Positioning on roads with multiple lanes
Hogging the middle lane can infuriate other motorists, especially when driving below the speed limit! If you’re driving on a road with multiple lanes, always travel in the left-hand lane. Rule 160 of the Highway Code says to keep to the left unless road signs or markings tell you otherwise and use the middle and right lanes when overtaking and turning right.
Driving in the normal driving position protects your vehicle in the event of a door on a parked vehicle opening unexpectedly. It also gives you additoinal time to react, if a pedestrian, child or animal crosses your path
A reference point for the normal driving position is when the tyres of a parked vehiicle on the side of the road intersects with your vehicle’s dashboard.
When there are no obstructions on the road ahead. you can use the point at which the kerb intersects with your vehicle’s dashboard, as a reference point for normal driving position.
In adverse weather such as when it’s raining or snowing, the wipers could be in use which could make it difficult to judge the vehicle’s current position
We steer with our hands and our eyes. If you focus on a specific side of the road, your hands will subconsciously start to drift towards that area
For example if you focus on your left door mirror, your vehicle could end up drifting towards to the kerb. It could also cause you to take your eye off the road, which could lead to an accident or collision. Use the kerb or the tyres of parked vehicles ahead of you, as a reference point for normal driving position but try not to stare in that direction as you could miss something on the road ahead.
If the road is wide and unobstructed and there is equal space to the left and right of the vehicle as you drive, you are most likely in the centre of the lane
You can assess your road position by taking quick looks in either door mirror, to determine if there is equal space on either side of the vehicle
If there’s a vehicle driving in front, you can use its positioning as a guide, but don’t rely on it as an absolute refernce point. Other drivers make mistake and if you follow the positioning of another vehicle too closely, you could find yourself in trouble if the vehicle ahead veers off course or behaves unexpectedly.
Looking far ahead will help you stay clear of the kerb to your left and the hazard warning ;lines to your right. As a tip, look as far ahead as possible and focus on the point at which the sky and road intersect.
Micro steering is the process of making small steering adjustments to alter the position of a vehicle. Making small steering adjustments is a safe and effective method of correcting your road or lane position, especially when travelling at speed.
Aim to position your vehicle approiximately 1 metre away from the kerb or parked vehicle, if it is safe to do so. If you position your vehicle too far away from the kerb, when it is unecessary, you could iencourage following traffic to fundertake you, or impede oncoming traffic travelling in the opposite direction
When driving on a narrow road, with obstructions on either side and limited space, you may have to drive in the centre of the road, to avoid being too close to parked vehicles on your left hand side. You should only position left of the centre line when it is safe to do so
Aim to position your vehicle at least 1 metre away from the kerb or parked vehicle. If you drive too close to the kerb, following traffic may think you intend to pull over or turn into a driveway and this could encourage following traffic to overtake your vehicle when it is unsafe. Should you move over to the right when a vehicle or rider is trying to overtake you, it could lead to an accident or collision
Aim to position your vehicle at least 1 metre away from the kerb or parked vehicle. If you drive too close to the kerb, you could mistakenly hit it or go over it, which could injure a pedestrian in close proximity and also damage your vehicle.
You also increase the risk of picking up a puncture when you rive too close to the kerb, as the closer you are to the kerb, the more likely you are to find random objects that could damage your vehicle’s tyres”
If there is more than one lane travelling in the same direction, you should always use the left hand lane for normal travel. The right lane should be used for overtaking and turning right only.
If you use the right-hand lane to overtake a slower moving vehicle,up ahead, you must move back to the left-hand side once you’ve completed the manoeuvre.”
Always use the MSM routine when changing lanes. Check your mirrors to make sure it’s safe, signal if necessary and the move over to your desired lane.
Travelling on a bend
Your view of the road will be restricted as you drive around a bend, so travelling at the correct speed and in the right position is key to staying safe. If you position incorrectly or approach too quickly, you could impede oncoming traffic and nearby road users.
Positioning on roads that bend to the right
You can improve your view of the road by positioning your vehicle well to the left on roads that bend to the right. Widening your view of the road will help you spot oncoming traffic and other potential hazards.
Look out for nearby pedestrians, cyclists and debris in the road when positioning left on a right-hand bend. You could endanger vulnerable road user or damage your vehicle’s tyres if you fail to spot a hazard near the kerb.
Positioning on roads that bend to the left
On roads which bend to the left, positioning your vehicle towards the centre line will help to improve your line of sight, but be prepared to move back to the left-hand side if you spot an oncoming traffic. Do not cross the centre line on a bend as you could collide with a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction.
To reduce the chance of losing control of your vehicle or it running wide while cornering, reduce your speed and select the correct gear, before you reach the bend. Doing so will allow you to focus on navigating the bend safely, while ensuring you maintain full control of the vehicle
Do not regard your road positioning as fixed on any given road. Be prepared to adjust your road positioning as an when traffic conditions dictate. Things which could force you to adjust your road positioning include, parked vehicles, road works, traffic calming measures, adverse weather, changes in the width of the road and the presence of emergency vehicles close by
On a wide road, one method of checking whether or not you are centre of your lane is to take quick glances in either door mirror. If there is an equal and reasonable amount of space between your right door mirror and the centre line and your left door mirror and the kerb, you are most likely in the middle of your lane
On narrow two-way roads,you may be required to position your vehicle closer to the kerb than you otherwise would, to ensure traffic continues to flow in both directions. If you spot a potential meeting situation that could require you to move over to your left hand side, redeuce your speed first, before moving over, as this will reduce the chances of your vehicle mounting the kerb, or crossing the solid white line
On narrow roads with no central markings, it is important to understand that when you position your vehicle in the normal driving position – 1m away from the kerb – part of your vehicle will most likely be on the other side of the road. When driving on such roads, travel slower than you otherwise would, plan well ahead and be prepared to give way or reverse if the need arises
On a narrow road which bends to the right, visibility will most likey be reduced. To ensure you remain safe as you navigate the bend, first reduce your speed and then position your vehicle closer to the kerb than otherwise would. Adjusting your speed and position in this way, allows traffic to flow in both directions
When driving on a narrow road, you may need to drive closer to the kerb that you otherwise would to keep the flow of traffic moving. To ensure you do not climb the kerb, go over the solid white line or mount the verge, check your centre mirror and if safe, reduce your speed, before moving over to the kerb
Single track roads are narrow roads, where traffic travelling in both directions use a single lane and position in the middle of the road. As traffic travelling in both directions will be travelling in the middle of the road, it is importnat to reduce your speed and drive cautiosly, as the chances of an accident occuring on this type of road, are signficantly higher than other road types.
When driving on this type of road, look out for designted passing places, as these can help ease the flow of traffic, by allowing two vehicles to pass each other side by side “