Passing and Changing Lanes
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Passing and Changing Lanes

Passing and changing lanes are complex driving skills that require a great deal of practice. Make certain your teen masters the basics in light traffic first.

Passing

Help your teen practice the following when passing other cars:

  • Before making a decision to pass another vehicle, ask yourself if it’s necessary, legal and safe.
  • Look ahead and make sure there is plenty of room to pass.
  • Check your mirrors and blind spot.
  • Signal in the direction you intend to pass.
  • Increase speed to at least 10 mph faster than the car you’re passing, but stay within the legal speed limit.
  • Move smoothly into the passing lane and change your signal to the opposite direction.
  • Check your blind spot.
  • Return to the lane when you can see the headlights of the vehicle you passed in your rearview mirror.
  • Turn off your signal and resume a safe and legal speed.
  • Check your rearview mirror.

Changing lanes

Help your teen practice the following when changing lanes:

  • Check your mirrors.
  • Look to the front, to the back, to the side and to your blind spot for a gap in traffic that is stable.
  • Use your turn signal to tell other drivers you want to change lanes.
  • Check your blind spot again.
  • Maintain your speed or increase it if needed - never slow unnecessarily.
  • Move to the new lane purposefully and gradually at a slight angle.
  • Adjust your speed to the traffic around you. Turn off your signal. Check your rearview mirror.
  • Create space to the front, rear and sides of your car.

Help your teen not be a statistic: Improper lane changes and passing are among the top leading causes of teen crashes.