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Picture the moment when you were a teenager and got your driver’s license. How excited and proud of yourself do you remember feeling?
Exactly! Who wouldn’t be overjoyed after studying the driving safety rules and finally getting their license, right?
However, while flooded with that excitement, new drivers can easily forget how to change lanes safely while behind the wheel. And if you are or have a new driver in your life, we’re here to help!
Keep reading for a simple, step-by-step guide on how to change lanes safely for new drivers, including when to use a turn signal and other common driving rules.
Check Your Mirrors
When you think about lane changes, you mostly think of the highway – after all, that’s where a majority of changing lanes occurs on a daily basis.
With heavy traffic, high speeds, and confusing exits, changing lanes only gets more confusing on the freeway. However, before you let symptoms of freeway phobia creep in, the first step in lane changing is to check your mirrors.
That’s right: before you even switch on your turn signal, you have to check your mirrors. Why? Because if there’s no space, there’s no need for a blinker!
By checking your mirrors before all else, you are evaluating how much space is between your vehicle and the vehicles in the lane next to you. Additionally, you are widely preventing the chances of a car accident occurring.
Use Your Turn Signal
Many new drivers seem weary when it comes to knowing when to use a turn signal. In their first few weeks or months of driving, it’s typical to see them use it too early, too late, or even forget to use it entirely.
Sticking with the freeway example, let’s say you now have judged that there is enough space for you to safely change lanes.
The next step is to signal other drivers to your intent. This means using your left or right blinker to indicate where you’re going because even though you have a clear idea of where you want to go, others don’t!
The final step in how to change lanes safely is to do a simple, quick over-the-shoulder check before moving your vehicle. By quick, it should be less than one second, and you should only be moving your head.
Shoulder checks are absolutely crucial when changing lanes, especially due to blind spots, which are areas of the world outside your vehicle that the mirrors inside your vehicle cannot catch.
Someone could be speeding up and already past the view you have in your side mirror – without a shoulder check, you would automatically veer into their vehicle because you wouldn’t have known it was there.
How to Change Lanes Safely: It’s Important
Any time you get behind the wheel of a car, your life is at risk. But this becomes even more true when you’re changing lanes. That’s why it’s so majorly important for you to learn how to change lanes safely.
And with our guide here, we hope you have! Remember to check your mirrors, ensure enough space, use your turn signal, and do a one-second shoulder check.
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