How To Change Lanes
There’s a famous animation showing a driver in a car asking the question – “Do I need to show my indicator to cut across eight lanes? No? I’ll turn now”. Well, they did, and what followed was a commotion of chaos and explosions.
Obviously, this was only an animated series and, of course, which to some extent was greatly exaggerated. The reality is, people don’t always know what the correct procedure is when it comes to changing lanes.
In this article, we’ll go through the steps that you’ll need to take to do safe lane changing while driving. Whether it’s for your driving test or you just want to refresh your driving skills, the rules stay the same.
The first thing that needs to be addressed – you do not have the right of way when changing lanes.
The only place you’ll have the right of way is when you need to merge into another lane (called zip merging). If you’re on the left lane and you need to merge into the right lane, the driver in the right lane will give you the right of way.
If you’re a learner driver, your driving instructor will take you through these steps, as well.
- Check your mirrors to see if the lane you’re changing into is clear of traffic. Be decisive in your decision-making, and do it as quickly and safely as possible.
- Use your turn signal to show that you intend to change lanes. Do this in advance and not turn your signal the moment you want to turn.
- Look to the blindspot by doing shoulder checking – a quick peek over the shoulder to make sure it’s safe and you didn’t miss a vehicle that was driving in your blind spot.
- If it’s clear, then it’s safe to change lanes. Make sure you’re looking forward when changing lanes and that you’re doing any shoulder checking.
- Once you’ve made the change and you want to get back into the lane you were in, recheck your mirrors and check the opposite blind spot as well.
You need to constantly gauge your speed with the car in front of you. If you can see the car in front of you is going much slower than you are, you’ll need to decide to change lanes or slow down to match their speed.
If you’re a learner driver preparing for your driving test, your driving instructor will most likely find a quiet place to go through all the dynamics of lane changing.
It isn’t as daunting as you might think. We recommend using a qualified driving instructor at an established driving school to take you through these steps.
And since we drive on the left side of the road in Australia, remember that most of your driving will take place in the left lane.
Learn How To Change Lanes
If you want to be taught how to change lanes as well as other practical driving techniques, book professional lessons with LTrent Driving School.