It is important that a bike rider should be able to maintain bike control at the same time as signaling to warn others to warn of their intentions and checking to avoid hazards. Scanning to the rear when in traffic may act as a secondary signal to motorists of an intention to change position on the roadway. Rear scanning should only be undertaken when it is safe so. The rider should, at the same time, signal to advise other road users of intent to change direction.
Rear head checking is the act of looking over the shoulder. Rear head checks should be completed before mounting and dismounting, turning or stopping. This is a skill that demands the proficiency to keep the bike moving in a straight line while looking back. All bike riders should practice looking over each shoulder until it becomes second nature and they are able to maintain a straight line of travel while completing that maneuver.
It is important for a rider to be predictable in their actions and to let other road users know what it is that they plan to do before that action is initiated. Hand signals are a vital communication tool.
The right-turn signal has historically required that the left arm should be outstretched and bent upward at the elbow. When used by a cyclist, this signal may be difficult for motorists to see and it now permissible in some states to use the outstretched right arm to indicate a right turn. Always use hand signals when turning or changing position within a given lane.
Pedestrians and other cyclists should act with courtesy and respond in kind.