Learn how to stay centred in your lane when learning how to drive. Watch the video.
Hi there, smart drivers. Rick with Smart Drive Test talking to you today about centering your vehicle in the lane and keeping your vehicle in the lane when you're making turns. Had a comment from Erin and she wanted me to give her some information about how to center the vehicle in the lane and keep it in the lane when she was making turns. Now, first thing I'm gonna tell you is raise your vision up. In other words look farther down the road. It's one of the five tenets of the Smith Space Cushion System and I'll put a link down in the description there to the Smith Space Cushion system that you can look at.
Yes, the video is dated and it's in black and white, but the information presented is still relevant. The only thing that's not relevant is the horn honking. It's no longer a form of communication. Most of the time, horn honking is a form of aggression. You can see the video here on the channel for horn honking, but lift your vision up, look farther down the road when you're making turns, pick out landmarks farther down the road that will help you to navigate through the turn.
The sharper the turn the slower you're gonna have to go, because the slower you go with any vehicle, the sharper it turns. The faster you go the less sharp it turns, so on a sharp corner or sharp turn you're gonna have to slow down and if you slow down as well, not only will the vehicle turn sharper, but it allows you better control of the vehicle because you're going at a slower speed. So what we're gonna do today, we're gonna hook up the camera, we're gonna show you how to center the vehicle in the lane. We're gonna show you how to keep it in lane for turns. So stick around. We'll be right back with that information.
[INTRO AND UPBEAT MUSIC]
Hi there smart drivers, welcome back. Rick with Smart Drive Test talking to you today about how to center your vehicle in the lane for the purposes of learning how to drive. And this is for new drivers who are having some challenges. Now here I'm picking out the object hazard sign over here as my landmark because I gotta come in to the left hand lane and I'm just gonna come in to the left of that sign. So I pick that landmark out before I moved around the corner and you may not have been able to see it. You might have been able to see it in this camera up here before I started turning left.
Now, essentially I can't see far down the road here, but I'm in the center of the lane. Now just one other note: in the dash cam you can see the piece of paper on the hood. That's the center of my hood. Now essentially what I'm doing is I'm just following this vehicle in front of me, but if I look far down the road, and you may not be able to see that in the dash cam, I can see the traffic light and I am lined up in line with the traffic light and this stretch of the road down to the traffic light is straight, so I know I can pick out that traffic light and aim for that traffic light and that will keep my vehicle centered in the lane. Now I'm moving over to the left hand lane. Move into the lane and again look down at that vehicle and drive towards that vehicle in the distance. And again, all of this will help you to center the vehicle in the lane and I stop so I can see the tires making clear contact with pavement. And again, I look over to the intersection on this direction over here and I can see the object marker sign on the traffic island and I need to go onto the right side of the object marker sign. That is my landmark for turning left here.
Most of the time on these complex intersections that's what you're gonna find. You're gonna find a traffic island and you're gonna find an object marker sign on that traffic island, because object markers warn us of hazards and obstructions on the roadway that can potentially strike and there's a video here on the channel for object markers and I'll put the link down in the description box for you.
Landmarks & Object Marker Signs
I'll put a card up in the corner for you as well for that video on object marker signs. Again, on most complex intersections, you can look for that object marker sign and on left hand turns that will give you your landmark for you going around the corner. Now this corner I've been around a few times, because I'm shooting a video previously and it's fairly a sharp corner and you have to reduce your speed. On sharper corners you have to reduce your speed to get around the corner and to stay in the lane that you need to stay in, because I'm turning left, I wanna go into the left hand lane. So again I can see the object marker sign. I'm not looking at the object marker sign, but I'm using it as a landmark and I'm actually looking forward.
Now I pick out the landmark and I come in on the left hand side and you can see in the speedo-cam here that I'm not going very fast. I'm going less than 20 kilometers an hour. I'm only doing about 15 because I had to slow down in order to keep my vehicle into the lane that I want it to go into, which was into the left hand lane. And again, looking farther down the road to where I want the vehicle to go. Coming up and stopping at the intersection and the light is about to go green because the advanced green went and the vehicle behind me is coming to a nice stop. And again I'm watching, as I'm sitting at the intersection, there's somebody right behind me.
Defensive driving moves to have your eyes in that center mirror and make sure that the traffic behind you is stopping because if they don't stop a lot of times you can simply move forward and that will help them to get stopped. Now again I'm looking far down the road past the traffic lights. I can only see the road to about the traffic lights, but I know that it moves around to the left. Now when I came through on that yellow, it went yellow when I moved into the intersection, I simply put my foot over the brake and covered the brake. Again, there's another video here on the channel. I'll put a card up in the corner for you on covering the brake, scanning the intersection as we're moving through and again I'm looking far down the road.
Aim High in Your Steering :: Locate Landmarks
I'm looking at the traffic down there. I'm looking at the green light and if I just aim for that traffic light, the green light, my vehicle will stay centered in the lane here and I just follow the other traffic. Aim high on your steering. Scanning the intersection. And again I'm seeing that the roadway is curving around to the right because the other traffic went around to the right and again I'm looking up over actually in that direction where the roadway goes now and centering my vehicle in the lane because the vehicle will go where I'm looking. So I look down the road as far as I can and keep my vision up. Now you can see that I'm going downhill here and it's 50 kilometers an hour and I'm having to apply a fair bit of brake here because it is a big hill. This is Dilworth Mountain in Kelowna and it is a fairly steep hill. So if you're doing a road test and you're going down a steep hill like this, you'll have to apply a fair bit of brake in order to maintain your speed under the posted speed limit. And again we're looking far down the road here as far as we can see the road and I can see that the road curves around to the left. I can simply see the utility poles that they're curving around to left here.
And again I'm into the steep part of the hill and I'm looking over and actually this way here I can see that the road now goes over to that direction and actually my speed got away from me there. I'm being pressured by the BMW behind me. so there you go, social driving. Because the person came right up on top of me and tailgated me, telling me I was going to slow down the hill, which is going to happen, especially if you're learning how to drive, but most of you are gonna be in a graduated licensing program and you're gonna have an L on the back of your car, which is going to help a little bit. Okay, right hand turn, signal on, your signal shoulder check, into my gear, I have a crosswalk, I'm stopping and I'm, stopping behind the crosswalk. There's no pedestrians so I'm gonna move up so I can see and there's enough room in front of the crosswalk for me so I'm not blocking the crosswalk. And I got a vehicle and again I'm checking forward, vehicle's in the other lane.
I look up and steer in the direction I wanna go. So I'm looking far down the road. Aim high in my steering, 60 kilometers an hour, and again I just, I'm looking down as far I can see, and I'm looking at the traffic down farther. I maintain my speed of 60 kilometers an hour (40mph), for purposes of road testing. You simply drive in your lane looking as far down and again I can see the utility poles on the left hand side of the road there and they curve around to the right and that tells me that the road is gonna go around to the right and I simply follow the road around to the right and aim high in my steering. If you're looking down at the end of the hood, you're gonna be wandering and deviating all over your lane but essentially what you need to be doing is looking as far down the road as you can and the vehicle will just automatically center.
Now the other technique, and this is just a quick check. This is not a way that you should be centering your vehicle in the lane, but on this vehicle here, there's a fog line that runs up on the right side of the road here, actually this is the bike lane, on a lot of highways they'll have fog lines. The fog line on this vehicle when I'm centered in the lane is actually on the front corner of the vehicle but that fog line is right on the front corner of the vehicle and so when you get the vehicle centered in the lane, just have a check over on that right side and see where that fog line is. On this vehicle it's on the front right corner so whatever vehicle that you're driving, just check over there and see where it is. Don't use it as what you're gonna be looking at all the time, just look at it as a reference point every now and again for centering the vehicle in the lane. Get your vehicle centered in the lane, just have a look over there and see where the fog line is and that'll give you a quick reference point of where the fog line is. So we're out on the highway here. We're what they call in the trucking industry, a two lane skinny. It's a little two lane highway and again, we have a fog line off to the right and it's right on the front corner of the vehicle and again I'm looking far down the road. I'm looking up at that white car in front of me.
Looking Through the Curve
So if I look as far down the road as I can, that way I'm gonna be able to center my vehicle in the lane and as well, I can see from the trees in front of me that the lane curves off to the left here. So I'm getting ready to go around to the left and again, just a quick check down on my reference point that the front corner is, in fact, on the fog line and I simply drive the vehicle and I can see from the sign here on the right, that is a cautionary sign that the road does a little snake here so, again, I'm looking through the curve over to that way and picking my landmarks, the road markings, and staying within my lane. Now I'm going over to the right and I steer, I look through the curve and I steer the vehicle and the vehicle goes where I'm looking so make sure you look as far down the road as you can. Again, I can see the utility poles going off to the left here and I know that the road is going around to the left. Traffic is coming, I can see the traffic coming, and the road now goes around to the right and I'm looking through the curve over to the right where that other traffic is coming from.
So aim high in your steering and the vehicle will go where you're looking and again look down at that corner in the fog line and you can see that the fog line is on that front corner of the vehicle, the traffic in front of me went around to the right and I saw it deak around to the left there a little bit so again I'm just looking down the road as far as I can and the vehicle will automatically center in the roadway and that's how you do it out on the highway. We're gonna get out onto a freeway here in a little bit and I will show you how to center your vehicle out on the freeway as well. Coming up to a right hand turn here. It's not a controlled intersection. We just simply turn right. The other traffic has to stop but we still make sure that the other traffic has, in fact, stopped. We shoulder check half a block before the turn and we slow down. That vehicle is coming to a stop. Slowing down, looking through the curve, and accelerate looking forward and accelerating. Now we're gonna turn left, do your signal shoulder check, centered behind that traffic, so look as far down the road as you can because the road is straight here and we simply center in behind these vehicles and we can go on the advanced green here and again, picking our landmarks, we have an object marker sign on the traffic island and we wanna go in on the right side of that, nice and slow, proceed, right signal on immediately, rear signal shoulder check, shoulder check again, and leave your signal on the whole time you're moving across. Cancel your signal.
And again we're looking as far down the road as we can and centering our vehicle in the lane. Alright, so we're coming out on the freeway here and we're looking up the road here as far as you can cause the road deviates around to the left here. Get some windshield wipers on here cause it's melting all the snow here and we have lots of spray coming off the other vehicles on the roadway. Moving over to the right hand lane because poor old four cylinder here doesn't climb the hill so well but we're going up the hill here and again, we're looking far down the road and we can see that the road deviates around to the right because of the topography here and the other traffic is all turning around to the right so we're simply gonna follow it around to the right and again I just check with the fog line down on the right hand corner there and I can see that I'm centered in the lane rather and I just look up the road as far as I can looking at the other traffic.
Looking for landmarks, I can see the sign board along the side of the road there, and the vehicle just centers in the lane. So the number one technique for centering your vehicle in the lane, regardless of whether you're driving straight or you're turning corners or those types of things, pick your vision up. Don't be looking down at the end of the hood. Look farther down the road. As you're going around corners, look for landmarks that will help you guide yourself around the corner and as you're going around the corner, the sharper the corner, the slower you're gonna have to go in order to maintain your lane position.
Quick review of centering your vehicle in the lane: look farther down the road. The vehicle will go where you're looking and it is one of the tenets of the Smith Space Cushion System. Aim high in your steering and keep your eyes moving and when you keep your eyes moving, what you're doing is you're looking for landmarks and those landmarks will indicate to you which direction the road is going to curve or deviate, whether to the left or right, and if you're looking down the road, that will be fairly easy to spot. The other thing you can do is just follow the other traffic, that will help you too, as well, to center your vehicle in the lane. If there's a fog line or you're driving in a lane where there's another lane beside you, the line on the road should be off the front corner of the vehicle and that is just a quick check to ensure that you are, in fact, centered in the lane.
When you're turning, to keep your vehicle positioned in the lane and move from the left lane into the left lane if you're turning left or moving from the right lane to the right lane when you're turning right, obviously, the sharper the curve, the slower you're gonna have to go because the sharper the vehicle turns as you're going slower and again, when you're turning right or left, look for landmarks before you start turning. That way you know that you're gonna be able to navigate around the corner and keep those landmarks and use those landmarks to move around the corner and keep your vehicle in the lane. On most left hand turns at complex intersections, there's gonna be a traffic island and on the end of the traffic island is gonna be an object marker sign.
Use that object marker sign to get yourself around the left hand turn and into the left hand lane because that's what you have to do for the purposes of a road test.
Question for my smart drivers:
Leave a comment down in the comment section there. All of that helps out the new drivers working towards their license and learning how to drive. I'm Rick with Smart Drive Test. Thanks very much for watching. If you like what you see here, share, subscribe, leave a comment down in the comment section. As well, hit that thumbs up button. Check out all of the videos here on the channel. If you're working on getting your license or starting a career as a truck or a bus driver, lots of great information here and head over to the website. More great information over there and online courses that you can purchase.
Stick around to the end of the video - funny bits and links to the other videos and to my website. Thanks again 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.
[BLOOPER, OUTRO & UPEAT MUSIC] Over on the right. Just see where that fog line is over on the left, no I was right (laughs). Right is over there! (laughs) Oh, I had a little brain cramp there.