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Safe lane changes are important to prevent crashes on highways

When you're driving, something that you will have to do at one time or another is change lanes. You may be on the highway when you have to merge or simply be in a busy area where several lanes are traveling together in the same direction.

Everyone needs to have the right technique when changing lanes. Without good technique, it's much more likely that people will get into crashes. You should use the right technique every time you change lanes, even if you think you're the only one on the road.

What are some common lane-changing tips to know?

Lane-changing tips that could help you include:

  • Always using a turn signal when you intend to switch lanes.
  • Remaining in the center or right-hand lane when you have a potential lane traveling in the same direction to your left. The left lane is intended for passing.
  • Avoiding weaving in and out of traffic by constantly changing lanes, since this increases the probability of getting into a crash or receiving a citation

So, how can you change lanes correctly?

1. Pass on the left

To start with, remember that people assume that others will pass on the left in most cases. If you're behind a slower-moving vehicle, move into the left lane and pass around the left-hand side. Use your turn signal to alert drivers behind you that you intend to switch lanes.

2. Check your mirrors carefully

The next tip is to check your mirrors. Of course, there can be blind spots, so you may want to look alongside your vehicle as well, so that you don't miss a smaller vehicle, like a motorcycle, that is currently next to you.

3. Use a turn signal when you're moving to the right

Use your turn signal when you're merging in front of another person to your right. Give them time to slow down, so you can merge safely and successfully.

4. Maintain a safe speed

Finally, remember to maintain a safe speed. It's easier to merge if you can maintain your speed and smoothly move into the next lane. If you have to, slow down and wait for vehicles to pass, so that you can merge into the other lane safely without crowding or distracting other drivers.

These are some tips for merging and changing lanes safely. If you are cautious, you can help avoid accidents caused by mistakes on the road.

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