Tips for Safe Lane Changes

Illegal Lane Change Actions:

  • Changing lanes without putting on your turn signal
  • Making other drivers swerve out of your way when changing lanes
  • Weaving in and out of traffic recklessly
  • Changing lanes when you’re driving through an intersection
  • Changing lanes when there’s double solid white lines present

It’s also important to remember that in the majority of states, there’s a ‘move over’ law that means all drivers need to move out of the lane that’s closest to an emergency situation on the side of the road. 

Tips for Safely Switching Lanes:

  • Check your surroundings – Be alert and cautious by checking your mirrors and making sure that there’s enough room for your vehicle to fit into the new lane and that motorists close to you aren’t also in the process of changing lanes. 
  • Signal your intentions – Make a habit of always using your turn signal when switching lanes, even when there’s no other drivers around. It’s not enough to switch on your turn signal at the last second. You should give the drivers around you enough time to notice your signal and understand the intention behind your signal.
  • Check your surroundings again – Circumstances and the area around your vehicle can change quickly, making it necessary for one last look before you maneuver into the new lane.
  • Move slowly and gradually –  Avoid making abrupt movements since this can startle other motorists. Keep an even, slow pace when merging into the lane.

Changing lanes can be significantly more complicated for drivers who are operating large commercial vehicles. This is due to the large parts around the vehicle that are blind spots and can’t be seen by the driver. These are also known as the ‘No-Zone’ and are where the highest number of crashes happen. 

No-Zone Areas:

  • Side blind spots
  • Rear blind spots
  • Front blind spots
  • Wide right turns
  • Backing up

Driving SafetyCDL drivers should remember that other drivers are most likely not even aware of the No-Zones or understand the size of the truck’s blind spots. Have you ever had an incident caused by lane switching or blind spots? Share with us in the comments.

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