5 Victorian Road Rules You Didn't Know

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When you’re taught how to drive, you’re taught the most important rules such as following road signs — but there’s a good chance that there are other more subtle rules are left out from your knowledge.
These rules aren’t just a caution to help you avoid the law, but are also in place to help you become a safer driver.
 

Probationary drivers cannot use mobile phones

Since newer drivers tend to get into more frequent and serious car accidents, it’s become illegal for all probationary drivers to use mobile phones for any function at any time while the car isn’t parked.
This includes playing music or using the map. Even when the car is stationary such as at traffic lights or when you’re waiting to turn, mobile phones are prohibited.
 

You must follow all the rules after a crash

You might think that when there’s a crash, your only responsibility is to make sure that you’re okay. But there are other rules that are in place you need to follow.
The first is that you need to help any injured person involved in the crash. If there’s an injured or killed person in a crash and you don’t provide assistance, you can be fined up to $140,000, be imprisoned for up to 10 years or lose your licence for at least two years.
Another rule that must be followed is that you need to provide your name, address, registration number, and vehicle owner’s name to all those involved in the crash and police if they’re present.
These rules are to ensure first the safety of everyone involved and also to have a satisfactory tracking method to determine what really happened in the crash scene.
 

You must keep left on any roads over 80km/h

This rule might seem arbitrary at first and even incorrect because plenty of people drive on the right side of multi-lane freeways. But when you’re driving on these roads, you should only use the right lane if you’re overtaking another car, turning right or if traffic is congested.
This means that when you’re just cruising down the highway, it’s important for you to stay on the left lane.
 

Wearing thongs/flip-flops can get you in trouble

It’s actually not illegal to wear thongs or flip-flops while driving, but you can still be pulled over for not being in proper control of your vehicle. Whether or not this footwear impacts your driving by being in danger of falling off is up to debate, but it might be wise to put on proper footwear regardless of this.
Regardless, if you’re in a crash and they find that you were wearing loose-fitting footwear, it’s not completely unreasonable to assume that perhaps your shoes got loose and stopped you from being able to break.
 

There’s a difference between parking and stopping

Especially when it comes to the two signs — they have different rules. If there’s a no parking sign, you’re actually allowed to stop for 2 minutes in the area if you remain within 3 metres of the vehicle. This is usually to pick people up or drop passengers off.
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However, if there’s a no stopping sign, you’re not allowed to stop including for picking up or dropping off passengers.
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It’s a small distinction, but an important one to note.
 

3 Most Important Tips To Pass The Driving Test

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While there are many tips that people might give you to pass the driving test, we’ve narrowed it down to just the 3 most important tips – the ones we believe you should focus on most. Of course this is assuming that you’ve already practiced driving significantly and are on track to become a safe driver.
 

Trent On Road Test (TORT)

There’s no better way to practice for a test than to do a test much harder than the actual test. If you’ve ever studied really hard for an exam only to find out that the questions were much easier than the work you did, you would know the feeling of relief knowing you were prepared.
That’s why we have a special program called the Trent On Road Test (TORT), Trent’s very own practice test designed to challenge a learner driver’s skills to the best of their ability.
TORT aims to simulate the test environment as well as possible routes and provides students with as many difficult situations faced in the driving test as possible. During this experience, students will be able to not only be comfortable with driving without assistance but also gain the mental strength to face nerves on test day.
The test is 25–45 minutes long depending on traffic and the route and aims to create an environment as close to test day as possible, providing learner drivers with the confidence and preparation to ace the driving test.
Furthermore, Trent has devised a score sheet based on key competencies required to pass the driving test as well as a process for the trainer to provide detailed feedback on what needs to be improved.
 

Practice manoeuvres until you’re confident

Arguably the most difficult part of passing the driving test is manoeuvres as while you may have had hours upon hours of practice driving on the road, you would have had to specifically take time out of driving to practice manoeuvres.
Notably, the three manoeuvres you absolutely need to know for the exam are the kerb side park, three-point turn and reverse parallel park. While these are probably known to you, it might not be obvious to spend entire practice sessions dedicated to simply practising manoeuvres.
It’s important that not only do you consciously know how to do these manoeuvres, but you’ve intuitively learnt them for the test so that you can confidently perform them at ease.
When you wake up in the morning, you probably immediately go to brush your teeth. That’s because it’s a habit you’ve learned from practicing for years. You don’t even need to make a conscious effort to do it. You want to practice manoeuvres until you reach this point of confidence.
Remember, practice makes perfect.
 

Become familiar with the suburb of your testing centre

One tip that might seem arbitrary at first would be to drive around the suburb of your testing centre. To understand why this is important, it’s crucial to see what would happen if you were driving in a suburb you were unfamiliar with.
If you were in an unfamiliar suburb with superb driving skills, you’ll probably be fine. But since you’re a learner driver, you probably want to practice as much as possible so you have the best chance of passing.
Even confident drivers will tell you that driving around an area that they know is significantly easier than driving around an area you don’t know. This is because your subconscious intuitively learns how to drive in an area if you’ve driven there before, and you’ll be performing actions you’ve done before.
It would be as if you’re taking an exam before you’ve actually taken the exam itself — it’s much easier.
 
Book your TORT lesson here or speak to us on 02 8748 4500.
 
Check out our other blogs
What You Must Check Before Your Driving Test
Top 5 Reasons To Fail The Driving Test
What If I Fail My Driving Test?
 
 
 

How Much Does A Driving Lesson Cost?

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While the cost of a driving lesson isn’t a perfect indicator of quality, driving schools who put more resources into the quality of their lessons may increase the cost of their lessons.
You might first look at driving and think it’s relatively easy to learn — but even the easiest skills are better learnt with a deliberate structure. A simple analogy would be trying to get better at marathon running. If you just ran every day without tracking your improvements, you might get better.
But what if there was someone to teach you the proper form, pacing and tracked your strengths and pain points?
This would be the biggest difference between a cheaper driving lesson and a more expensive one. The difference between someone who has a system crafted to improve your driving skills and someone who just sits in the car with you and only helps you with their intuition.
 

Cheap ($40–$50/hour)

We’ll start with the cheaper driving lessons first. They may range from $40–$50/hr and are usually an independent driving instructor. However, these lessons might typically involve a driving instructor who puts the minimal effort to teach you how to drive.
This would entail an instructor who takes you into a car that hasn’t been optimised for teaching and simply teaching you without ever trying to figure out what you currently know and need to learn.
With anything, whether it’s an iPhone or a cheap phone, you pay for the quality of the product or service. This is the same with driving lessons. These instructors may typically teach you the skills just to pass the driving test, but not to be a better driver in general.
 

LTrent ($70–$95/hour)

It might seem counterintuitive for us to market ourselves as a more expensive driving school brand, but we feel that we’re justified in doing so. We’ve spent hours and hours on research to understand the best way to teach new students, make sure all our instructors know the process and acquire the best cars for students to drive in.
In the price you pay, you pay for an instructor following a process that we’ve improved over 50 years. You’re paying for a curriculum that is created not just to help you pass the driving test, but to make sure that you’re safe on the road.
This includes a 128-page handbook including 54 instruction topics with everything you need to know, a student record card so you can visually see what you’ve learnt and individually planned lessons.
 

The Hidden Benefits

What you’re really paying for when you pay for a lesson with LTrent is your time. You’re paying to get a lesson that will save your time. You’ll learn more in one hour with LTrent than one hour with a driving school that hasn’t put as much effort into perfecting the teaching process.
It’s the difference between trying to read a textbook and learning by yourself versus having a teacher who not only knows the material, but knows how to teach you as well.
Our philosophy is producing the best driving lesson possible and our value proposition to you is that you’re going to have a better experience with us than anywhere else. If you don’t believe that you received the best level of service and training, not only will we refund your money for your first lesson but we’ll give you 50% off your next session.
Find your driving lesson times or contact us
 
Check out other blogs
Why Do I Need 120 Hours To Take A Driving Test?
What Do I Do If I Lose My Logbook?
Should I Record My Logbook Hours With My Parents Or An Instructor?
 
 

How To Renew Your Driver's Licence

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Renewing your licence might not seem like an important task, but it’s useful to understand how to do – especially because you’re probably going to be driving all the way into old age and you’re going to need to renew your licence at some point. As well as this, if you ever drive unlicensed, you can be heavily punished.
 
Driving unlicensed
If you haven’t been manually staring at the expiry date of your driver’s licence being paranoid that it’s going to expire soon like most people, you’re going to receive a renewal notice six weeks before it expires. That is, you haven’t renewed your licence yet. Though if you didn’t receive any notice, it’s still your responsibility to make sure that you’re not driving with an expired licence.
 
If you do need to renew your licence, there are special conditions if you’re not on an unrestricted licence yet.
 
Learner licences
While other P1, P2 and unrestricted licence holders are permitted to renew their licence online, learner licence holders must attend a service centre or registry in person. Furthermore, learner licence holders must pass the knowledge test (the same test they passed to get their licence in the first place) to renew their licence.
 
Furthermore, drivers must pay the learner licence fee again. Despite this, it’s rare for someone to renew their learner licence as learner licences are valid for five years. This means that most people either progress to become P1 drivers or if they have chosen not to drive, simply use a photo card as a form of identification.
 
P1 and P2 licences
The amazing thing about a P1 and P2 licence is that there’s no time limit for moving through to the next stage of your licence and you’re able to renew your P1 and P2 licences as many times as you want.
 
P1 licences last 18 months before expiry and P2 licences last double that – 36 months. Furthermore, every renewal requires a fee.
 
P1 and P2 licence holders are able to renew their licences online.
 
Renewing online or in person
If you want to renew your licence online click here.
 
If you want to renew your licence in person, you can visit any service centre or registry and follow the steps given to you there. Typically this will involve filling out a form, providing your current licence and paying the required licence fee.
 
When you can renew
Remember that you’re able renew your licence up to 6 months before it expires. This means that there’s a half a year gap between being able to renew your licence and having your licence expire – plenty of time to make sure that you don’t drive around with an expired licence.
 
If you renew your licence within 6 months after the expiry date, your new licence’s expiry date will be calculated based on your previous licence. However, if you renew it more than 6 months after the expiry date, your licence will be reissued.
 
Cancelled licences
If your licence has been cancelled, suspended or disqualified – depending on the severity of the cause there are special steps you must take in order to renew your licence. To find out further information, call or visit a service centre and explain your situation.
 
Check out our other blogs
Speed Limits In Australia
What You Must Check For Before Your Driving Test
What Do I Do After A Crash?

How To Get A Free Driving Lesson

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So you’ve got your learner’s licence but you or your parents/supervisors are not sure of the best approach in learning how to drive. Luckily for you, LTrent has driving instructors affiliated with a special program called Keys2drive – an innovative approach to learn road safety through a free driving lesson.

This is an Australian Government-funded program designed to help learner drivers (only learners are allowed to go through this course) and their parents/supervisors with an accredited driving instructor, aimed to provide new drivers with the capacity to teach themselves and others the skills required to drive.

Why a free lesson is offered

There’s an overwhelming statistic where new P1 driver’s are twenty to thirty times more likely to be harmed in a crash than an unrestricted driver. This is simply due to the new environment of driving alone as well as the untested confidence of finally getting a licence. In order to limit this statistic, a free lesson that encompasses techniques for self-improvement in driving is encouraged for learner drivers.

In order to attend the lessons, the learner driver must hold an Australian learners permit and a supervising driver must hold an unrestricted licence and attend the lesson. The reason the parent or supervisor should be at the lesson is so that it provides them with the skills and capacity to help understand how they can help the learner learn. Feedback from Keys2Drive has informed us that communication has improved between parents and their learners due to the capacity of the supervisors understanding how best to teach someone a new skill.

A special learning experience

Keys2Drive offers a special 60 minute session that takes an entirely different approach to traditional driving lessons in the sense that the lesson attempts to teach the student to teach him or herself. This includes providing them with the resources and confidence to self-assess, self-instruct and self-supervise.

This makes up the first part of the lesson including examples of how these introspective techniques can be applied while driving. The remaining time is used on practically using these skills while driving and adding these mental models to your driving.

While the Keys2Drive lesson isn’t exactly like a traditional driving lesson, it certainly doesn’t replace it. It’s created to complement driving lessons as Keys2Drive teaches you psychological techniques for learning, and driving lessons teach you the driving techniques themselves. With both these tools equipped, you’ll learn more rapidly and broadly.

When you should take your free lesson

In fact, Keys2Drive recommends that you take the free lesson after you’ve done around 5-10 hours as you’ll have a basic understanding of how to drive and you’ll be reaching a point where further improvements in your driving can be learnt quickly. Similar to how if you’ve learnt your first few songs on a new instrument, you’re able to learn new songs even faster.

Despite this, Keys2Drive is extremely valuable for all learner drivers – even if you’re ready to take your driving test to become a P1 driver as you’re able to take the P Plate ready assessment which involves a scoring sheet checking whether or not you’re ready for your test.

Register for free

You’re able to register for a free lesson below.

Get My Free Lesson

Once you’ve registered please call us on (02) 8748 4500 (NSW) or 1300 717 115 (VIC) to see if we have trainers available in your area.

Check out our other blogs
What You Must Check For Before Your Driving Test
What Do I Do After A Crash?

Top 5 Reasons To Fail The Driving Test

What You Must Check For Before Your Driving Test

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Despite being completely prepared to pass the driving test itself, your test can still be terminated because of external conditions — most of which you can control. These include making sure all your paperwork is ready and most importantly, that your vehicle is safe to drive and that your body is in a healthy state.
 

Prepare your vehicle for the driving test

Your test can be immediately terminated if your testing vehicle is deemed unsuitable for safe use. There are a few checks that you can do before your driving test to ensure that your vehicle is ready.

  1. Indicator and brake lights — make sure that these lights operate properly, aren’t dirty or discoloured.
  2. Tyres — if your tyres are unsuitable for driving then your vehicle will be deemed unsafe so make sure that all your tyres are safe by checking the wear, damage and pressure.
  3. Registration — ensure that your vehicle is registered.
  4. Windscreen — if your windscreen is cracked or broken in a way that will obstruct your or your testing officer’s vision, then it must be fixed before your driving test (doesn’t apply to minor cracks).
  5. Seat belts — ensure that seat belts are able to fit both you and the testing officer.
  6. Mirrors — if your mirrors are broken or damaged in a way that obstructs vision, they must be fixed before you take the exam.

Furthermore, if your vehicle is unsuitable for the class of the driving test — for example, you’re driving a car with an engine only full licence drivers are allowed to use, then your test can be automatically terminated.
For more information, look at Section 5 of the Guide to the Driving Test
 

Prepare yourself for the driving test

One thing you have to remember before you go to the test is that you bring your Learner Driver Log Book and that it has been completed. This is crucial to the exam and if it has not been completed, you aren’t permitted to take the driving test.
Make sure that you take the test without any drugs and alcohol, not just due to its legality but also because it makes you an unsafe driver. If you’re suspected to be on any substances during the test, you can have your test terminated.
Note that it’s possible that your driving test can be terminated at no fault of your own. For example, if weather conditions are extremely poor that cause the driving test to be too demanding, you may be forced to reschedule your test. While this is unfortunate, it’s in place for your safety.
Above all else, remember to go to your driving test early so you don’t miss it. You can’t take the driving test if you aren’t there yourself. Remember to bring yourself to a healthy state so you have the best chances of passing the driving test
If you need any help with handling the logistics of the driving test, contact LTrent here
 
Check out our other blogs
What Do I Do After A Crash?
Top 5 Reasons To Fail The Driving Test
What If I Fail My Driving Test?

What Do I Do After A Crash?

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It’s easy to forget that you’re not invincible — that you’re a human that’s capable of making mistakes whose capable of being involved in a car crash. It could be because of bad luck or because you weren’t prepared for the road enough — regardless, it’s important to understand what to do if you do crash.

Make Sure The Crash Isn’t A Hazard

The first thing you need to do is to make sure another crash doesn’t occur in the area. This might not come intuitively, but a crash in the road is a hazard that people might not be prepared for.
In order to ensure the safety of others, remove everything that could possibly break and fall from the crashed vehicles such as debris and broken glass. While doing this, make sure that you’re safe.
The next thing is to switch off the ignition of the crashed vehicles to ensure that there’s no risk of fire and to switch on hazard warning lights. This is to make sure other cars are more alert to the situation and understand that they should be careful.

Reporting To The Police

Depending on the situation, there’s a chance that the Police may observe and analyse the crash. If you feel that there has been significant damage to property, especially one that will cause a hazard — make sure to call the Police.
If this does happen, make sure that you provide the Police investigating the crash with as much information as possible. This includes all details of the crash that you recollect as well as the personal details of yourself, the other party and any witnesses.
If the Police don’t attend the crash, understand that you should report the crash as soon as possible within 24 hours. While this might seem scary, it’s important to understand that you won’t get into trouble and that they’re an organisation who is trying to understand and help in the situation.
If you need more information on interactions with the police: Crash Reporting FAQs

Interacting With The Other Party

The most important part of interacting with the other party is to exchange details. It is required for both parties to provide each other with names, addresses, license details and vehicle registration numbers.
At this stage, it’s also important to note the other owner’s licence plate number and to also make sure your licence plate is provided to the other owner.
At this stage, make sure you take several photos of the crash scene for future references so there are concrete details of the crash. This is important to reduce the amount of hearsay in the situation.
If the crash is severe and a tow truck is needed, a driver is required (unless injury prevents them) to arrange for the towing of their vehicle.
If you have insurance, it’s important to contact your insurer and make arrangements with them.

Don’t Stress

Understand that situations like these happen and that you can move on from the crash. There might be a lesson to be learnt and there might not. Regardless, it’s important to not panic, to understand the process and the best next moves to make in the situation.
If you want further information on how to prevent crashes and become a safe driver, LTrent is happy to help.  Please call us on (02) 8748 4500 or email [email protected]
The LTrent Safer Drivers Course can also assist NSW learners with safe driving behaviours and how to handle distractions through 3 hours of theory and 2 hours of practical driving sessions. You can find course dates and times here.

Check out our other blogs
Top 5 Reasons To Fail The Driving Test
What If I Fail My Driving Test?
How To Change Lanes

Top 5 Reasons To Fail The Driving Test

It’s time for you to take your driving test and you’re afraid of failing — which is a reasonable fear. It’s a good idea to understand the ways that most people fail. Here are the most common ways that people fail the driving test.

Failing to check intersections properly

An extremely common way to fail the driving test is to check intersections poorly. The reason why checking intersections properly is so important is because you’re more likely to get into an accident at an intersection than driving on a straight road.
This is because it requires a reset in your mind where you have to stop, make sure to check properly that there aren’t cars that can potentially crash into you and then move as opposed to driving straight the entire time.
A common way to fail is by not turning your head to take a look when you approach an intersection. Note that this is extremely important even if there are cars that are meant to be stopped at a red light — as you never know if people will accidentally break the rules and crash into you.
 

Performing manoeuvres unsafely

The most common manoeuvres to fail are three-point turns and reverse parks. A common way to fail is due to a strong focus on getting the manoeuvre correct and forgetting to do traffic checks to ensure that it’s actually safe to start the manoeuvre in the first place.
Another way people fail is by not positioning properly or not doing the manoeuvre properly and not realising it until after the instructor has checked. Finally, it’s common to fail the kerb side parking by not parking close enough to the kerb.
Manoeuvres come with practice and we recommend that you dedicate certain driving sessions purely to practice manoeuvres. Training your muscle memory to intuitively understand how to perform them is crucial.
 

Not turning at an intersection at the right moment

A common way for people to fail is to go too early or too late at an intersection. The more common one is for people to get nervous at an intersection and impulsively cross the intersection unsafely.
It’s important to make sure that during your driving practice, you understand when there is a satisfactory gap to drive and that if you have a satisfactory gap, you take it.
 

Failing to observe regulatory signs

A sure way to fail is by not following regulatory signs. This includes not stopping at stop signs. Many people fail by slowing down at stop signs as if they are give way signs instead of stopping completely — an instant fail.
Furthermore, crossing unbroken lines by accident is common. It’s important to understand that you cannot cross white unbroken lines and to revise on regulatory signs before taking the test.
 

Speed

Many drivers fail the driving test by failing to drive at the appropriate speed — whether it’s too fast or too slow. Especially on longer stretches on main roads, it’s common to lose focus and drive at the same speed that other cars are driving.
However, if other cars are speeding, that doesn’t mean that you’re permitted to speed as well — which will lead to a fail in your driving test.
If you have any enquiries on how to pass the driving test, contact LTrent here.
 
Check out our other blogs
What If I Fail My Driving Test?
How To Change Lanes
Will I Have To Reverse Park During My Driving Test?
Speed Limits In Australia
 

What If I Fail My Driving Test?

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What If I Fail My Driving Test?

There were a million things that could have gone wrong during your driving test and sadly, something did. Unlucky for you, you just failed your driving test and you’re wondering what to do next.
The first thing is to not panic — only 40% of people pass the driving test on the first try. That means that 60% of people fail the driving test the first time they take the test.
A key thing you have to know is that if you fail the test you cannot drive away on your own and it’s required a licensed driver is with you.
 

The Process After The Test

If you haven’t taken the driving test yet, it’s important to understand the process you will go through after the test. When you return to the registry, your testing officer will calculate your result on the test score sheet as you wait.
After your result is ready, you’ll be called to the counter. If you passed the driving test then you’ll be congratulated with a new P1 licence that you will need to pay for.
But if you failed, the test score sheet will indicate areas of improvement and the officer will make brief comments on what you could have done better.
However, testing officers are not permitted to discuss any specific situations or events. Through the general comments, it’s important for you to draw upon the specific situations where you could have made a mistake.
If you are genuinely unsatisfied with the way the test was conducted because the test was conducted unfairly and not just because you were unhappy with the result, you have an opportunity to contact the manager of the registry who will look into the complaint and have a further discussion with necessary.
 

Becoming a better driver

On the other hand, it’s wise to look on the positive side of the situation — you’re able to get more practice in and you’ll be an even better driver when you do get your licence.
There are numerous ways you could have failed the driving test. The most common are:

  • Disobeying traffic signs, signals or road markings
  • Failing to give away when necessary
  • Colliding with a vehicle, pedestrian or object
  • Performing an illegal act or manoeuvre

Remember that in order to the pass the driving test you must have no more than 3 errors in the pre-drive checklist, no critical error mistakes and no more than 15 errors while driving on the road.
 

The Test Score Sheet

If you want to have a look at the test score sheet, look in your driver’s manual or here on page 36.
Nevertheless, if you have failed you will receive your test score sheet back with what you’ve done well and what errors you made.
Maybe you might have driven perfectly except for one critical error mistake you made because you didn’t stop at a stop sign because you were nervous or maybe you didn’t manage to reverse parallel park (link to reverse parallel parking blog) properly.
Regardless of what caused you to fail, it will be on the score sheet and it’s important to look at the score sheet and improve on it next time.
If you want help with understanding how you can improve, feel free to book a lesson with LTrent with your score sheet and our experienced instructors will make sure you fix your mistakes so you have a better chance at passing the driving test next time.
 

Next Steps

The next steps are to book another driving test. You must wait a minimum of seven days before taking another Driving Test. If you want to book another driving test, you’re able to book at the registry that you took the test right then and there.
However, LTrent recommends that you practice what you’ve done wrong before booking again.
 
Book My Test Preparation Lesson Now
 
Check out our other blogs
How To Change Lanes
Will I Have To Reverse Park During My Driving Test?
Speed Limits In Australia

How To Change Lanes

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A set procedure is used for lane changing. You must slow down or stop if necessary according to the traffic that has the right-of-way.
The procedure to change lanes is:

  1. Check Mirrors: If the way is not clear, the change cannot be made. Remember an early decision is needed.
  2. Signal: Signal to the appropriate side. Give a 4-second warning to the other vehicles.
  3. Check blind spot: This is only a quick, over-the-shoulder, final check. The initial decision to change is made from the mirror.
  4. Change lanes: Do not commence moving until vision is directed forward. Gradually drift into the selected lane and cancel the signal. Quick steering wheel movements are not needed.

When changing lanes, do not reduce your speed unless necessary. This increases the degree of difficulty as the following vehicles catch up more quickly.
NOTE: you have NO  right of way when changing lanes
 
Are you confident changing lanes? Our LTrent instructors can help you learn to change lanes easily and safely.
Book your lane changing lesson now