‘Stick to your lane!” is often a rebuke you fire at some colleague who likes snooping around, crossing boundaries. It’s perfect imagery derived from the traffic. Some road users have trouble keeping the car in the lane center.
Keeping your vehicle in the center of the lane is one of the primary lessons you learn in the parking lot as a driving school student. It is the next lesson, you have to learn once you know how to stop and start a vehicle.
Safe driving is the only way you can stay safe on the road, together with other road users. Sticking to your lane will keep you safe.
If you are still having challenges staying centered in your lane while driving, the following tips should help you out:
1. Keep Your Focus Ahead (Peripheral Vision)
To get a clear idea of what the lane center is, you should focus on things far away from you. It is easy to move away from the center of the lane if you keep looking close by.
Focus on the objects on the horizon before your vehicle. When you focus far ahead, you still see what is nearby before you.
2. Relax Your Grip on the Wheel
Do not tightly hold on to the wheel because you will not be able to make appropriate adjustments. When your hands are relaxed on the wheel, you can make small adjustments where necessary without taking the vehicle off the center of the lane.
Of course, do not loosely hold the wheel to the point you cannot control the vehicle in case you have to make an urgent turn. The point here is that you relax your muscles. This way, you cannot be too stiff to the point you jerk the wheel when steering.
3. Reduce Distractions in Your Car
You are likely to move away from the center of the lane if you are distracted inside the car. You could be eating, talking on the phone, lost in a conversation with a passenger, adjusting the music volume, texting, or anything that takes your eyes off the road. It is best to attend to these potential distractions after you have stopped the car.
Another distraction that could slowly steal you away even with your eyes on the road is getting lost in thought. Do not let your thoughts drift off to issues that may cause you to daydream and to forget that you are driving, not in your house.
4. Keep an Eye on the Lines
Do not forget to look at your side mirrors while driving because the habit reminds you of your exact location on the road.
We have already said that you should keep your eyes ahead. Of course, you cannot practically keep your eyes ahead all the time and still arrive safely at your destination.
Once in a while, you have to glance at the side mirrors. Before you start driving, ensure the mirrors are well set. As you drive, check the side mirrors and the rear mirrors every 5-8 minutes.
You can well see the white marking on your right and the lines on your left side. If you are able to see both the lines on your left and your right when you glance at the mirrors, it is a good sign that you are in the center of the lane.
5. Maintain Equal Tire Pressure
Imbalance can keep you from the center because the vehicle would be too unstable to be controlled. This can happen when the tires are unequally inflated so that some have more pressure while others have less.
You cannot start checking your car tires when you are already on the road, so always take the time to check the tires before you hit the road.
6. Don’t Focus Too Much On the Vehicle In Front
Sometimes all you have to do to be in the center of the lane is align your vehicle with the one in front. The assumption here is that the vehicle in front is doing the right thing.
The problem comes when the vehicle you depend on for determining the lane center is itself misguided. Hence, your eyes should always be moving past the vehicle in front, to the side mirrors, and your sides.
How to Stop Swerving While Driving
Drivers swerve for various reasons. Some will swerve to avoid potholes, avoid hitting animals crossing the road. The problem with swerving is that you can end up causing more severe damage than the one you were avoiding.
To stop being in a situation where you will have to swerve, always be keen while driving. Nothing should take you by surprise that you cannot slow down or pull up to save the situation.
Should a Sneeze Cause You To Swerve Off Your Lane?
A sneeze will always announce itself to give you time to control your muscles. Each sneeze lasts about a second, so you are not likely to lose control of the vehicle because of a sneeze.
Whichever swerving you experience while sneezing should be corrected in time to avoid any potential accident. But if you considerably lose control of your vehicle each time you sneeze, the best thing to do is avoid driving.
Always remember that it’s the vehicle that should be in the lane center, not you. You are on the left side, so if you put yourself in the center, the vehicle will drift off to the right.
Lane driving requires no extra effort from you once you get used to following the tips above. It would be best to practice sticking to your lane before the driving test because it can cost you your driving license.
At Pierre Paul Driving School, we prepare our learners for every kind of situation they are likely to encounter on the road. The importance of lane driving is one of the essentials we emphasize, knowing that some accidents are caused by drivers who UNKNOWINGLY left their lanes.