Letting other drivers around you know what you're up to is part of safe driving. It's not difficult to use your turn signals, and generally it's required by law when turning or changing lanes. By indicating direction you communicate with other road users. This keeps you and the other drivers safe and prevents accidents.
Method 1 of 2: Using turn signals to turn
Step 1. Locate the lever on the left side of the handlebar
The turn signal is a long, usually gray or black lever. When moved up or down, a light will flash on the left or right side of your car.
The turn signal makes no sound and the light does not flash unless the engine is running
Step 2. Use the turn signal to indicate a left turn
To indicate that you are turning left, wait until you are about 30 meters from the corner where you want to turn. Make sure you are in the left-turn lane and gently press the turn signal down with your left hand. Once the turn signal clicks into place, you will see a flashing arrow on the left side of your instrument panel. You will also hear a tick-tock sound that coincides with the flashing light. This way you know that the turn signal is working properly. Put your hand back on the steering wheel and continue driving.
- While pushing the lever down with your left hand, keep your right hand on the handlebars.
- Turn on the turn signal before you brake, so that your fellow road users know why you are slowing down.
Step 3. Indicate with the direction indicator that you are turning right
To signal a right turn, wait until you are 30 meters from the bend you wish to take. Make sure you're in the right-turn lane, then push the lever up with your left hand. The rest of the events are the same as when you signal left turn.
Once you've pushed the lever up, an arrow around your instrument panel will begin to flash. You will also hear a sound like a metronome at regular intervals, which is synchronized with the blinking light on your instrument panel
Step 4. Make sure that the turn signal goes out as soon as you make a turn
Normally the turn signal will go off on its own when you have turned, but if the turn was less than 90 degrees, the turn signal may not go out. Note the flashing light above and just behind your steering wheel. Listen to the rhythmic ticking as the light flashes on and off.
- When you see the light flash or hear the ticking, reach for the turn signal and gently turn it to the off position.
- Not turning off your turn signal after you have turned is in some cases illegal and causes confusion for other road users.
Step 5. Also indicate direction if you are driving in a pre-sorting area
Some lanes are reserved for left or right turns. While it may seem overkill to give direction if what you're going to do is clear based on the lane you're using, it's okay to do so. Road users who are not familiar with the area or who cannot see the markings due to other traffic will appreciate it if you indicate which way you are going, and make it clear that your lane is specifically intended for turning in a certain direction.
And by the way, you are legally obliged to indicate direction anyway
Step 6. Don't turn on your turn signal too early
You only indicate a direction if there are no more streets or alleys between you and the road you want to turn into. If you signal too early, someone may think you want to turn into a parking lot or a street you don't want to go on at all.
Such confusion can cause accidents or cut you off
Method 2 of 2: Using turn signals to enter or exit
Step 1. Use your turn signal if you are driving away from the side of the road
Before exiting a parking space along the road, it is important to indicate that you intend to merge into traffic. After you get into your car, turn on the turn signal pointer to the side you want to insert. For example, if you're on the right side of the road and want to merge into the lane parallel to the left of your car, indicate direction by pressing the turn signal down.
- Check your side mirror to make sure there's room to merge, then turn your handlebars all the way to the left and pull up gently.
- Return the turn signal to the neutral (start) position by gently pushing it up.
Step 2. Merge onto a highway with your turn signal
When you merge onto the freeway, you accelerate quickly so that you have enough speed to drive on the freeway. About halfway through the slip road, turn on your turn signal. This shows that you are about to insert, but remember that you do not have priority when you insert. Be careful while merging between fast traffic.
- While some highways are built in such a way that you can't merge in any other way, some merge lanes change into a lane that connects to a possible next exit. In any case, using your turn signal will alert other highway users to your wish to merge and allow them to slow down or change lanes to give you space.
- Look out your left window as you merge onto the freeway, as this will allow you to see if there are any cars next to you and help you merge better. As you insert, look in your rear-view mirror and left mirror to find a hole to insert into.
- Once you've found your hole, quickly merge to the left. Take no more than 2-3 seconds to move from the slip road to the highway lane.
Step 3. Exit the highway with your turn signal
Drive in the rightmost lane of the highway; if the slip road is on the left, go in the left lane. When you are about 100 meters from the slip road, indicate the correct direction. Do not slow down as you approach the slip road. Once you are on the slip road, you will indicate the direction for the following action: Only adjust your speed and the direction you indicate as soon as you drive on the slip road.
- If you go straight, turn off the turn signal.
- When you turn left, push the lever down.
- If you're turning right, leave the turn signal in the right-turn position all the way to the end of the slip road.
Step 4. Indicate if you plan to change lanes
For example, if you are driving on the right and want to change to the left lane, you can do so easily and safely with the help of your turn signal.
- First turn on the turn signal in the direction you want to go. To move into the right lane, push the turn signal up to let others know you want to turn right. To change to the left lane, push the turn signal down to indicate that you want to change to the left lane.
- Turn on your turn signal at least five seconds before you want to change lanes.
- Don't just turn on the turn signal for a few flashes. Lock it in, just like you would if you were turning.
- When everything is clear, turn the steering wheel slightly in the direction of the lane you want to go. Once you drive all the way into that lane, reach for the turn signal with your left hand and turn it off.
- Do not cross multiple lanes with one direction indication. If you know that you have to cross more lanes, you have to give yourself the time and space to do so. Plan your entry and exit plans in advance.
- Remember, your turn signal is there to warn drivers you can't see (who are in your blind spot) what you're about to do.
- Test your turn signal to make sure it works properly.
- Use your turn signal every time you change lanes or turn.
- Always keep an eye out for other drivers when changing lanes and for pedestrians when turning.
- Give direction, then look and finally turn. You give others more time to see you. Very nice drivers will even give you space.
- If your turn signal doesn't work, you can use hand gestures instead. While most drivers don't know this, you can avoid a ticket and help those who do know. When you turn right, extend your left arm out of the window with your arm extended. When you turn left, stick your left arm straight out the window. You can also point so that everyone can see that you are pointing in the right direction and not just driving around at your leisure.
- In some cars, if you just briefly push the lever up or down, the turn signal will flash three times. This can be useful on the highway, if you want to overtake someone because it allows you to first look in your mirror, then check your blind spot and finally tap your turn signal and maneuver safely.
- Always look carefully where you are going and do not turn if it is not safe to do so.
- When directing, make sure you always have at least one hand on the handlebars.