5 safety rules for changing lanes while driving

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One of the most common causes of accidents is a result of drivers incorrectly changing lanes while driving on the highways.

To reduce the frequency of accidents, the Federal Road Safety Corps has urged motorists to follow the proper lane-changing techniques when they drive, even if they can’t see any other vehicles nearby.

The following are some safety rules for motorists to adhere to when changing lanes, culled from the corps’ Facebook page:

Step 1: Turn on your turn signal

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Turn signals are the only way you can let other drivers know that you will be changing lanes. Using your blinker to signal your intent to change lanes, merging into traffic, and even turning into a parking spot can help keep you safe.

Step 2: Check your rearview and side mirrors

After activating your blinker, take a look into your rearview and side mirrors to ensure you have enough space to make the lane change. If there’s a car in the lane you are merging into, wait until you can see the entire vehicle (wheels included) and a few feet of pavement in front of it in your rearview mirror.

At this point, if the other car is going at or below the same speed as you are, you should have enough room to change lanes. It’s essential to keep an eye on the speed of the car you are trying to merge ahead of — if they are accelerating, you are better off letting them pass you before changing lanes (as the space for your car is quickly closing).

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Step 3: Look over your shoulder to check your blind spot

Even after checking your mirrors, there’s a spot behind the car that you cannot see – and that spot could easily contain a car or motorcycle! Immediately after checking your mirrors, look over your right shoulder to ensure you do not miss anything. Always remember when checking your mirrors and blind spot that it is easy to miss smaller objects like cyclists, so keep your eyes peeled. Additionally, you can better avoid getting hit by not lingering in other drivers’ blind spots.

Step 4: Change lanes

Once you have determined that it is safe to change lanes, it is time to go for it! Maintain your speed and glide into the lane smoothly.

Step 5: Turn off your turn signal

Do not be that person driving down the highway with your turn signal blinking. As soon as you are in your desired lane, turn off your blinker.