Hand Signals In Transportation And Everything You Need To Know

Hand Signals In Transportation And Everything You Need To Know

When in traffic, hand signals are very important for drivers, bikers, and motorcyclists. If your signal lights are broken or malfunction, it is necessary to know your hand signals.

This article will set forth everything related to hand signals (what they are, reasons why they’re important, and how they’re applied to day-by-day traffic).

What Are Traffic Hand Signals?

Traffic hand signals are necessary

Bikers and motorcyclists often use traffic hand signals to suggest their intentions to other vehicles. In most countries in the world, hand signals are obligatory for cyclists since they are considered drivers.Hand signals are used whenever you need to make a turn or stop. They are also a part of traffic rules in the Philippines.

Why are hand signals necessary in traffic?

Whenever you’re out driving, you must know the rules of traffic. Knowing traffic hand signals doesn’t only help you avoid unwanted incidents, it also keeps you away from being fined by traffic police.

Moreover, you wouldn’t want to be the driver that drives people mad because of your careless turns or sudden stops. That’s why you should know the reasons behind the application of traffic hand signals.

First, hand signals are important because your signal devices might be broken in the middle of the road, and you haven’t had the chance to fix them. 

Next, it is crucial that you know how to use hand signals properly if you’re riding with a group of cyclists. These help you signal danger ahead or suggest that the crew pull off the road.

And last but not least, your headlights or signal lights could be obscured by sunlight or other obstacles. So traffic hand signals might be of service in this situation.

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Basic Traffic Hand Signals Every Driver Should Know

Now that we have lit upon the definition and reasons behind the use of hand signals, here are six basic traffic hand signals in the Philippines every driver should know.

Left turn hand signal

If you intend to switch lanes to the left or make a left turn, you need to signal. In order to do this, you straight out your arm through the window with your fingers pointing to the direction you want to go.

Left turn hand signal

Make certain other drivers see your signal, and watch out if any vehicles are approaching to avoid getting hurt.

Right turn hand signal

By raising your arm 90 degrees upwards, you indicate turning right or switching to the right lane. Take into account that drivers on your right side might not know about your signaling, as the pulled-up window could be their blind spot.

Right turn hand signal

Therefore, before attempting to turn right, observe your surroundings to make a safe turn.

Otherwise, if you’re riding a bike or a motorcycle, you will have to do it a little bit differently. Do the same thing as the left turn hand signal, only this time it’s on the right.

Hand signaling in cycling doesn’t only help the crew stick together, but it also helps them steer clear of danger on the road.

Go ahead

Communication is vital in everything we do daily. As a means to signal other vehicles to keep moving on, you wave forward as if you’re telling them to come with you.

Note that the same hand signal applies to cyclists and motorcyclists as well. The reason is the driver behind may think that you’re not aware of them. They won’t take over until they get a sign. This signal gives them the expression that they are free to move on.

Slow down or stop

There are two brake lights on the tail of your car. Their function is to signal whenever you hit the brake pedal. Occasionally, the brake lights are broken or obscured by bright sunlight.

Stop sign

Then, it would be best if you hand signals to other drivers with your arm stretched out 90 degrees downward. Remember to keep your palm facing astern and ensure that others can see that you’re signaling them.

If you’re cycling, put your right hand out and do the paddle movements. By doing this, you’re telling drivers behind you to slow down too.

Point to road danger

Giving other drivers an alarm about what lies ahead is also important. These are called traffic signs hand signals. There are many precarious, unfinished, and pothole-filled roads that you will encounter.

If you’re not careful, you might get into troubling or even life-threatening situations. The vision when riding a bike is much broader than driving a car.

Learn hand signals to avoid danger

Therefore, should you see any signs that say danger, point the finger to where the hazards lie. This way, drivers and cyclists behind you will know and stay away from road hazards.

Other than knowing your own hand signals, there are some traffic police hand signals that you should learn as well. As every time you go out, there will be police directing traffic hand signals

In order to follow their directions, you’ll need to understand:

  • If they put one arm up, that means you must stop at their order.
  • If one of their arms is upward and the other to the side, this puts a stop to vehicles from front and behind.
  • Their arms are in a wide V formation, meaning that vehicles from all directions must stop.
  • If both of their arms extend straight towards both sides, drivers from the right have to move forward.

Follow traffic police’s orders


So, there you go the answer to your questions and concerns about traffic hand signals. If this article has been helpful to you so far, leave a comment so we’ll know!

And don’t forget to stay tuned for our next posts on Tips and advice!

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