DMV lane change is a crucial part of not only the DMV driving test but also in the real life. When it comes to lane change on the road, most drivers feel it is challenging. Moreover, incorrect lane change is one of the most common causes of accidents on the road. Hence, in this article, we are going to introduce you to the DMV lane change tips.


dmv lane change
Safety tips to make a DMV lane change


1. When do you need to make a DMV lane change?

To begin with, a lane is a section of a roadway that is divided along its length and has enough width for safe driving. A driveway may have one or more lanes, each distinguished by road markings or medians in the middle. Even if there are no other cars around, you must use legal and correct lane-changing tactics every time you change lanes. You’ll probably switch lanes several times while driving on any given day. We listed 5 common DMV lane change situations in DMV lane change for you to easily understand:

  • There is a hazard or impediment in your lane that you cannot escape by changing lanes
  • To turn at a junction, you must change lanes
  • The lane you are now in is coming to an end
  • You want to overtake the vehicle in front of you. Remember that passing other cars safely entails more than simply knowing how to change lanes
  • When you must yield to an emergency vehicle parked on the side of the road


2. Common mistakes in DMV lane change?

It’s important to know what are the common mistakes that drivers often make when making a DMV lane change to help yourself avoid making them again in the DMV test as well as in a real-life context. 


2.1. Forgetting to turn on/turn off the turning signal 

Other cars may expect you to make a turn in the direction your turn signals indicate if you fail to deactivate your turn signals. This is extremely unsafe and might lead to an accident. For example, if you indicate left but continue driving straight ahead, a car may turn in front of you, resulting in a head-on accident.

Don’t only stare at other vehicles’ turn signals. The other driver may have forgotten to turn off his or her signal or is indicating too soon. What you should do is wait and watch whether the signaling car begins to turn. At junctions, watch to see if the car is slowing down before thinking he or she is ready to make a DMV lane change.


2.2. Opening the mirror in a wrong position

The mirrors should be positioned exactly so that you can scan the area surrounding your car without moving. The only area that the mirrors will not cover when correctly positioned is the blind spot, often known as the shoulder-check region.

If your mirrors are not correctly set, you risk making a DMV lane change or turning across the path of a vehicle that you cannot see in your mirrors or blind spot.


2.3. Driving too slow before changing lanes

A DMV change lane is a normal component of driving that should not delay or interrupt traffic flow. Keep your speed up when you move into a new lane. After successfully merging into the new lane, you can change your speed (slower or faster) based on the pace of the new lane.


2.4. Moving out the lane too early

If the car in front of you has already begun to change lanes or has moved to pass you, you should not make a DMV change lane. Check for risks before leaving to prevent being caught off guard and putting yourself in a possibly dangerous scenario.


2.5. Making the lane change unintendedly

Cell phones, discussions, changing CDs or radio stations, picking up things in the car, gazing at crashes or other visual distractions, drowsiness, and impairment are all examples of driver distractions. In this case, the driver does not plan to change lanes and may not even be aware that they are doing it.


dmv lane change tips
How to change lanes safely?


3. How to change lanes safely?

Going in the wrong lane refers to driving a vehicle to the incorrect lane on a road segment divided into multiple lanes and separated by road markings, with each lane reserved for just one or a certain kind of vehicle. It is advised that you remember the following experiences to protect your safety while driving and prevent needless lane changes:


3.1. Remembering the SMOG code

Acronyms are a fantastic method to remember crucial concepts, and the acronym S.M.O.G. stands for safe lane switching. Remembering this term is simple, and it will ensure that you always change lanes safely on the road!

  • S stands for signal.

Always turn on your blinker to indicate the direction in which you are changing lanes. Try to turn on your signal 3 to 5 seconds before changing lanes.


  • M is Mirrors 

Check all mirrors, including the rearview and side mirrors, for adjacent vehicles.


  • O stands for over the shoulder

Look over your shoulder in the direction of where you intend to change lanes.


  • G is Go

You’re good to go once you’ve done all of the preceding stages!


3.2. Turning on the signals

As mentioned before, one of the most prevalent and readily avoidable driver errors is failing to indicate. You give a signal to other drivers and road users that you want to make a DMV lane change. By signaling, you give other drivers enough time to prepare for your lane change, and they may then allow you enough room to do so.

Remember that signaling does not give you the right of way over other road users; it merely allows them time to respond to your change in direction. Even if you believe you are alone, signal. The most dangerous car is the one you cannot see.


3.3. Observing before changing lane

Before changing lanes, the driver must look attentively, particularly in the rearview mirror on the side of the lane to be changed. People must examine if the lane to be changed is clear, whether there are any barriers if a vehicle behind is coming, what the speed of the cars behind is, and so on. Change lanes only when it is safe to do so.


dmv lane change safety tips
Remember to check your mirror before making the change lane


3.4. Checking for the blindspot carefully

Blind spots are places that can only be noticed by glancing over one’s shoulder, sometimes known as a “shoulder check.” Many accidents occur as a result of drivers forgetting to examine their blind zones before changing their road posture.

It is critical to examine your blind area before making a DMV lane change. Never drive in another driver’s blind spot for a lengthy period of time since they won’t be able to see unless they execute a “shoulder check.”


3.5. Switching lanes properly

After ensuring that the lane you want to enter is clear, cautiously steer into the other lane. Once you’ve begun the turn, there’s no need to rush; don’t make a dangerous DMV lane change because you’re in a hurry or agitated. Take your time so the lane change is safe, but don’t make it any longer than required.


3.6. Deciding on a fixed stopover

On the highway, there are frequently rest spots for vehicles that have broken down or for exhausted persons who wish to relax. To come to the stop, you should not suddenly cross in front of a line of automobiles in the lane closest to the curb. Determine the location ahead of time, then turn the signal and gradually proceed into the most appropriate lane nearest to the stop.


>> Read more: How to pass DMV Driving Test perfectly?


In summary, we’ve already provided you the general information on lane change, when you make a DMV lane change and some useful tips to do it safely. We hope that after reading our article, you can make a lane change safely in not only the DMV test but also in real life. If you want to do practice for the upcoming driving test, remember to take some DMV practice test to score high.