There are a number of things you should do to make sure you pass other vehicles on the road safely. (submitted)

Column Drivesmart: The lost art of making a lane change

You should see the entire front end of the vehicle you just passed in your centre rear view mirror

By Tim Schewe

The sun is shining, the traffic is light and I’m actually enjoying my drive on the Inland Island Highway (technically speaking, it’s a freeway) headed to Qualicum Beach. The only vehicle nearby is a car that is slowly overtaking me on the left. Not a problem as I’m travelling slightly under the 120 km/h speed limit.

Why, oh why, when there are literally kilometers of unused pavement in sight, does the driver of the vehicle passing me have to make a lane change to the right putting their vehicle within about three vehicle lengths of my front bumper?

You should see at least the entire front end of the vehicle you have just passed in your centre rear view mirror before you move back in front of it.

It seems entirely logical to me that if you allow yourself at least two seconds of following distance behind the vehicle in front of you in order to be safe, you must also leave at least two seconds of following distance behind you when you change lanes.

After moving over, this driver matched my speed, forcing me to drop back to maintain safe following distance. At times like this I wonder why they didn’t choose to make that lane change behind me?

I was lucky to receive three blinks of the right signal to tell me what the driver had done. One as they started to move, one as they crossed over the line and one when they were in front of me.

Signals are meant to be an advance warning. You use them to tell other drivers what you intend to do well before you do it. That means your action will not occur as a surprise and other drivers will have time to consider and perhaps even help you complete your move safely.

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement. To comment or learn more, please visit

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: Are slow drivers breaking the law?

When I am behind a driver that is going slower it bothers me.

Flashback: Trips around the lake, to Japan, and on a dangerous highway

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

Cowichan’s 49ers just miss fourth Grover Cup

Since the 49ers were founded, the team had never lost a Tony Grover Cup final

Mary Lowther column: Contemplating the compost heap

David made me a three-bin compost system

Sarah Simpson Column: Mistakes will happen but kindness prevails

You know those jerks who always follow the trail directions wrong? I… Continue reading

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read