Mirror, signal, manoeuvre is a basic driving technique that we’ve all learnt in driving school.
It was probably taught in one of the first few lessons when you got behind the wheel.
But after passing and getting that coveted licence, some of us seem to have forgotten this basic motoring certitude.
Some motorists have all but forgotten to either check their blind spots, or signal first before changing lanes to indicate their intentions.
In fact, some motorists downright reverse that order.
We’ve seen some drivers signal – in the midst of changing lanes!
We’re sure you’ve seen many examples of such driving while on the road (usually accompanied by lots of hand-gesturing and unprintable words).
In that case, don’t even bother to signal because the car is already halfway into the lane over. Signalling just adds insult to injury when the driver behind has to brake suddenly to accommodate the lane-jacker.
As motoring journalists, we’re constantly on the move road-testing cars.
In the course of our work, we see plenty of infractions, especially from drivers who do these sorts of things.
But also, as responsible members of society, we have a duty to remind and inform drivers of the best way to go about changing lanes.
How to check your blind spots & change lanes properly – according to the law
We’ve taken the effort to dig up the particular section of the Highway Code that stipulates how to properly change lanes.
If you’re interested, it’s in Part IV, line 88 under Mirror and Signals.
In the Highway Code, this is what it states:
88. Well before you change direction, overtake or stop —
(a) look into your mirror (if you are a motor-cyclist glance to the side or behind);
(b) make sure that it is safe; and
(c) give a clear signal to indicate that you intend to do so.
This is the best way to go about changing lanes and as a responsible motorist, stick to it.
Of course, do apply some common sense too. If the road is mostly clear, checking your mirror and signalling to change lanes can happen all at once.
But the crucial thing is to always, always use your indicators and indicate early, at that.
Remember to check your blind spot as well. Make use of your car’s blind-spot warning indicator if it has one.
Follow these rules, and you’ll be a safe driver – and make the roads safer for everybody too!