Using and Changing Lanes

Objective: To prevent accidents during lane use and lane changing by recognizing the potential hazards and knowing how to safely control them.

Description: Lane use and lane changing accidents primarily result from following too closely or being inattentive to traffic conditions ahead. In either case, defensive driving is the most effective countermeasure. Lane use and lane changing accidents primarily involve sideswiping and rear-end collisions. The existence of blind spots around large vehicles is a major contributing factor. Maintain a proper following distance and take note of countermeasures involving right-of-way.

Questions for Management:

  1. Have your drivers been trained regarding safe lane usage and lane changing? How? When?
  2. By whom? To what standard of performance?
  3. Do you know if your drivers are practicing safe lane usage and lane changing habits?
  4. Do you ever have qualified personnel ride with your drivers to assess safe driving habits?
  5. Do you and your drivers know that most lane use and lane changing accidents result from following too closely?

Maintenance Checks:

  • Broken mirrors and loose mountings.
  • Brake lights and turn signals.
  • Brake performance.

Driving Tips:

  • The most important rule in lane usage is to maintain a safe following distance. Use any method you feel comfortable with. Just try to ensure that if the driver in front of you slams on his brakes, you can avoid a collision, stay in your lane and not be hit by the vehicle following you all at the same time.
  • Try to scan ahead of what is immediately in front of you.
  • If you see trouble ahead, flash your brake lights to alert drivers following you.
  • If you cannot see ahead of the vehicle you are following, increase your following distance.
  • It might swerve into the next lane to avoid a slow or stopped vehicle and leave you exposed to a rear-end collision.
  • Blind spots to the right of large vehicles are well known. However, automobile drivers may not know you cannot see them as they pass you on the right. Scan to the right thoroughly before steering into the next lane. Give right-of-way, don't take it.
  • Clean mirrors and check adjustment frequently.
Back to Library