rapid vision movement important

Overcoming Lane Changing Challenges for New Drivers

Many new drivers face common difficulties when changing lanes:

  1. They look for cars instead of spaces.
  2. They take one long look instead of multiple short glances.
  3. They want to complete the maneuver immediately instead of when it’s clear and safe.

Solution for – one long look instead of multiple short glances.

Recognize that a learning driver is not an experienced one. This key distinction is often overlooked in driver training.

Common Mistakes:

  • Slowing Down: New drivers slow down because they’re not comfortable with their eyes off the forward path.
  • Turning Around: They turn around to look behind because they don’t trust their mirror reading skills yet.

These actions stem from their need to gather data on cars advancing into their target lane. They need more practice to trust what they see in mirrors.

Teaching Machine Gun Vision

Machine Gun Vision involves making fast, multiple glances to maintain a full 360-degree awareness while keeping the car’s position, speed, and pathway clear.

Practice Steps:

  1. Identify Car Colors: Drive on a multi-lane road and verbally identify the color of cars approaching from behind in the rearview mirror. Ensure you maintain control of your car’s position, speed, and pathway 20 car lengths ahead.
  2. Expand Awareness: Repeat the exercise, including cars in all lanes behind and beside you.
  3. Estimate Speeds: Add speed estimation to your practice by stating “Red faster” or “Yellow truck slower.”
  4. Assess Spaces: Finally, evaluate the spaces between cars and determine if they’re large enough to fit into.

By mastering these skills, new drivers can overcome lane-changing challenges and drive more safely and confidently.

Go read the solution to the #1 issue on the Lane Change List.


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Materials presented here are for education purposes only referencing two ICBC materials,Tuning Up Drivers Manual, Learn To Drive Right Manual, training material from the 3 week Driving Instructors Licensing Program and amterials from the GLP classroom certificate Program.

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In the event of a difference between the material here and any of these acts or regulations, the acts and regulations shall apply. For specifc help related to these acts please refer to a professional lawyer or a police office.