How can I safely change lanes?

Change lanes in a smooth, continuous movement. Follow the steps below to make sure that a lane change is made safely.

  1. Glance in mirrors to check the traffic behind you and to find breaks in traffic.
  2. Check the blind spot by looking over your shoulder into the lane you wish to occupy. Avoid driving in other vehicles' blind spots.
  3. Signal.
  4. Make sure the space is empty – check the mirror and look over your shoulder again.
  5. Change lanes by moving into a break in traffic flow.
  6. Steer your vehicle to the center in the new lane. Avoid weaving between lanes.
  7. Turn off the signal.

Problems to watch for:

  • Failing to check the rearview mirror.
  • Failing to look over your shoulder.
  • Checking over your shoulder too long while the vehicle drifts from its path or gets dangerously close to vehicles ahead.
  • Not knowing if there is enough room to change lanes. At first, you should make the judgment: look over your shoulder and still stay in the lane until it is safe to change lanes.