One of the first things you will learn in a theory driving class is how to use hand signals when driving. The signals may at first seem irrelevant but as you go on learning, you will get to see and appreciate the importance of hand signals. You will learn how the signals were developed as important tools of non-verbal communication. Your instructor should be able to explain to you proper use of hand signals brings about clarity in action, arrests ambiguity and maintains safety. Finally, you will learn that the hand signals are universal. They cut across different road users, from cyclists and pedestrians all the way to drivers and motor cyclists. Read on to learn more about the most important hand signals and why shouldn’t take any of them for granted.
Left and right turn
It all depends with where the driver’s seat is placed. If for instance the seat is on the left hand side, you will use the left arm to indicate signals. The position changes from one country to another depending on a country’s traffic rules. Most driving lessons in Malden insist on learning how to drive both left and right hand driven vehicles for this reason. Mastering the basics when driving either cars will in the end mean you won’t have problems driving in a foreign country.
To turn left, gently extend your left arm out of the window. Your palm should face the road ahead to enable the cars behind you see the back of your hand and correctly interpret your hand signal. Then to turn right, slowly place the upper part of your right arm on the window base and gently lift your forearm towards the sky. The back of your hand should be clearly seen by all the vehicles behind you.
Stopping and slowing down
The aim here is to of course, indicate that you intend to slow down or stop. Simply extend your left arm out of the window then place the upper part on the window base. The lower part of your forearm should face the ground so that your palm can be easily seen by the immediate vehicle behind you.
The obstacle signal
This is perhaps one of the most important hand signals you will learn about. The signal can save the life of the motorist behind you or spell doom. Its aim is to indicate that there is an obstacle or a dangerous foreign object on the road. Your signal should be clear enough to pass across the message that one should slow down or avoid the obstacle on the road altogether. Extend your right or left arm depending on the vehicle you drive and point at the obstacle with your finger fully extended.
Requesting driver behind to reduce speed or to stop
Speed is always an issue while on the road. Fortunately, you can use hand signals to request the driver behind to reduce speed. The signal can come in handy when your tail and break lights fail. Open the palm of your left or right hand depending on which side of the car you’re driving from. Your palm should face the road. Push it up and down slowly until the driver behind you slows down. To request the driver to stop, make the palm of your hand face directly face the oncoming driver.
Points to note
Hand signals are not meant for just automobile drivers only. They are meant to aid other road users as well. Remember it is all about safety. You can, for instance, warn a cyclist behind you about an obstacle on the road or that you want to turn left or right.