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How to Change Lanes & Merge into Traffic

Learn how to change lanes and how to merge into traffic in this Howcast video with A-Club Driving School.

Transcript

So I'm here to give you some tips on safely changing lanes and merging.

And from the subject of merging, the basic rule of thumb is to use that merging lane to build up our speed, which will make it a lot easier to merge onto the highway. We don't want to come to the end of that merging lane and have our car at a full stop, because then it's going to be much harder getting on the highway because the cars that are on there are traveling at a greater rate of speed. So what you want to do is you want to build up your speed in that merging lane. You want to check your mirror so that you're sure that you have a good safe gap in which to merge onto. And then right before you make that merge onto the highway, turn your head over your shoulder. Make sure you take the blind spot out of it. And then when it's safe and you have enough room, then you're going to get your car onto the highway.

As far as changing lanes once you're on the highway, the first thing you want to do is indicate the direction of the change. So if you're going to change lanes to the left, you have to put your signal on to the left, giving the other cars around you the idea of what you intend to do. Once you've done that, the next thing to do is to make sure it's safe to actually make the lane change. So you put your signal on. You start checking your mirrors to make sure that you have enough room. And then when you think it's safe, again a turn of the head is definitely good advice. You want to turn over your left shoulder. Look back. Make sure there's sufficient room in order to make that safe change, and then move your car into the lane that you intend to go into.

When do you come back to the right lane after you've made the lane change? The rule of thumb for that is that you need to see the entire vehicle that you've passed in your rear view mirror before it's safe to move back into the right lane. So again, you put your signal on right. Make your indication of where you want to go. Check your rear view mirror, and when you can see that entire car in the rear view mirror, then it's safe to move back to the right lane. And those are some good tips on merging and changing lanes.

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