Lane Changing in
One of the great things about
about America is that you don't have to learn how to drive before they let
you behind the wheel. One of the bad things about America is that
nobody has to learn how to drive before getting behind the
If you are from Europe, these tips will help you
understand the American way of changing lanes. In true American
fashion, there are several options. As a reference point, the
European way is described first.
Changing Lanes, European Way
- Pick the spot you want to move into.
- Align with the spot. Make sure there is
ample room behind and in front.
- Match speed with the lane you are moving
- Turn on signal.
- Make sure the spot is still open.
- Move into your spot.
- Turn off signal.
The problem with this is that it's safe and it
doesn't antagonize your fellow drivers. The Americans have ways that
are much more interesting.
Changing Lanes, American Way -- Option 1
- Turn on signal.
- Wait a few seconds.
- Now that others have had a chance to get out of
the way, just move over.
The beauty of this method is that you don't have to
bother with checking your mirrors, or even worry about which way they are
Changing Lanes, American Way -- Option 2
- Slow down.
- Slow down more.
- If anybody around you is still moving, slow down
- The object is to make everybody else come to a
complete stand-still so that you can potz over into the lane of your
choice at your leisure.
Option 2 is a great way to really get the blood
pressure rising in the other drivers.
The third option is not really a process, so much as
ad-hoc moves excercised opportunistically.
Changing Lanes, American Way -- Option 3, Southern California
- No spot is too small to move into.
- Never use your signal, as that just warns your
opponents, I mean, your fellow drivers.
- Only change lanes at the last possible
moment. Every spot you can advance counts!
Changing Lanes, American Way -- Option 4
- When you get a car, new or used, immediately turn
on the signal. The direction doesn't matter. Never turn it
off. This way, you never have to think about your turn signal
again, and you still have a fifty percent chance that it's correct every
time you turn! What's there not to like?
- This method works better in an old truck
with a faded paint job.
- When changing lanes, slowly swerve over in the
direction you want to move. Don't worry too much, thanks to #2,
others will get out of the way. You can make a few fake swerves
first, to warn others, but that is a courtesy and not really
Send me comments: henri at
hein dot org.
Do the Right Thing.
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