How to make hand signals for driving

You will be asked to show what the hand signals are during the pre-trip check portion of your ICBC road test. The pre-trip check is done before you head out on to the road at the beginning of your road test. Please refer to our pre-trip check post if you aren’t sure why they need you to do it at the start of the road test.

The hand signals are primarily used by cyclists to communicate to other road users their intentions. These hand signals are not only limited for cyclists to use. As a driver, you should also know how they work because there might come a time where your car’s lights are not functioning properly and you need to communicate where you are going.

As illustrated in the picture below, signaling a left turn is simply extending your left arm straight out pointing to the left.


Signalling a right turn is making a right angle with your arm pointing up to the sky. Cyclists have the option to use their right arm to point to the right as well.

And finally, signalling a stop or slowing down is simply pointing your arm down towards the ground.

Of course, signalling is very important when on the road because you need to communicate your intentions. Remember to always use your turn signal every time you are planning to turn, change lanes, merge, pull out from the curb or pull over to the curb.

Again, as I’ve emphasized in many previous blog posts, when signaling you need to do it in a timely manner. Be very clear about it and be sure to mean what you say. As I always say to each and every driver student, be as predictable as possible on the road. The moment you are unpredictable, you become a hazard on the road.

Until next time—stay safe out there!


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