sudden lane changes five no warning

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 #3 – Move Immediately versus relax for a Clear and Safe Space.

Recognize that a learning driver is not an experienced one. This key distinction is often overlooked in driver training. However new drivers have watched experienced drivers for most all the years they have been alive! Decades in fact!

So what does the New Driver alrteady know about Lane Changes before meeting Cooper?

  1. they see the experienced driver move very quickly from one lane to the next seeminglt smooth and easy.
  2. they dont see the amount of vision the experienced driver processed LONG BEFORE the lane change was initiated.

Practice Steps to Help a New Driver Succeed

  1. Empty No Cars: Practise the change with no traffic around and speak out load, ‘it is clear.’ Add in the blind spot check or two and gently drift into the next lane. This I-KNOW-ITS-CLEAR-AND-SAFE is the standard that must be applied when it is busier. If you dont know it is CLEAR & SAFE – YOU DO NOT GO!
  2. Gentle Lateral Move Communication : Suddenly yanking the steering wheel to suddenly appear in the next lane is surprising to everyone and gives the adjacent drivers ZERO time to warn you if by mistake you miscalculated the move. A gentle lateral move is a stong commuication to other drivers your intention to move – as is a early signal light.
  3. Abort Abort Restart Again: Suddenly changing lanes I beleive is a result of seeing experienced drivers change over as if they did it instantly with little visual checks. Seeing this as a passenger is not at all the same as doing it as the driver. You must learn to ABORT any change where you don’t have the KNOW or the information to esure it is safe. This is why many new drivers slow down before a lane change – they are trying to gain more time to LOOK and they are fearful to change when they don’t really KNOW it is clear and safe. DON’T KNOW – DON’T GO!
  4. Completion: Finally, once you moved over recheck to your rear to ensure your decision making was accurate and good. If not, adjust and learn.

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


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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. and Todd Cooper are not responsible for any consequences that may result from use of this material. Throughout these posts references are made to acts and regulations that govern driving in British Columbia.

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.