Defensive Driving Tips On Vehicle Lane Changes

Lane changes can be one of​ the easiest maneuvers with a​ vehicle, and​ can be one of​ the hardest maneuvers at​ the same time. Changing lanes requires processing information​ and​ making a​ safe decision​ well in​ advance to​ make the maneuver a​ simple and​ safe task. The faster your​ speed is, the faster you​ have to​ process information, which in​ turn makes it​ a​ little more difficult. There are important defensive driving procedures you​ must do, before making a​ lane change.

Look ahead and​ plan ahead. if​ you​ plan well in​ advance, the maneuver becomes a​ lot easier and​ safer. Checking your​ path ahead before you​ consider changing lanes is​ the number one priority. What traffic and​ pedestrians are doing ahead of​ you​ is​ the first step in​ processing information​ and​ making a​ decision. you​ must always check your​ path ahead for​ vehicle traffic changes, and​ controlled intersections that affect these changes.

There are many potential hazards that you​ should be looking for. you​ have to​ be looking ahead for​ vehicles slowing down and​ possibly stopping in​ front of​ you, and​ making sure you’re on​ the look out for​ pedestrians that may step off the curb up ahead. Also checking for​ vehicles that may possibly come out in​ front of​ you, or​ from another merging lane. a​ good indication​ of​ what traffic and​ pedestrians are going to​ do ahead of​ you​ would be motorist signaling ahead of​ you​ with a​ signal and​ or​ brake lights. if​ their signaling to​ turn, they have to​ slow down and​ possibly stop for​ other traffic or​ pedestrians, depending on​ circumstances where they are turning. All this​ information​ is​ important, because it​ affects everybody in​ motion.

While your​ checking your​ path ahead, you​ have to​ know what is​ happening behind you. if​ you​ use your​ rearview mirror all the time, you​ will always know what is​ happening around you. Using the rearview mirror, gives you​ a​ bigger picture than your​ side mirrors. Checking your​ rearview mirror should be done at​ a​ glance only. your​ main​ concern is​ in​ front of​ you. When glancing at​ your​ rearview mirror, you​ should be glancing for​ traffic coming up faster than you, also vehicles signaling to​ change lanes behind you. They may be picking up speed to​ pass your​ vehicle.

in​ order to​ make a​ safe lane change, you​ have to​ either slow down to​ let traffic get by you, or​ speed up to​ stay ahead of​ traffic, without going over the speed limit. if​ you’re doing the same speed as​ traffic behind you, they won’t catch up to​ you, unless you​ start braking. if​ traffic is​ doing the same speed, you​ should accelerate slightly to​ maneuver over to​ the other lane, unless there is​ a​ good reason​ not to.

Once you​ know what is​ happening both ahead of​ you​ and​ behind your​ vehicle. The number three procedure is​ signaling to​ let traffic know your​ intentions on​ the direction​ you​ plan on​ maneuvering. The signaling procedure is​ for​ communicating to​ other drivers. if​ you​ signal and​ let other drivers know what you’re doing, they may slow down to​ let you​ make the safe lane change. Warning other vehicles of​ your​ intention​ to​ change lanes, include vehicles ahead of​ you​ and​ behind you.

Drivers negotiating to​ maneuver out in​ front of​ you​ may stay where they are, if​ they see your​ signal to​ move over, possibly into the lane that they want to​ maneuver into. People do not always do what there suppose to​ do, so anticipate the worst. Take nothing for​ granted! it​ may be a​ safer lane change beyond traffic waiting to​ come out, if​ you​ have time. you​ also have to​ consider not surprising the vehicles close to​ your​ vehicle by signaling as​ they approach the corner side of​ your​ vehicle. They may panic and​ brake, thinking you’re moving over sooner. Wait until they are beside your​ vehicle and​ your​ signal is​ out of​ their sight before you​ signal to​ warn other traffic behind your​ vehicle. this​ seems like a​ lot of​ info for​ just a​ signal, but communicating with other drivers are important in​ defensive driving.

After you​ have signaled and​ you​ know everything is​ clear ahead of​ you​ and​ behind. Take a​ quick glance over to​ your​ blind spot, and​ make sure there is​ nobody sitting along side your​ vehicle. Stay in​ your​ lane, if​ it​ is​ not safe. When you​ check your​ shoulder, it’s only supposed to​ be a​ glance. you​ still have one more important procedure before maneuvering into the other lane.

Recheck the lane ahead of​ you, just before you​ turn the steering wheel to​ make sure nobody is​ stopping or​ coming out into your​ path. Once you​ have glanced over your​ shoulder and​ looked forward, gradually maneuver over right away with a​ slight adjustment of​ the steering wheel. Only if​ it’s safe! you​ do not want to​ be maneuvering over, if​ there is​ a​ vehicle stopping in​ front of​ you, or​ coming out in​ front of​ your​ intended path. if​ you​ cannot make the maneuver right after the shoulder check, cancel everything and​ start over. The worst scenario would be traveling an​ extra block in​ town.

Do not make lane changes at​ intersections. Make sure lane changes are done before and​ after intersections. Intersections include any crossroad, side road, lane or​ street.

Constantly planning well in​ advance and​ constantly using your​ mirrors, will help you​ become a​ better defensive driver.

I hope these defensive driving tips help your​ goal in​ becoming a​ safe driver.

for​ more information​ on​ this​ topic, please consult with a​ family member and​ a​ recognized Driving School on​ defensive driving techniques.

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