Before changing lanes, drivers need to carefully check for any potential hazards or vehicles in the lane they intend to enter.
Drivers should also check for traffic ahead, to the side and behind their own vehicle before making the lane change. A quick, casual glance that fails to take into account blind spots can easily lead to a collision.
One way to improve rear and side visibility is to properly adjust the mirrors before beginning the trip. To view a AAA video on the subject, click on the photo or link below the headline.
If you start approaching a lane change as a series of steps, you'll find it easier to create safer driving habits and decrease the likelihood of a crash while changing lanes.
According to AAA, drivers should take the following steps when changing lanes:
- Turn your signal on to indicate which direction you want to go
- Check your mirrors
- Check your blind spot by looking over your shoulder
- Change lanes when you’re sure it’s safe
- Turn your signal off after completing the lane change.
Here are some additional reminders from State Farm about lane changes:
- The front of any vehicle to your side should be clearly visible in your rearview mirror before you move into the lane ahead of them so you’re sure not to cut them off.
- The presence of a solid white lane divider indicates that lane changes are prohibited.