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.
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.
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.