Most major roadways and highways are divided into lanes with lines on the road surface to indicate where your vehicle should travel and the rules of lane driving that you should follow. Choose the lane that best meets your needs for safety and getting to your destination. Plan ahead. Do not leave lane changes to the last minute.

When a roadway has been divided into lanes by visible marking lines on the road surface, you should drive in the centre of your lane.

Blind spots

Your inside and outside rear view mirrors will show you the traffic that is behind your vehicle. They will not show you everything to the sides or what is right beside and slightly behind you in the lane next to you. These are the blind spots.

The view you see in your inside rear view mirror should show as much of the view through your rear window as possible. The outside rear view mirrors should show you a little of your vehicle on the side where the mirror is attached, as well as the area behind you in the lane next to you. They should be positioned to allow you to see, from your driving position, the horizon in the middle of your mirror behind you. Be sure your inside and outside rear view mirrors are adjusted properly to minimize blind spots.

The following pictures show what can be seen in properly adjusted mirrors.

Using the inside rear view mirror

Blind spots - illustration 1

Using the inside rear view mirror, the driver of vehicle A can see vehicle B.

Using the left outside mirror

Blind spots - illustration 2

Using the left outside mirror, the driver of vehicle A can see vehicle C.

Using both outside mirrors and inside rear view mirror

Blind spots - illustration 3

Using both outside mirrors and inside rear view mirror, the driver of vehicle A can see vehicles B, C and D.

The driver of vehicle A cannot see vehicles E and F, either in the mirrors or through peripheral (side) vision. Vehicles E and F are in vehicle A’s blind spots.

The red shading shows the blind spots for driver A.

Changing lanes

Because of the blind spots, you must do shoulder checks in addition to mirror checks before changing lanes. To do a shoulder check properly, quickly glance back over your shoulder through the rear side windows in the direction you intend to move. This allows you to see the area you will not be able to see in your mirrors.

If you do not have backseat side windows or a back rear window, you will need to use your outside mirrors with an attached convex mirror.

When moving from one lane to another, do the following:

  • Be sure a lane change is allowed.
  • Check for traffic by glancing in your inside and outside rear view mirrors.
  • Check over your shoulder to be sure there is no vehicle or cyclist in your blind spots.
  • Turn on the proper signal light.
  • If safe, change lanes, while maintaining your speed as much as possible.
  • Ensure your signal light is turned off.
  • Highways and Freeways
  • Lane selection and position in your lane