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The Truth About Motorcycle Turn Signals And How They Affect Your Safety

Have you ever forgotten to turn off turn signals? You are not alone! As many as 40% of motorcyclists go through scary circumstances because of wrong turn signals made.

This means that 40% of motorcyclists are putting themselves at risk of an accident!

Are you one of them?

Incorrect turn signal use can endanger the safety of the rider and everyone surrounding them. This is of paramount importance, as motorcyclists are one of the most vulnerable groups of all road-sharers. Riders aren’t as protected as others when accidents occur.

Wrong turn signals can cause motorcycle accident

Why Motorcyclists Make Incorrect Turn Signals?

Wrong turn signals can happen because of the following:

  • Without intending to turn, the rider goes through an intersection with turn signal indicators on.
  • Postponed manual canceling of turn signal indicators because the rider is concentrating on traffic and the road.
  • Failing to use turn signals since the rider is worried about forgetting to cancel them.
  • Unclear motorcycle dashboard.

What To Do?

These circumstances can be hazardous for cyclists and everyone else on the road. Riders may use trendy add-ons and gadgets to cancel turn signals. Some riders opt to purchase motorcycles that have canceling systems installed by the manufacturer. That said, most of them don’t work as well as they should in some situations.

Turn Signals Cancelling Installed by Manufacturers

The following canceling systems are built into some motorcycles:

  • After 20 flashes, Harley Davidson’s system cancels your turn signal if you are traveling faster than 7 MPH (app. 10 km/h). The system won’t work if you’re slower than that. It will resume the countdown when the speed once again surpasses 7 MPH. The system also can detect angle changes, if a right or left turn has been completed, and will cancel a turn signal upon completion. The system does not recognize roundabouts and lane changes.
  • BMW’s system involves distance or time bases, depending on whatever option comes first. After 300 meters traveled or 10 seconds, the system will cancel the turn signal. The issue will happen if you’re driving in an urban area where junctions are closely positioned.
  • Ducati’s canceling system is developed almost identically to BMW’s, but only uses distance – turn signals are canceled by the system after 500 meters. The problems with this are the same as BMW’s.

Turn Signals Cancelling Add-Ons

If your motorcycle doesn’t have an inbuilt turn signal cancelling system, or if you are not fully happy with it — go for an add-on! Let’s assess some common accessories for turn signal cancelations.

  • Simplest of all is a sound buzzer. When your indicator is switched on, indicator buzzers beep loudly. This accessory is economical when turn signals are forgotten. The only downside is that you might not hear it beep.
  • The motorcycle canceling turn signal made by Signal Dynamics uses the number of flashes and time to figure out when the turn signal should be canceled. One second of a turn signal produces 7 seconds of blinking prior to cancellation. 2 seconds produces 20 seconds of blinking and 4 seconds produces 75 seconds’ worth. This kind of system has the same issues as the other time-based canceling systems.
  • Kisantech signal Minder is a plug-and-play add-on that uses a few individual times to establish when a turn signal should be canceled. You can program it to cancel a turn signal after 10, 20, or 30 seconds. The benefit of this system is the plug-and-play feature, the downside is the same as the other time-based systems.
  • STS (Smart Turn System) is a system that doesn’t use distance or time parameters to establish when a turn signal should be canceled. It instead uses motion sensors that can properly figure out whether you’ve made a lane change, completed a crossroad turn, or exited a roundabout. The fact that it’s not plug-and-play is the only disadvantage of the system. Check out STS here.
STS - Smart Turn System
This is how “STS – Smart Turn System” looks like.

So, The Truth

So the truth is that turn signals can cause an accident. That is if you forget to turn them off promptly. To avoid this from happening there are may turn signals cancelling add-ons and accessories you can install to dramatically improve you safety.

Each one of these add-on and built-in systems enhances the safety aspect for every cyclist. They should be operated with common sense. Ultimately, add-ons and canceling systems for motorcycles can reduce the likelihood of danger for everyone on the road.

Quick Facts Graphics

Motorcycle Turn Signals Cancelling Quick Facts Infographics

Disclaimer: This article was prepared or accomplished by it's author in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of Motorbikes India or it's owners.

The views and opinions expressed on this web site are soley those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Steve Gerweck, the GERWECK.NET staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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Motorbikes india (MI) is an online magazine about motorcycles in India. Motorbikes news, articles, clubs & events, routes, insurance, finance, maintenance & safety. We welcome contributions, from anyone that is enthusiastic about biking. If you are part of a motorbike club in India, please be sure to keep your club info and events up to date in our clubs section.

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