Merging & Lane Changes - Learner Driver Tips [EBOOK] Ch 9
April 30, 2019 at 11:19 AM
In Chapter 9, learn about merging from feeder lanes, changing lanes on multi-lane roads and safely pulling out from the side of the road.
The most important thing to remember when moving off from the side of the road is to be patient. Take your time to ensure it’s safe before you start to move into traffic.
The process for pulling out from the roadside is as follows:
- Check your side and rear view mirrors to see what is going on around the car.
- If there are no hazards, put on your right indicator for a minimum of 3 seconds before you start moving.
- Put your car in gear and get ready to pull out.
- Do another mirror check.
- Look over your shoulder for cyclists, other vehicles, and pedestrians.
- If it is safe to go, start moving forward slowly while turning your steering wheel away from the kerb.
- Smoothly accelerate away from the kerb.
- Steer to position your car properly in your lane.
- Check your mirrors once more after you have joined the traffic.
- Ensure you indicator is off if it doesn’t switch off automatically.
Video: Leaving the Curb Safely
It might seem like a straight forward manoeuvre but changing lanes can be quite tricky. There’re a number of things you need to think about while at the same time evaluating the spaces around your car carefully.
Here’re the steps for changing lanes safely:
- Look ahead to see if there’re hazards such as traffic that has slowed or stopped or cyclists and pedestrians that could make changing lanes dangerous.
- Check your mirrors, indicate, and do a shoulder check.
- Scan the road in front once more and check your mirrors and blind spots again.
- If you are comfortable with the gap, steer your vehicle smoothly and decisively into the next lane.
- Adjust your speed appropriately to match the flow of the traffic in that lane.
- Perform another mirror check once you have changed lanes.
A feeder lane does the work of allowing vehicles moving at a slower speed to speed up before merging with the traffic on a high-speed road. A common example is a motorway on-ramp. When merging into traffic on a high-speed road, the most important thing to remember is to get your vehicle moving at a speed similar to that of the faster traffic before merging.
You want your vehicle to be travelling at almost the same speed as the traffic you’ll be merging with as this will make the merge both easier and safer.
Here are the steps for merging into higher-speed traffic:
- Signal, check your mirrors, look around and check your blind spots as well.
- Check the traffic for a safe gap that you can aim for.
- Use the feeder lane to accelerate your vehicle to the speed of the traffic you’re about to join.
- Merge with the high-speed traffic.
- Turn off your indicator once you have merged.
- Adjust your speed accordingly to match the flow of the traffic