Most major highways and roads are divided into lanes, with lines on the road surface indicating where your car should travel and the lane driving rules to follow.
The traffic behind your vehicle will be visible in both your inside and outside rear-view mirrors. They won’t show you what’s to your sides or what’s directly behind and somewhat behind you in the lane next to you. These are the blind areas.
The view via your rear window should be visible as much as feasible in your inner rear-view mirror. Outside rear-view mirrors should show you a little portion of your car on the side where the mirror is mounted, as well as the area behind you in the lane next to you. They should be positioned such that you can see the horizon in the center of your rearview mirror from your driving posture. To reduce blind spots, make sure your inner and outside rearview mirrors are properly adjusted.
Because of the blind spots, you must check your shoulders as well as your mirrors before changing lanes. To properly perform a shoulder check, look back over your shoulder via the rear side windows in the direction you wish to move. This allows you to see areas that your mirrors will not allow you to see.
You’ll need to use your outside mirrors with an attached convex mirror if you don’t have backseat side windows or a back rear window.
When switching from one lane to another, follow these steps:
- Make certain that a lane change is permitted.
- By looking in your inner and outside rearview mirrors, you can check for traffic.
- Make sure there are no vehicles or cyclists in your blind zones by looking over your shoulder.
- Switch on the appropriate signal light.
- If it’s safe, switch lanes while keeping your speed as high as feasible.
- Check that your signal light is off.
If there are more than two lanes in each direction on a freeway, you should travel in the center or right lane. The left lane is now available for faster traffic and passing vehicles.
Many Turning Lanes
Some roads have designated turning lanes. Always examine the signage and pavement markings as you approach an intersection to ensure you are in the correct lane to turn or go straight.
There may be more than one right- or left-turn lane at large, complex intersections. Examine the surface markings, lane-use signs, and signals attentively. They will direct your actions.
The sign in the left column, for example, indicates that both the far-left lane and the lane adjacent to it are utilized for left turns. Turn into the far-left lane if coming from the far-left lane. Turn into the lane next to the far-left lane if you’re coming from the lane next to it.
Turning In the Middle of a Block
At a junction, most drivers expect other vehicles to turn. Sometimes you’ll wish to turn left in the midst of a street, such as into a driveway. You may turn left — even across a solid double yellow line — if you do so cautiously and safely, do not obstruct other traffic, and there are no signs preventing such turns.
Left-Turn Lanes When They Are Two-Way
Two-way left-turn lanes allow vehicles approaching from either direction to turn without causing traffic congestion. They’re useful for making a left turn in the midst of a block, such as into a driveway. When you notice one of these lanes, keep in mind that vehicles traveling in the other way also utilize it to turn left.
You might be tempted to make a U-turn if you discover yourself heading in the wrong way. U-turns are frequently dangerous. They are prohibited:
- if they cause traffic congestion
- on a slant
- within 150 meters of the peak of a slope, where you cannot be seen by other traffic
- where U-turns are prohibited by a sign
- when approaching a traffic light intersection
- except at a crossroads with no traffic light in a commercial district
- Making a U-turn is prohibited under local ordinances.
Consider alternatives before making a U-turn, such as driving around the block or continuing on to a side road where you can turn more safely.
A bus lane is identified by a sign with a diamond symbol and a picture of a bus. In lanes designated with this sign, only buses and occasionally cyclists are permitted to travel.
Vanpools (cars with six or more passengers) are permitted to use the bus lane if a “Vanpool Permitted” tab is displayed beneath the bus lane sign.
Cycling lanes are designated for cyclists only. To turn right, you may need to cross a bicycle lane or pull to the side of the road. Take great caution when doing so. The following are the rules for bicycle lanes:
- In a bicycle lane, do not drive, park, or stop.
- Only break the white line or turn into or out of a driveway to cross a bicycle lane.