: 51
    To be fair, I think one of my mistakes was thinking that communing was a bit of a race.
    Because I was new on cycling I was trying to do the commute as quick as possible every single day, just beat the personal best every day.
    I just realize that cycling in traffic is a bit more dangerous than I expected and now I just cycle more carefully than before.
  • rubertoerubertoe Posts: 3,993
    He is new here, isnt he?

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  • vimfuegovimfuego Posts: 1,783
    Always shoulder check and do it clearly - it's amazing how many drivers will clock it and then back off before you have to signal that you need to move over to turn/overtake/avoid a bl**dy car that's parked in the cycle lane.

    Other than that - as above, signal when you can but if it means compromising control of the bike, don't worry about it
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  • lmcamoeslmcamoes Posts: 51
    Great advise!
    I will keep that in mind... Shoulder check CLEARLY!

    Thank you all!
  • rml380zrml380z Posts: 244
    I'm surprised everyone is advocating signaling left when you can.
    In many cases, a left signal seems to be an invitation for cars to overtake and then turn through you; an action the driver in this case may well have done. Let them stay behind you until after you have completed the turn.
    Of course, a shoulder check is always necessary.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 5,421
    rower63 wrote:
    I agree that the driver was a bit of an eejit.
    As for the signalling, ideally you should but sometimes you just can't, for instance if you need both hands to control the bike, like descending and braking on a steep poor surface, you have to choose between the safer of two crimes, risking losing control of the bike by indicating whilst braking downhill with one hand, or failing to indicate. The most important thing is that whatever maneouvre you want to do, you can do safely. The less important thing is the driver's inconvenience.
    Sorry, but no. This is the cyclist's equivalent of saying "I was blinded by the sun when I pulled out in your path."

    If you can't make the necessary signals, you aren't riding to the conditions. Sure we all do what you say from time to time, but is a mistake when it happens and you are putting yourself at increased risk. Stictly speaking, if you can't signal in time to make the turn, don't make the turn. Exactly the same as driving.

    If you know the surface is censored , don't build up the speed in the first place. That way you can control the bike and signal. I have a couple of these on my commute.
  • Long_Time_LurkerLong_Time_Lurker Posts: 1,068
    Always signal...and always assume that everyone else on the road is an idiot.
    Got into the habit of signalling now, so I'm even doing it at 5 in the morning when there is noone else on the road.
    While I may look like an idiot, it's not a bad habit to get into.
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  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    Always signal...and always assume that everyone else on the road is an idiot.
    Got into the habit of signalling now, so I'm even doing it at 5 in the morning when there is noone else on the road.
    While I may look like an idiot, it's not a bad habit to get into.

    It's interesting because I did an advanced driving course with a well-known ex-instructor of police drivers. His guidance was to only signal if there's someone to signal to (who needs to know). His logic was that, by being that observant, you will be a better driver (rather than what I refer to as "Belgian signalling" which is where you signal and expect everyone else to avoid you). Whilst I understand his logic, there's also part of me that says that, if you signal, on that one-in-x thousand occasion you don't spot another road user, at least they're aware of what you're going to do.

    The fact that a good proportion of drivers don't signal when they should means that the OP shouldn't beat themself up too much - if the car driver shouted at everyone that didn't signal, they'd never reach their destination.
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  • MeddersMedders Posts: 152
    rower63 wrote:
    I agree that the driver was a bit of an eejit.
    As for the signalling, ideally you should but sometimes you just can't, for instance if you need both hands to control the bike, like descending and braking on a steep poor surface, you have to choose between the safer of two crimes, risking losing control of the bike by indicating whilst braking downhill with one hand, or failing to indicate. The most important thing is that whatever maneouvre you want to do, you can do safely. The less important thing is the driver's inconvenience.
    Sorry, but no. This is the cyclist's equivalent of saying "I was blinded by the sun when I pulled out in your path."

    If you can't make the necessary signals, you aren't riding to the conditions. Sure we all do what you say from time to time, but is a mistake when it happens and you are putting yourself at increased risk. Stictly speaking, if you can't signal in time to make the turn, don't make the turn. Exactly the same as driving.

    If you know the surface is censored , don't build up the speed in the first place. That way you can control the bike and signal. I have a couple of these on my commute.

    This is an ideal view but Rower is right in the real world. On my commute I have a left turn at the bottom of a steep hill with an appalling road surface. It is physically impossible to signal correctly for that turn without faceplanting. Both hands have to be on the bar to apply both brakes and control over the surface. I deal with this by signalling early but in the 20m before the turn I have to hold the bars. Period. Your suggestion that I don't make the turn is ludicrous. It is a left turn so no one is at risk - the only issue is possibly a fleeting moment of inconvenience to a driver. I too have been lambasted by a driver for not signalling there (he had to wait all of about 2 seconds longer) - I had little sympathy as it was the same guy that decided to overtake with millimetres to spare me on a single carriageway 25mph+ descent a few weeks earlier. I informed him politely that he was large genitalia.

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  • lmcamoeslmcamoes Posts: 51
    I must agree with you Medders

    My left turn is in middle of a steep hill with a tight left turn 10 meters before.
    It is really difficult too left signal there.

    The driver was right behind me and he turned left as well, for his point of view (driving) for me to signal or not would make no difference.
  • Mr SharkyMr Sharky Posts: 172
    If he started berating you for not signalling then this is a clear indication (no pun intended) that he thought he didn't have time to overtake you when he assumed you were going straight on, but would have done if he knew you were turning too... so NOT indicating meant he stayed behind you. Result.
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  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,015
    Always signal...and always assume that everyone else on the road is an idiot.
    Got into the habit of signalling now, so I'm even doing it at 5 in the morning when there is noone else on the road.
    While I may look like an idiot, it's not a bad habit to get into.

    It's interesting because I did an advanced driving course with a well-known ex-instructor of police drivers. His guidance was to only signal if there's someone to signal to (who needs to know)./quote]
    I had the same advice from a current police advanced driver instructor. That was a long time ago. About 6 weeks after passing my test at 17 I heard about an advanced driving course being held by a road safety group that was affiliated to RoSPA. The course was a classroom course with half the time spent out on the road in cars with an instructor. Your first drive out was alone with this police instructor and he assessed you against the driving system the police use and explained in Roadcraft. On this session I was on my best driving behaviour as if it was a driving test. At the end he talked me through the assessment and showed me my strong and weak elements.

    One of the first things he picked me up on as we were driving was why I indicated. He pressed me to give a good reason but all i could say I was turning left so I indicated. He asked me who was I indicating my intention to and I could not answer because the road was empty. That was when he told me indications are only needed if you have someone to pass that information to.

    Personally I indicate if needed and prefer to know what is around me. Basically if I am making a manoeuvre where my speed or direction changes then I look at what is around me and indicate if needed, i.e. if someone is around. If you do not know what is around you then you should not make the manoeuvre.
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 2,004
    Sorry, but no. This is the cyclist's equivalent of saying "I was blinded by the sun when I pulled out in your path."

    If you can't make the necessary signals, you aren't riding to the conditions. Sure we all do what you say from time to time, but is a mistake when it happens and you are putting yourself at increased risk. Stictly speaking, if you can't signal in time to make the turn, don't make the turn.

    I think that is rubbish.

    It might be fair for a right turn (where you run the risk of a conflict with an oncoming or overtaking vehicle) but it doesn't apply to a left turn (where you are in conflict with no one and it is no less safe than going straight on (not making the turn). Of course you could have a pedestrian crossing the road you are entering but you always give way to tem whether or not you are indicating.

    There are other occasions when it is much safer to not indicate. Roundabouts are a good example - if they are tight then you are often better "indicating" via road positioning and shoulder checking rather than riding one-handed round much of the roundabout.
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    Medders wrote:
    This is an ideal view but Rower is right in the real world. On my commute I have a left turn at the bottom of a steep hill with an appalling road surface. It is physically impossible to signal correctly for that turn without faceplanting. Both hands have to be on the bar to apply both brakes and control over the surface. I deal with this by signalling early but in the 20m before the turn I have to hold the bars. Period. Your suggestion that I don't make the turn is ludicrous..

    absolutely...theres a similar section on my commute where the water board dug up a section (full road width and about 10ft in length so you cant avoid it) of the road right before a left turn, to fix a leaking water main, my suspicion is the pipe is still leaking as the road surface they put back has already sunk about half an inch and its like cycling over a cattle grid, there is no way I could ride that bit of road now without both hands on the handlebars and covering the brakes. so I find Im either sticking my hand out way too early for the turn and bringing it back in, potentially confusing people who might think Ive changed my mind, or sticking it out as long as I dare and quickly throwing an arm out, which usually means a blink and youll miss it attempt instead so whats the point I might as well try and keep full control of the bike.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 5,421
    So despite strongly disagreeing, and saying how ridiculous I am, everyone seems to agree that signalling to turn right is a good idea, that you do it when you can and that it's more dangerous not to. However you maintain that sometimes the lesser of two evils is to pull across traffic without signalling, because of poor road surfaces.

    Somehow, you argue, the drivers in these situations will know and accommodate your special requirements. Just, I assume, as they give you more room to go around potholes?

    Look, I'm very experienced and I live in Scotland. We have the worst roads in the UK. It's also hilly. Theres not a downhill scrappy road surface right turn scenario that we don't have in Scotland. Where I encounter these situations, either there is no car (see MRS's post) or I slow down and brace the tt with my knees so I can signal, or I signal and move to the primary early or a combination of these. When I encounter a situation I'm not expecting on unfamiliar roads, as I said, sometimes I don't signal very well. But if the road is so awful chances are I'd be focussing on going straight and saving my wheels and slowing down anyway.

    But you guys are talking about roads on your regular commute. I suppose you know what you are doing, but I don't buy that there's no other option. You just don't want to do it because it's slower.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    Signal when necessary - i.e. someone can benefit from the signal.

    You can always do it early or brake a little harder and pop a hand out briefly.

    Better to take a position that makes it clear what you are doing.

    Signaling shouldn't be something you do without thinking

    If you swap mirrors for look and don't worry too much about the acceleration phase, ,merge the speed/gear phases the following is a good guide

    BjqsNMzCYAASWsY.jpg
  • Sorry, but no. This is the cyclist's equivalent of saying "I was blinded by the sun when I pulled out in your path."

    If you can't make the necessary signals, you aren't riding to the conditions. Sure we all do what you say from time to time, but is a mistake when it happens and you are putting yourself at increased risk. Stictly speaking, if you can't signal in time to make the turn, don't make the turn. Exactly the same as driving.

    If you know the surface is censored , don't build up the speed in the first place. That way you can control the bike and signal. I have a couple of these on my commute.

    Usually, perhaps; not always. There is a sharp left turn on short, steep (down) hill on my commute. And the left turn comes straight after a roundabout.

    So speed picks up because it is downhill. It wouldn't be safe to take the left turn at the speed I naturally pick up at that point so I have to brake. And I would have to signal at the same time as I have to brake. And the braking would be front brake only which, particularly when the road is wet and slippery, could easily lead to a one-handed, front-wheel slide.

    I keep both hands on the bars at that point. Does it really inconvenience a driver that they didn't know in advance at that point that I would turn left?
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  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 5,421
    Depends how much you slow to take the left. If not at all, then no you aren't going to inconvenience anyone. If you slow down a lot because it's a tight turn, well the inconvenience might be yours.

    I've less issue with darting left than with the right hand turn situations this thread is really about. I have no great problem "inconveniencing" drivers, but cutting across your lane and turning right (potentially stopping in the middle of the road to let oncoming traffic pass) isn't just an inconvenience is it. You are just putting yourself in harms way without any warning. Personally I think that's pretty dumb.
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 2,004
    I've less issue with darting left than with the right hand turn situations this thread is really about

    Ballcocks - read the thread properly including particularly the OP. It is mainly about left-hand turns. I didn't see a single post advocating taking a right turn in traffic without indicating. On a steep hill, with a bad road surface and traffic it may well not be possible to take a right hand turn safely. But there are lots of other situations (roundabouts and left hand) where road positioning and shoulder checking may be safer than indicating.
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 2,004
    DIY

    "If you swap mirrors for look and don't worry too much about the acceleration phase, ,merge the speed/gear phases the following is a good guide". Yeah, not bad but to point out the obvious, indicating in a car requires the flick of a finger with no compromises to braking or steering ability! The trade offs can be different on a bike
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