Checking your blind spot is a crucial safety step in lane changes, merging, backing, parking, pulling away from curb, or turnabouts. Every driver should be well aware of all of these teen driver tips before getting behind the wheel. Something as simple as not signaling or going too slow in the passing lane could mean the difference between life and death. Being aware of yourself and other drivers and is equally important. Below are some basic teen driver tips worth sharing.

How Teen Drivers Can Merge Lanes Safely

Let’s take a moment to discuss proper lane usage on the interstate. Each lane on a 3+ lane highway has its own specific purpose. The lane farthest to the left is the “passing lane”. The passing lane is meant to be used for passing slower moving traffic. You are not to use the far left lane for an extended period of time unless the volume of traffic necessitates it. The middle lane is the “driving lane”. This is where you should be if traveling for a distance and you do not intend to exit within the next few miles.

The lane farthest to the right is the “enter/exit lane. This lane is intended for use by vehicles who are entering or exiting the highway. It is unsafe for vehicle to use this lane unnecessarily. If you are in this lane while traffic is merging, you should do your best to make sure that merging traffic has an opportunity to merge safely.

Does your teen driver know the difference between each lane?

What are the Laws Pertaining to Passing on Maryland Roadways?

All drivers, especially new teen drivers must use caution when passing another vehicle. On a two-lane highway, the left lane should be clearly seen and free of oncoming traffic for a distance great enough to permit passing. Do not turn back into the right-hand lane until you can see the entire vehicle you have just passed in your rearview mirror. You must return to your lane before you get within 200 ft of an oncoming vehicle. The driver you are passing must not increase speed until you have completed your passing. Driving off the pavement or main traveled part of the road is not allowed when passing another vehicle on the right or the left.

In addition to employing the proper procedures for passing, it is equally important to be familiar with the various road markings. Solid double yellow lines are used where traffic is moving in opposite directions. Two solid lines mark that passing is not allowed on either side. Solid yellow lines may be crossed only to make a left turn to or from an alley, private road, driveway or street.

Executing Proper Turning & Signaling

Signaling is how drivers communicate their intentions on the roadway to others—vehicles, pedestrians, cyclist etc.  From utilizing signal lights (blinkers) in our vehicle or making turn signals with our arms, it is critical that drivers communicate their intentions. It is also Maryland law that we signal at least 100 ft prior to turns in city or residential areas and 200 ft prior to turns on an interstate or rural highway.

Turning right on red

A right turn on red is legal unless otherwise posted with a “No Turn On Red” sign. Make sure that you read any additional signage posted supplementary to the “No Turn On Red” sign. Some situations depend on time/day or whether or not pedestrians are present. You must always stop at the marked stop line. If there is not a marked stop line, stop before entering the crosswalk. If there is no crosswalk, stop before entering the intersection. If it is determined that it is legal to do so drivers must yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic and pedestrians before turning.