Changing lanes properly can greatly reduce your risk of being involved in a crash. Here are some tips for you to consider:

Changing lanes in traffic moving in the same direction as your vehicle

  • Before changing lanes, look in your rearview and side mirrors before glancing over your shoulder in the direction you intend to change lanes
  • After making sure that no other objects obstruct your path and there are no rapidly approaching vehicles from the rear in the lane you intend to move into, use your vehicle's turn signal to indicate your intention to change lanes
  • The front of any vehicle to your side should be clearly visible in your rearview mirror before you move into the lane ahead of them so as to not cut them off
  • The presence of a solid white line lane divider indicates that lane changes are prohibited

Changing lanes in opposing traffic in order to pass a vehicle

  • Before changing lanes into approaching traffic you should be certain that you have ample visibility, time, and clearance to pass the vehicle in front of you
  • You should also verify that you have unobstructed travel into the opposing lane from vehicles attempting to pass your vehicle from the rear
  • You should be cautious of vehicles you are attempting to pass that may be slowing to make a left hand turn which may turn into your path
  • Exercise caution when passing a vehicle slowing to make a right hand turn as cross traffic may attempt to enter the intersection and into your path; especially in situations when your vehicle may be blocked from view by the turning vehicle you are attempting to pass

You should become familiar with laws in your state regarding lane change prohibitions in advance of intersections, on bridges, and in no passing zones. Solid yellow lines dividing lanes indicate no passing zones.