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Lane Change Awareness

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    1. Lane Change Awareness Ryder Customer Safety and Loss Prevention

    2. 8/24/2012 Proprietary and Confidential 2 Lane Change Awareness Introduction Changing lanes can be a dangerous and difficult maneuver, especially for a commercial vehicle. Size, no zones, traffic congestion, road construction, speed, weather conditions and the attitudes of other drivers all play a role when attempting a lane change. Lane change collisions can result in serious injury and higher property damage costs, especially at higher speeds.

    3. 8/24/2012 Proprietary and Confidential 3 Lane Change Awareness Choosing a Lane What lane should you choose? Your decision will be based on traffic and your desired destination. On an interstate with three or more lanes in each direction, the right lane is considered the lower-speed through lane, the center lane a higher-speed through lane and the left lane a passing lane. Be aware of any posted signs that may limit truck traffic to certain lanes. If such limitations exist, you must comply.

    4. 8/24/2012 Proprietary and Confidential 4 Lane Change Awareness Changing Lanes When you need to change lanes on an interstate, you should make a variety of checks before initiating the maneuver. Confirm there is adequate space between your vehicle and the closest vehicle in front of you. Scan the traffic to be sure no other drivers are planning the same move. Check your mirrors. Signal your intentions. Smooth and steady is the rule.

    5. 8/24/2012 Proprietary and Confidential 5 Lane Change Awareness Entering and Exiting Good judgment and timing are required to merge smoothly into traffic when you are entering an interstate/freeway. Generally, you will enter from a ramp which leads into an acceleration lane which blends into the flow of traffic on the highway. Size up the traffic on the highway you are entering. Allow space between your vehicle and others on the ramp. Adjust your speed to fit with the follow of traffic. Watch for entering opportunities or difficulties that will affect merging.

    6. 8/24/2012 Proprietary and Confidential 6 Lane Change Awareness Entering and Exiting Your visual search pattern will help you be prepared to exit smoothly. Determine which exit you will be using well in advance and get into the proper lane for making your exit. Exiting drivers can be real hazards if they veer suddenly to get into a lane. Once you are off the ramp, you are back in the world of two-way traffic, intersections, slow-moving vehicles, etc. Be prepared to make the transition from interstate driving. Reduce your speed and use extra caution.

    7. 8/24/2012 Proprietary and Confidential 7 Lane Change Awareness Dealing with Blind Spots A nasty reality of driving large commercial vehicles is that you have significant areas around the vehicle where you just plain cant see other vehicles. These blind spots are called the No-Zone. The No-Zone represents areas where crashes are more likely to occur. There are five No-Zone areas that all drivers should be aware of: Side blind spots; Rear blind spots; Front blind spots: Wide right turns; Backing up. Be aware of your No-Zone. Other drivers may not be aware of the size of your trucks blind spots. Be vigilant in watching out for vehicles in the No-Zone. One-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars takes place in the No-Zone.

    8. 8/24/2012 Proprietary and Confidential 8 Lane Change Awareness Safe Operating Procedures A key part of changing lanes is properly judging the space available to complete the maneuver, and the relative speed of the other vehicles. Youll need to plan on other drivers behaving in unpredictable ways. Whether merging into traffic, passing on a single lane road, or simply changing lanes on an expressway, other motorists may suddenly slow down, speed up or change lanes without warning. One of the most common panic maneuvers happens when a motorist thinks they will miss their exit and zips across multiple lanes to exit the freeway. Its hard to plan for the unexpected, but professional drivers leave themselves a way to escape if needed. If youre not sure you have enough room to pass, you probably should stay in your lane of traffic. Make certain that all mirrors are clean and properly adjusted.

    9. 8/24/2012 Proprietary and Confidential 9 Lane Change Awareness Summary The safety-minded driver always communicates with other motorists by using the turn signal well ahead of time (at least eight to ten seconds) before changing lanes. Also start your signal before you begin the maneuver so that other motorists have time to recognize your signal. Commercial vehicle traffic can be restricted on certain highways and city streets. Confirm your routing prior to your trip. Knowing the exit you will be exiting in advance will minimize the hazards of a last minute lane change. If you will need to change lanes, do so well ahead of time to avoid "last minute" or "panic" lane changes.

    10. 8/24/2012 Proprietary and Confidential 10 Lane Change Awareness Summary Good judgment and timing are required are necessary to merge safely into traffic. Slow down and always maintain a generous following distance based on traffic conditions. Remember the size and weight of your vehicle will determine the stopping distance. Lane change and swipe collisions often occur when the driver is forced to quickly change lanes to avoid hitting the vehicle ahead. Be on the lookout for merging situations at exit and entrance ramps. Remember you have 5 No Zone areas where you cannot see other vehicle. When changing lanes SMOOTH and STEADY is the rule.

    11. 8/24/2012 Proprietary and Confidential 11 Lane Change Awareness 1. Collisions often result when one vehicle makes an improper lane change and makes contact with the vehicle in the adjacent lane. True False 2. Before a lane change is attempted, the driver has a duty to make sure it is safe to do so. True False 3. All drivers need to take time to look around carefully before making any lane changes. True False 4. The blind spots around your vehicle are called the No Zone. The No Zone areas are: Top and Bottom Side and rear Front and rear Side, rear, front, wide turns and backing.

    12. 8/24/2012 Proprietary and Confidential 12 Lane Change Awareness 5. Proper routing and being familiar with the route can minimize the potential of last minute lane changes. True False 6. When changing lanes you should follow this rule: A rolling stone gathers no moss. Unsure and erratic. Smooth and steady. No pain, no gain. 7. The size and weight of your vehicle will determine the stopping distance. True False

    13. 8/24/2012 Proprietary and Confidential 13 Lane Change Awareness 8. Commercial vehicles can be restricted from using certain lanes and city streets. True False 9. A key part of changing lanes is properly judging the space available to complete the maneuver. True False 10. When you need to change lanes, you should make a variety of checks before you begin the lane change. They include: Confirm there is adequate space. Scan traffic to be sure no other vehicles are planning the same move. Check your mirrors. Signal your intentions. All of the above.

    14. 8/24/2012 Proprietary and Confidential 14 Lane Change Awareness 1. True 2. True 3. True 4. D 5. True 6. C 7. True 8. True 9. True 10. E