Recommended Hand Signals

In 1997, the recommended hand signals depicted below were standardized and approved by the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations, the American Council of Snowmobile Organizations and the International Snowmobile Council to improve snowmobiling safety and consistency by ensuring that snowmobilers in every member country recognize the same universal signals if and when hand signals are used or observed being used by other riders.

Since then, the recommended hand signals have gained popular acceptance and are now being used by the majority of riders whenever and wherever possible. However, since making any hand signal requires removing the left hand off the handle bar and away from the brake lever briefly, each snowmobiler must decide for his or her self if and when it safe to use a recommended hand signal in any given situation without compromising the care and control necessary to safely operate their snowmobile.

Snowmobile Signals

Left Turn:

Left arm extended straight out from shoulder and pointing in the direction of the turn.

Snowmobile Signals

Right Turn:

Left arm raised at shoulder height, elbow bent and forearm vertical with palm of hand flat.

Snowmobile Signals

Stop:

Left or Right arm raised from the shoulder and extended straight up over the head with palm of hand flat.

Snowmobile Signals

Oncoming Sleds:

Left arm raised at shoulder height, elbow bent and forearm vertical, wrist bent, move arm from left to right over head, pointing to right side of trail.

Snowmobile Signals

Slowing:

Left arm extended out and down from the side of the body with a downward flapping motion of hand to signal warning or caution

Snowmobile Signals

Sleds Following:

Arm raised, elbow bent with thumb pointing backward, in “hitch-hiking” motion, move arm forward to backward over your shoulder.

*The “Sleds Following” signal has been expanded in popular usage such that an oncoming group of riders often each use the fingers on a raised left hand to signal the actual number of known sleds following behind them. 

Snowmobile Signals

Last Sled in Line:

Raise forearm from handlebar and show clenched fist at shoulder height.

*The “Last Sled in Line” signal should only be seen as an indication that the rider showing this signal is the final sled in his or her known group, but proceeding with caution is still advised because an unknown rider or group may be following right behind.