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How to Mirror, Signal, Shoulder Check to Pass Your Road Test

How to Mirror, Signal, Shoulder Check to Pass Your Road Test


Closed Caption


Hi there smart drivers, Rick with Smart Drive Test talking to you today about mirror, signal, shoulder check it's one of the fundamentals of learning how to drive.

I had a comment from Doug Stern and he said that the procedure was incorrect.

To observe correctly when driving a car, you must move your head.

No I don't think the procedure is incorrect, it's just not explained correctly.

When we're learning how to drive, driving instructors give students a great deal of information in a small chunk of vocabulary.

So for example, mirror, signal, shoulder check.

When we say to check the mirror first what we're talking about is to check that center mirror in the vehicle.

And the reason you check that center mirror first is because you don't want to be rear-ended by vehicles behind you when you're slowing down.

That is the reason for mirror, signal, shoulder check.

Because traffic is always changing, you need to always be looking when you're driving.

So you're checking the center mirror, at the same time that you're checking the center mirror you want to be putting the signal on and as Doug mentioned you want to have three flashes on the signal before you start moving over or turning.

And the reason for that:

1) the first signal gets the attention of other road users and drivers;

2) the second signal allows them to locate your vehicle;

3) and the third signal allows them to take some sort of action in response to your request.

So if you're changing lanes, they're going to slow down and help you create a space that you can move into when you're changing lanes.

Now the other point about this is in previous videos and I've said again and again that regardless of road test, regardless of class of license, wherever you are in the world all license tests have the same four fundamental components:

1) speed management;

2) space management;

3) observation;

4) and communication.

 Mirror, signal, shoulder check is one of the fundamentals of observation.


And you have to have observation in place to be successful on a road test.

Not just shoulder checking but also scanning patterns, looking well down the road and doing 360° degree scans around your vehicle before doing slow speed maneuvers.

So observation is one of the key components of being successful on a road test.

So mirror, signal, shoulder check, you're turning your signal on and you're checking that center mirror at the same time and the reason for that is so that you don't get rear ended.

Adjust your mirrors correctly so you can see other traffic to the rear and sides at a glance.

And the other point that Doug made is that in fact yes you do need three, minimum three signals flashes before you change lanes, move the vehicle laterally or do turns.

So hopefully that's a little bit more explanation of what we say when we say mirror, signal, shoulder check and all the other little things that driving instructors say while they're teaching you how to drive.

If you don't understand what they're saying or don't understand the terminology that they're using, simply ask them to stop the vehicle some place safe and give you an explanation.

That way you're both on the same page because good driving instructors should be able to change their language so that the student understands it

And when the driving instructor gives you instruction about what you need to be doing, mirror, signal, shoulder check for example, that you're able to understand that.

Always check the centre mirror first before changing directions or slowing the vehicle.

So thank you Doug for that comment.

Hopefully that gives you a bit more explanation of mirror, signal, shoulder check and why you're checking the center mirror first, not your wing mirrors.

And yes three flashes on the signal before you move over.

So know that observation is one of the key components, one of the four key components of being successful on a road test.

I'm Rick with Smart Drive Test, thanks very much for watching.

Good luck on your road test.

And remember, pick the best answer not necessarily the right answer.

Have a great day!

Bye now.

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