How To Change Lanes Safely
Most highways in Australia are divided into lanes, each with visible lines indicating where your car should travel and the rules you should follow. Failing to follow these rules can make changing lanes a dangerous affair.
In this article, we’ll provide tips and rules for changing lanes safely, whether you want to refresh your driving prowess or pass your Driving Test.
Signal The Lane Change
Signalling your lane change is important because it informs other road users of your intentions, which can help prevent accidents. It allows other drivers to adjust their speed and position to accommodate your manoeuvre. Signalling can also help reduce confusion and improve the flow of traffic.
It is important to signal even if you think you’re the only one around. It is the unseen events that always pose the biggest danger. You should signal long enough to provide enough warning to other drivers.
Check Your Rearview and Side Mirrors
Checking your rearview and side mirrors gives you a full view of the road and traffic conditions around you. This helps you to be aware of potential hazards, such as vehicles and blind spots, which you can check before making a lane change.
Failing to check your mirrors can cause a crash, as other vehicles may be invisible from your direct vision. Hence, it is important to ensure that the lane you intend to switch to is clear of other vehicles and potential obstacles.
Check For Blind Spots
Blind spots are areas of limited visibility and are usually caused by obstructions. These spots can only be seen through a shoulder check. Many accidents happen due to drivers failing to recognise blind spots before changing lanes.
Checking your blind spots before changing lanes can help ensure safety for you and other road users. You need to be sure that there are no obstacles in the way before making a lane change. You should also keep off another driver’s blind spot unless you’re quickly overtaking.
Once you’ve ensured that the lane you want to join is clear of obstacles, it’s time to switch lanes. Make sure there is enough space in the lane you’re switching to. Then accelerate or slow down as needed to match the speed of the traffic in the lane you’re moving to. There is no need to hurry; the point is to make a safe lane change, so it should be done smoothly and gradually.
Switch off Your Signals
After you have successfully switched lanes, you should switch off your signals. Failing to do this can cause unnecessary confusion to other road users.
Contact LTrent Driving School For Help
Having trouble changing lanes? Our team at LTrent Driving School can help. We offer comprehensive driving lessons as well as practical driving techniques to help you become a better driver.
Our instructors will work with you to ensure you can change lanes safely on any road. To learn more, call (02) 8748 4500 or book a driving lesson online and get started. We also offer the Safer Drivers Course. This driving course allows NSW learner drivers under the age of 25 to acquire the right skills and drive safely once they pass their P’s test.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is recommended that you indicate for at least 3 to 5 seconds before changing lanes. This allows enough time for the drivers around to notice your intention to change lanes, so you do so safely.