Hand Signals Driving

Explained Hand Signals Driving – Basic Hand Signals

While driving, there might be times when the car indicators or headlights might not work properly. This is why it’s important to learn hand signals for driving to communicate with other drivers. Regardless of the driver’s experience, everyone must learn basic hand signals for actions, including changing lanes while applying brakes or changing lanes.

Even if you don’t use them, other drivers might, so you should know the meaning of hand signals while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that these signals can significantly reduce accidents. This article discusses the basic driving hand signals Ontario, which will help you during driving.

What Are Hand Signals For Driving?

Hand signals driving are gestures that are used while driving. While riding a bicycle, hand gestures are mostly used as bicycles don’t come with indicators or brakes. So, cyclists use hand gestures to tell other motorists when they are making a turn or changing lanes. 

But cyclists are not the only ones who use hand signals while driving. Car drivers, motorists, truck drivers and moped drivers also use these gestures when needed. While driving, relying on driving hand signals is necessary, especially when the indicators or car headlights are not working properly.

3 Basic Hand Signals

The 3 basic hand signals which are used while driving are described below:

  • Stop hand signal
  • Left turn hand signal
  • Right turn hand signal

How To Perform Stop Sign?

The first sign is slowing down or stopping, and for that, the driver needs to extend their left arm from the window and face it downwards. Your palm should be facing toward the traffic that is backward.

How To Perform Left Turn Sign?

The next is the left turn sign; for the left turn sign, the driver should hold his arm straight out of the window. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also provides an excellent guide regarding hand signals driving.

How To Perform Right Turn Sign?

The last is the right turn sign, where the driver is advised to bend his arm at 90-degree angles. He must bend at the elbow so that the forearm points upwards, forming an L shape. Along with this, if you need further assistance, Gclass Drivers can help you.

Make Sure You Are Seen

While making these hand signals, ensure other drivers have seen them. Also, always check mirrors while changing lanes or making turns. Clear communication between road users is the key to avoiding and reducing accidents. Remember to be aware of the laws of traffic issues and signal lights in different states to avoid any inconvenience. Safety is always first, so ensure your vehicle is in good condition.  

Why To Use Hand Signals?

Indicators Malfunction

Hand signals driving are very important while driving; these manual signals can even become life saving. There is a chance that your indicators may fail at the most inconvenient time. A lot of accidents occur because of signal malfunctions. 

So, if your brake lights or turn signals are not working, you should know hand signals for driving. By practicing these basic hand signals driving, you can reduce the risk of being a part of such accidents.

Unwanted Weather Conditions

Similarly, hand gestures are also helpful in unwanted weather conditions. For instance, bright sunlight can block your car’s lights, making them invisible to other drivers. Heavy rain or fog conditions also result in decreased visibility. 

During such conditions, it is advised to use hand signals while driving to avoid any kind of collision. But remember that these signs can’t replace regular indicator usage until it’s necessary. 

Night Time Driving Without Indicators

Another issue is the malfunction of indicators during nighttime. This is one of the worst scenarios that could happen. At this time, hand signal driving also doesn’t work, so you need to be extra careful. In this situation, the first thing you need to do is to stay calm and don’t panic. 


You can use emergency services like road assistance if you can reach them safely. Another temporary method is to use reflective tape or portable LED blinkers. These can be attached externally and can work until the professional repairs are done.

Hand Signals for Driving Test

Driving test hand signals are also crucial for getting your official license. During your driving test, your instructor may also ask for several hand signals. If you want to clear your test confidently, then it’s necessary to learn these signals as well. For further guidance, contact Gclass Drivers; we cover all the points included in the official test.

Tips On Hand Signal Driving Technique

Following are some of the hand signal driving tips that can help you avoid accidents and demonstrate safe driving skills:

  • Use obvious arm movements when signaling while driving to ensure visibility to other road users.
  • Signal 100 to 200 feet before turning or changing lanes, following your state’s specific guidelines and laws.
  • Prioritize safety by checking mirrors before extending your arm to signal and avoiding last-minute decisions or abrupt lane changes.
  • Avoid using hand signals driving at night due to low visibility; instead, ensure your vehicle’s lights and blinkers are functioning properly.
  • Cyclists may use hand signals at night, but it’s still risky; wear reflective gear and use lights for added safety.
  • Familiarize yourself with your state’s specific regulations regarding signaling and hand gestures while driving to stay compliant with the law.
  • Be aware of your surroundings while driving, including checking mirrors every five seconds.
  • Maintain precise steering, avoiding the need to take both hands off the wheel whenever possible.
  • Adhere to road rules such as keeping to the right, obeying posted speed limits, and following the directions of police officers when they are directing traffic. 


To conclude, hand signals driving is necessary for effective communication. When the car’s indicators or headlights fail to function properly, hand signals are needed at this point. A downward pointing palm signifies a stop, and a straight out arm indicates a left turn. At the same time, a bent arm, which makes an “L” shape, signals a right turn. These universal signals are used in case of malfunctioning indicators and also increases road safety. 

However, hand signals are not a substitute for regular indicators. They are a backup in emergencies or adverse conditions like blinding sunlight, heavy rain, or fog. If you need more guidance or assistance, Gclass Drivers are here for you. By practicing these hand signals, you can become a responsible driver. Remember, a simple hand gesture can make all the difference. Stay safe, stay informed, and keep driving safely.


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