Safe + Simple: How to do lane changes

By Carmel C. Tse
About the author: Carmel C. Tse is Director of Curriculum and eLearning of iPass, a CAA Approved Driving School. He holds a Higher Education Teaching Certificate from the Harvard Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning.

The buzz word to remember in lane change is "SMOG"

SMOG stands for the crucial steps of: Signal, Mirror, Over-the-shoulder and Go. Most people make the mistake of blind spot check right from the beginning. Such an action will take away from looking at your intended path. Instead, do the signal indicator first, followed by checking the rear view mirror. Blind spot check is next.


Prepration Look ahead and plan your lane change
Signal Let others know that you want to change lane
Mirror Check rear mirror for space in next lane, see both headlights
Adjust speed Adjust your speed to create space, can be slower or faster
Over the shoulder Look directly into blind spot by turning head, chin over shoulder
Go Go if safe and aim at the open space in the new lane
Check traffic Cancel signal and check the flow of traffic in mirror

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