Posted by: safedriver | December 4, 2011

Please….stay in your lane….if you can

I do a lot of things with my kids. It’s a huge part of my life and I truly enjoy it. When I get a chance to combine my love of my kids with my passion for safe driving, it’s awesome! Currently, my 14 year old son is itching to drive. He’s grown up listening and watching what I’m doing when I’m driving, plus he does read some of my articles. I even gave him one of the tests my students at Young Drivers of Canada receive and he did quite well; considering he hadn’t opened up a student workbook or spent time in my class. I’d say he’s pretty observant; wouldn’t you think? Either that or he’s just a suck up.

When we’re out in the car he’ll say things to me about what he’s noticing from other drivers. I use those situations to explain what the driver should be doing to correct the situation. For example, the driver in these photos kept weaving from side to side in their lane while traveling along the freeway. Other than the fact he was potentially interfering with the other vehicles as they passed them, he didn’t seem to have control over his vehicle. Do you ever find yourself wandering in your lane when you’re driving?

I’ve asked my students many times if they have the same difficulty; staying in the centre of their lane. Quite a few of them would tell me they do have this problem, so I offer this solution to you and to them. Look further ahead. That’s it. Nothing more. I guess I could end this article now, but let me explain a bit further.

By looking further up the road, you get to use your peripheral vision; or fringe vision to help you see the lane markings. This allows you to determine if your vehicle is in the centre of the lane. If you look too close to your vehicle, such as the lane markings themselves, your vehicle would tend to drift from side to side.

Looking at objects gives you a ‘target fixation’ and that allows you to go in that direction. Let your peripheral vision notice things you feel you need to notice and then move your focus onto that item. When you focus on an item, you’re using your central vision; which is only about 3 degrees of your entire 170 degrees of vision. That is probably why this driver is heading for the sides of their lane regularly. They kept staring at the lane markings.

If you notice a driver doing this and you are in the vehicle with them, ask them what colour the traffic light is ahead of them or how many bridges or overhead signs they see. This will allow them to use their peripheral vision to their advantage to keep them in the centre of their lane. Perhaps the driver in these photos needed some of this advice? Maybe next time…



  1. Thanks a lot for this advise

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