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

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 DriveSmartBC.ca