The days immediately after independence in 1957, car drivers had to use manual hand signals. At that time, it wasn’t that there were no mechanical signals yet. But the driving system at that time just required the use of both the mechanical signals and the hand signals as well.
A driver, especially cars had to be adept in using both the signals if he or she so wishes to pass in his or her practical exams.
If one were to ponder as to why we would resort to using both forms of signals, the answer exactly is quite simple.
Sometimes, whether we like it or not, mechanical signals or “indicators” as they are called, are known to have failed or broken down. As signals are important items of a car especially, the need to use manual hand signals therefore arises.
Mechanical signals or indicators to be fair, cannot possibly indicate or show all our intended directions. One perfect example is to “stop” suddenly. All a mechanical signal can do is to blink and continue blinking on and on.
Do you exactly know when the driver in front of your is going to stop?
The answer is No! Only the manual hand signal can show the driver behind when he or she intends to stop. In such situations, the driver first puts his hand out of the window, waves his palm up and down slowly and gently a few seconds.
This is followed by putting up his right hand, with palms held up right, to indicate he is about to stop any moment now.
Such hand moving motions and with the hand held up to shoulder high to signal “stop”, will not likely be missed by a sane driver following behind.
Another example of the good of manual hand signal is when in an extremely crowded road, traffic approaching you nonstop, while on the left and behind you, traffic keeps coming at a furious speed.
Imagine this. You are coming in on the right hand side to join the main stream. In such a situation, just by using the mechanical signal, will get you no where.
Human beings are such, hardly anyone will give way to you, allowing you to enter the main stream traffic. You can wait for as long as you want, believe me, few drivers, if there are any, would give you way.
What you have to do in such a situation is, first wind down your window, put out your hand, signal to the driver or drivers in front of you coming on the right hand side to kindly give way to you, and follow this then putting your right hand and waving from front to back, in circular motions, while at the same time moving inches by inches into the centre of the road.
Drivers from the back and the left side on seeing you have the intention to seek permission to enter the main stream from the right, believe me, would give you way eventually.
With your hand waving signals, put on your mechanical or indicators on also. As an added request no driver can ignore!
Two good examples of the use of manual hand signals over mechanical signals or indicators are suffice enough to verify the good of the former over the later.