The correct order of performing a safe lane change is as follows:
- Check your mirrors first prior to indicating. If a vehicle in the lane you are intending to merge into is closing the gap then you shouldn’t be indicating as you don’t want to frighten them into thinking you are going to move into them.
- The only time we should indicate is if we can see the car in the other lane in our internal mirror and can see both its headlights, then it is at a safe distance from you and you can indicate or if the vehicle is next to you.
- By doing this the other driver you could see in your internal mirror will see your indicator in time to work out what your intentions are. For the driver who is next to you, he won’t be able to see your indicator at all and therefor won’t be effected.
- Once it is safe to indicate, then the indicator must be operating for a minimum of 3 seconds prior to moving (consider having the indicator operating long enough for other drivers to firstly pick up your indicator is on, and then to work out what you are going to do before they can work out what they are going to do). So give them plenty of notice.
- The next is a Head Check to ensure your blind spot is clear before you move into the other lane.
- A good little exercise to confirm where your blind spot is, is to park on the side of the road and watch an approaching vehicle in your right mirror and note when it disappears out of your mirror. You will notice it was right next to your rear right door, out of your peripheral vision and mirror. That’s why we can’t afford not to do a head check.
- If we make this lane changing process a habit, it will mean using this same habit for whenever we are turning left or right, pulling into or out of the kerb, turning around at the end of a court. It is the same process for whenever we are diverging or turning.