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Changing Lanes Safely | Learn to drive: Basic skills

Changing Lanes Safely  |  Learn to drive: Basic skills


We will often need to change lanes whilst
driving – for example when passing parked cars, or when overtaking. To do this safely
we will need to judge the speed and position of other traffic, as well as keeping good
control of our car. This can be more difficult when driving in heavy traffic or unfamiliar
roads, as we will have less time to make a safe decision. This video will show how we
make sure our lane changes are always safe, and what we do if we get stuck in the wrong
lane. As always, if you have any questions about this video, please comment below and
we will do our best to reply. To ensure we complete a lane change safely
we should use the MSM routine – which stands for Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre. If we always
use this routine when making decisions we should stay safe. Here we are on a dual carriageway
and would like to overtake the lorry in front, so will need to change our road position into
the right lane. However we can only do this if it can be completed without forcing other
drivers to brake or steer to avoid us. Since we need to change lanes to the right
we check our centre and right mirrors for any danger. We must look in each mirror for
long enough that we can judge the speed and position of other vehicles – so a quick glance
won’t always be enough if there is traffic nearby. If there is a continuous stream of
traffic or a speeding car approaching quickly we must be patient and must wait for a safer
opportunity. Whilst waiting we should not signal as another driver might think we are
about to steer right, and brake to avoid us. Once we are sure it’s safe to change lanes
the best way to inform others of our intention is to use our indicators. We should always
try to indicate for a few seconds before we actually change lanes, as this will give other
drivers time to understand what we are about to do. The more predictable we are to others,
the less chance there will be of an accident – but surprise or mislead others and it will
put us in danger. We recommend indicating even if we don’t think there is anyone near
us, just in case we haven’t spotted someone in our blind spot over our shoulder – so if
they spot our indicator flashing they have a chance to move before we actually change
lanes. Now we are ready to actually change lanes
we should steer our car smoothly to the other lane. Unless it’s an emergency we should
never swerve our car, as it might surprise others or even lose control of the car. Once
the lane change has been completed we will usually need to manually cancel the indicator,
as we probably haven’t used enough steering angle for it to cancel automatically. If we
leave the indicator on after the lane change we could mislead other traffic, especially
if there are other junctions nearby. Once we have completed our overtake we need
to change lanes again to the left, so we use the MSM routine once more. Before we signal to commit to the manoeuvre
we recommend making a quick ‘shoulder check’ – just in case there is any danger that isn’t
in our mirrors. Watch the white car approaching behind us, we can see it in our right side
mirror. Then, the car disappears into the blind spot and we can’t see it in either
our mirror or side window. It’s over 10 seconds before we finally see it again to
our right. Imagine steering into the right lane with this car beside us – it would almost
certainly result in a crash. This is why we should always do a shoulder check so that
we know it’s definitely safe before changing lanes. When driving on dual carriageways we will
often need to overtake slower vehicles. Once we have spotted the slower vehicle we should
first consider whether it is worth overtaking – if we are fairly near our planned exit it
might not be worth bothering with the overtake, or we might get stuck in the overtaking lane
and miss our exit altogether! In this case we do want to overtake the lorry, so we check
our mirrors to see if it is safe to move into the other lane. We spot a safe gap behind
the black car, and after a quick glance over our right shoulder we signal, and then smoothly
steer into lane 2. Now we are in the overtaking lane we increase our speed and drive past
the lorry, and only after we can see the lorry in our centre mirror we signal left and steer
back into the lane 1. So we have used the MSM routine twice here, once to move right,
and then again to change back to the left lane. We are approaching a large roundabout and
we would like to turn right, 3rd exit. When we reach the second exit we will need to check
it’s safe to move to the outer lane before taking our exit. We will follow the same MSM
routine as usual to make sure the outer lane is clear. Once we have entered the roundabout
we get up to speed, then check our left mirrors and over our left shoulder. We can see that
there is no danger, so we indicate left and move to the outer lane. If we do see a vehicle
alongside us then we must stay in our current lane. If we brake sharply or try to change
lanes abruptly as this could cause a collision – instead we continue in our current lane
around the roundabout until there is space to change lanes, or complete another complete
circuit to try again next time round. There are many other situations that will
require us to change lanes, but if we always follow the MSM routine then we should stay
safe. We might need to change lanes before a junction, or drive around a parked car – but
the routine is always the same. We try to plan ahead as far as possible to give ourselves
plenty of time, but if we are unable to safely change lanes for some reason then we must
continue on our current path. Changing lanes quickly or without proper observation is dangerous
– but a short detour before continuing our route is no problem. So remember to…..
Check your Mirrors for nearby vehicles Do a shoulder check of your blind spot
Signal to inform other drivers Change lanes smoothly If you found this video interesting then please
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78 thoughts on “Changing Lanes Safely | Learn to drive: Basic skills

  1. Great tips. Will use this advice to make sure I drive safely. It will help me to more confidently change lane and make progress when I have to go on dual carriageways, which I'm practising at the moment. Lane changing seems to crop up a lot on the independent driving part I'm finding and obviously in all driving.

  2. Hi Guys, again what a useful video for all those learners out there. I have a quick question: When I'm changing gears or looking at the mirrors before turning, my car always goes towards the right of the road. Any tips on how I can stop this?

  3. Plz also make video on, how to judge car from left side when driving, reference point or other? with demo… I'll be very thakfull to you

  4. I had my driving test this morning and I passed! I kept on watching your videos and they really helped together with my practice sessions with my driving instructor. Thanks

  5. i have past my driving test today. your chanel helped me alot so a biiiiiiig thank you advance driving school😂😂

  6. Omggg at 8:00 this genius went up to almost 60 mph IN THIRD GEAR and then switches through fourth, fifth and then sixth gear over the next 7 seconds. What was the point even? Might as well switch from third straight to sixth. Of course you shouldn't go that high in third in the first place. It's really bad for your car, which is why there's other gears for you to use. Normally you should switch from third to fourth at 30mph, or at 40mph absolute maximum.

  7. It's amazing to be able to relate to these videos as i live in Bury St Edmunds and walk, Cycle and practice driving in all the areas in all your videos,
    I have found each and every video very informative but this one in particular as i did have questions about this but haven't had a driving instructor explain it as well as you have

  8. I'm broke so before I book my practical lessons I am thoroughly covering lessons on youtube so that I don't waste time going over basics like cockpit routine! I also have booked my theory test before my first lesson so that is sorted out too.

  9. Just found this page….Best on youtube and updated stuff.. 2018!! Ive got my driving test soon. Help!

  10. Highly helpful info from your channel!!
    Love from India ✌️
    Can you please make a tutorial on how to judge the length of the car's bonnet and the car's width so that we don't accidentally hit/scrape the front/sides of the car.

  11. Can we do shoulder check after giving signals, as the signal is going to catch the attention of the vehicles on the other lane and they might even give way to us for lane changing?

  12. Is it just me or your left mirror is not as clear as the right one.
    I’m having hard time understanding how you are able to check that left lane is clear?
    Thank you it’s a very helpful training(I understood the MSL concept using your right morrow of course :))

  13. I just came across this video now but just wanted to say, this is by far one of the BEST instructional driving videos I have ever seen…and I have watched many. I am extremely impressed at how thorough you have been in covering this topic and you have covered every detail, including the all important shoulder check of blind spot, something that incrediblly is not always even taught. You also mention when to move back into Lane 1 again, something that so many drivers do too early and too close the the vehicle they have overtaken. Anyhow, a huge thumbs up to you for this!

  14. If a car is in your blind spot for 10secs, it must have been in your side and rear view mirror for a long long time. Surely you would remember there's a car to your right Do you not use your blind spot mirrors?
    Surprised you didn't bring this one up – if your driving lane is clear ahead a there's a slower vehicle to your right doing 50mph, is it legal to stay in your lane and pass that vehicle?

  15. Suppose you need to accelerate for safety reasons, is it okay to break the speed limit for this? For example, if you need to accelerate to a different lane even though it would mean having to go over the speed limit, is this allowed or can it get you into legal trouble?

  16. This should be writen on paper and nail it to a british drivers on their head… 70 to 80 % have no time to use mirror and signal. Just maneuver is ok because there is no other people on the planet. 🤬

  17. You must have got your blind spot mirror in a lucky bag. I have a similar one on both my mirrors and can see all or part of a vehicle coming from behind. I don't have any blind spots to either side.

  18. What if nobody will let me over and I’m about to miss my turn on a drivers test? It’s an automatic fail if I don’t follow the instructions on it exactly. Great video.

  19. What if a car suddenly stops in front of us and we have to change lane and a car is coming from the back should we turn or stop??

  20. Hi videos i want to ask you something I watched video were you talking abt change gears now I want to know what gears r user to drive my driving instructor olny let's drive in gear 1&2 and i have being leaning abt 15 years i don't feel like I know driving Cos of

  21. I tend to move to my previous lane too early after the overtake, forcing the other driver to break sharply. Maybe you should have give a few suggestions. Nice video, thank you very much.

  22. Hi your videos are really helpful, could you please let me know which digital speedmeter you are using please

  23. Here is a couple of driving tips from a 43 year long haul driver.  At the 4.24 spot, the white car disappeared behind your blind spot mirror.  You created a blind spot with your blind spot mirror.  Oops!  Here is a tip to avoid this scenario.  First of all I never recommend sticking a convex on a convex. With two convex mirrors you do not see twice as much. Wait for it….you see the same thing twice.  That is not helping you.  Don't do that to yourself.  Secondly.  The upper half of both side mirrors is looking at sky.  In traffic, you do not care about looking at birds and airplanes.  No mirror should ever be set above the horizon.  You do not need to see any sky, ever in a mirror. Don't cheat yourself out of field of view.  Thirdly.  You do not need to see your own car in your mirror.  You are not going to run into yourself.  Right?   That white car would not have disappeared if you did not create a blind spot with the stick on blind spot mirror, and if you had the mirror adjusted to maximum.  Hope this helps. Drive safe.

  24. If you don't check your blind spot they mention in your test, the examiner will fail you. So if turning right, look over you right shoulder and visa versa.

  25. You are teaching us verrrry well..
    I am sorry to ask you a question, I want to know huw much time is require for changing lane?
    And when we change lane from slow line to fast or fast to slow should we increase or decrease the speed of car or not?

  26. Watch the lane u want to merge into, decide which empty space u want to merge into, it must be large enough, say empty space between A and B, A is ahead of B
    Change speed so that ur car in a position where A cannot see the signal light but B can see. Turn on signal light for 2 seconds.
    Make sure u can see B completely in side mirror and u r not too close to A, turn slightly to that lane, let B know ur purpose, as long as B doesn’t accelarate, it means he gets that.
    Finally, change lane completely. During that, also take care that the third car from the third lane may merge into the same empty space from oposite direction. So always don’t change lane too fast.

  27. Great how the blind spot is explained and how the vehicle disappeared and why checking it is so important for safety, gives much more meaning to checking the blind spot

  28. I passed my test a while ago and struggle with other drivers overtaking me or driving so damn close to my car. Apart from driving on the motorways I always stick to the speed limits and remain in control it’s when I am on the motorway I drive at the national speed limits.

  29. First I noticed that there was a discrepancy in speed between the round cars speedometer being seen from time to time in the bottom left corner of the screen and the apparent speed being shown by another mechanism on top of the dashboard. perhaps you can clarify what in fact was happening there.

    Second.. Many drivers are not aware that by just looking at oncoming vehicles approaching from the rear that the outside wing mirror actually gives a totally wrong impression of that vehicles distance from you the driver. Perhaps that needs explaining cos a lot of drivers don't know this and on seeing the approaching vehicle some distance away do actually pull out but the vehicle is much closer than can be seen in that mirror.

    Third when that vehicle has passed us some drivers immediately pull out and If anything untoward, unexpected and suddenly were to happen that causes that front vehicle to slow or stop suddenly then you would have no chance to stop also and would become involved in a smidsy a rear end collision

    Fourth, One should make sure that there is space in which to return to in the inside lane safely and with safe space to all other vehicles or have to continue to overtake other traffic. Not being able to return into the inside lane once committed..

    Fifth. After passing the target vehicle one should look to see the overtaken vehicle in the inside mirror before deciding that safe following on distance has been gained and one can return to the inside lane in greater safety. Indicate when one is moving in and then move in. Unfortunately many drivers pull in too soon and end up causing some concern to the vehicle being overtaken. They just look at the nearside mirror which again shows the overtaken vehicle to be further away than it is and so one must wait until the overtaken vehicle is at least centre of the internal mirror. Many don't and pull in or cut in too soon as said and that is in itself an offence of failing to drive without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration but the H.C s tells drivers to return as soon as it is safe to do so and it isn't safe unless good safe distance is given. Unfortunately white van man or any van or HGV driver hasn't got an internal mirror and so they rely on their external mirrors only and that's perhaps why they have a bad reputation for cutting up others.

    Six. It seems easy to say M.S.M.but as one can see there is much more to it than that and more than the explanations that I have given. It;s not easy to overtake and governing it all there should never be an overtake that exceeds the speed limit no certainly not from an advanced driver or rider anyway.

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