We are going to discuss the steps to a safe lane change.
You need to communicate your intention to the other drivers.
This is done by using your signals.
Remember just because you are signaling, doesn’t mean it’s safe to go.
You need make sure that there is a safe enough gap to make your lane change.
Also, just because you put on your signal, it doesn’t mean that
The other drivers in the other lanes have seen or have had the time to process your signal.
What you will notice happening often times is,you’ll put on your signal and it will take two or more seconds before the other drivers notice your signal and ease off the gas to make room for you.
But remember, just because you are signaling, doesn’t mean the other drivers are going to let you in.
You need to use your mirrors, and shoulder check, and gauge whether the gap in the other lane is safe to change into. So let’s talk about how that’s done.
Anytime you are changing the direction of your vehicle, be it, a lane change, a turn, or a parking maneuver, you need to be aware of your surroundings.
This is by using your mirrors, and performing shoulder checks.
For the purpose of our lane change, we first want to look at our rear-view mirror to see what is happening behind us. Is there a vehicle?
Is the vehicle too close to us?
Do they have their signals on?
Next we’ll be using our side mirror to check out what’s happening behind us in the lane we are interested in, next to us.
If we can only see part of the vehicle in the lane next to us, then vehicle is too close for a safe lane change.
We ideally want to see all of the vehicle and it should be centered in the middle of our side mirror to be safe enough to make the lane change.
Is there a vehicle that’s traveling very quickly towards us?
Is there a car in the other lane that’s looking to get into the lane that we’re interested in?
Now the side mirror does not tell us the whole story.
In fact, it will not warn us of any immediate danger such as a vehicle being in our blind spot.
That’s where the shoulder checking comes into play.
The proper way to perform a shoulder check is to actually turn and look out the rear-door window.
In the case of a right shoulder check this means looking behind the front passenger’s headrest.
In the case of a left shoulder check this means looking out the rear side window past the support column.
Make sure to turn your neck while keep your hands where they are on the steering while and not accidently start your lane change because you are looking over.
Does all this sound very complicated and hard to remember?
Here’s the simplification of it. You want to look in the direction you are going to travel.
So starting at your current direction of travel, you look at your rear-view mirror first, followed by the side mirror, and followed by the shoulder check.
It’s this fluid motion that will keep you safe on the road regardless of the maneuver you are about to perform.
Going back to the lane changes, one thing to note, is that just because you have signaled does not mean you are now committed to the lane change.
If you determine that it’s not safe to do a lane change right now, simply
Cancel your signal and attempt your lane change further down the road when an opportunity presents itself.
Tip number 13, Here are some scenarios where you want to avoid making lane changes. You can’t change lanes over solid lines, or in the middle of the intersection.
[See if any of this needs to be implemented then delete: 16. Lane Change: Proper lane changes, how to use your signal, mirrors, and blind spot check properly, I like your choice of removing yourself from blind spot by easing off the gas
Mirrors and Blind Spots: Mirror, Side, Signal, Shoulder Check, Glide, And we won’t squish in.]
Be smart about when you change lanes. During your road test, you’ll be given plenty of notice about a turn you’ll be needing to make. You’ll want to change to the appropriate lane when it’s easiest for you. The same applies in real driving. When you decide to drive somewhere, take a few seconds to think about how you’re going to get there and plan your route. This will help you be aware of where you need to make turns so you can get into the correct lane well in advance. If you wait too long you might not be able to change lanes at the last second and might be tempted to break the law in order to turn where you had initially intended.
Now that we’ve been talking about getting ready to make turns, let’s talk about what is involved in making right hand turns. You will want to indicate your intentions of making a turn, five seconds to your turn. You’ll want to take a quick peek at your rear-view mirror to see what’s happening behind you. You’ll want to look at your side mirror to see if there are any bikes or pedestrian moving towards the intersection. And you’ll want to perform a right shoulder check to make sure no one is in your blind spot. Remember turn into the first available lane. Here the first lane is clear for us to turn into. However, here the first available lane is the one without the parked cars. It’s important to see where you are turning into. Once you’ve turned into the new street, you’ll want to resume your speed and glance at your rear view mirror to see what’s happening behind you.
If you turn into a street that seems like it’s wide enough to be a two-lane street but it’s got no visible lines, you’ll want to turn into a first available lane.
When coming to a stop sign, you’ll need to come to a full stop. Looking to your left, look straight ahead, look to the right, and look to the left again before proceeding. Incidentally, this is equivalent to the same amount of time it would take to count 1001, 1002 in your head. Anything shorter and you might be docked marks for not having made a full stop and proceeding without scanning. If you arrive at a 4-way stop and other cars have stopped before you, they have the right of way. Remember the “right of way” is something that is given not taken.
If you approach a street where you are the only person with a stop sign, you’ll need to make a full stop before the white line. If you do not have a clear line of sight to see what’s happening in the street you are about to cross or enter into, you will need to creep forward slowly until you have a better line of sight. Remember the other vehicles do not have a stop here so the onus is on us to be careful with our maneuver.
If you’ve entered a residential street, you’ll want to be very vigilant of kids that may be playing, or family pets that may be crossing the street. You’ll want to keep an eye out on your speed and cover the horn with your thumb and be ready to cover the brake just in case.
Here we come to a stop sign with no through street to the left. But we still need to look to the left and the right because there can be pedestrians or cyclists waiting to cross.
Approaching a sharp turn, you’ll want to brake prior to entering the turning rather than braking in the turn itself. You’ll want to maintain your speed during your turn and accelerate leaving the turn. How can you know if you’re approaching a turn? You need to maintain a high eye lead time. Avoid going into tunnel vision and looking just in front of your vehicle.
If you’re making a turn, you’ll want to change into the lane after the parked cars. Just because there were parked cars doesn’t you don’t have to do your shoulder check. There could be a cyclist or one of the parked cars that’s leaving.
Sometimes you don’t see the stop sign because it’s hidden. Look at the solid white line in front of you, that acts as at the stop sign.
Okay now that we’ve covered left turns, I want to discuss right turns with you. Although left turns are arguably more complex due to the oncoming traffic aspect, the right turn has it’s own aspects we need to consider. If you are approaching an intersection on a green light, outside of the regular signaling, checking of the rear view mirror, checking the side mirror for bikes approaching, and performing a right shoulder check for cyclists and pedestrians, if all is clear you can proceed without making a full stop. However, if you see pedestrians approaching the crosswalk, or you pass a cyclist that will likely make it to the intersection around the same time you get there, you need to slow down and stop without blocking off the cyclist’s path. Similarly if you see pedestrians crossing, if you wheels straight so in the event you are rear ended, your vehicle doesn’t get pushed into the path of the pedestrians.