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Learning to drive is a big deal for many California teens as it signals a step closer to personal freedom. As in other states, Californians must pass various tests before they may be licensed to legally drive. Through their testing they must show that they have mastered both the laws of driving and the practical skills of operating motor vehicles.

One critical skill that drivers must master to operate safely is the lane change. When on a local road or a busy freeway, lane changes cause vehicles to cross traffic and change positions while moving. Unfortunately, many drivers forget the steps that they should take when changing lanes, and their actions put motorcyclists in harm’s way.

Steps to a safe lane change

There are a few basic steps that drivers should follow to ensure that they are safely changing lanes. Those steps include the following:

  • Turning on one’s signal. Doing so indicates a maneuver is coming to vehicles in the surrounding area.
  • Checking one’s mirrors. Mirrors provide drivers with visibility around their vehicles without having to turn their bodies.
  • Checking one’s blind spot. Blind spots exist on the sides of vehicles where mirrors do not reach. They require visual checks.
  • Smooth lane change. When a driver is sure it is safe, they should make a careful but efficient lane change. They may then turn off their signal.

Follow these steps can help drivers prevent lane change collisions with motorcyclists.

When a lane change goes wrong

As readers can see, there are many ways that a simple lane change can become a dangerous situation for a motorcyclist in the vicinity of an unsafe driver. Whether they are caught in an unchecked blind spot or caught off guard by a driver who failed to signal, motorcyclists can suffer serious and long-term injuries from crashes with cars. Motorcycle accident attorneys can be their advocates when they choose to pursue their damages.