How can I keep within my driving lane?

What you need to know:

  • Get used to the size of your car and how its best positioned within the lane you are driving on.
  • Keep glancing at the driving mirrors.

Hello Paul, I recently completed my driving school and, despite having a driving license, I still find it difficult to correctly position the car at the centre of my driving lane. What would you suggest in terms of properly aligning the car? Janet.

Hello Janet, lane positioning when driving your car is crucial since it helps you avoid accidental collision with oncoming traffic, traffic in the cycling lane or motorists trying to overtake you. To improve your lane positioning here are tips to consider and with some practice, you can get the hang of it. 
Maintain focus on the road ahead. This is useful if you want to stay in your right lane. Avoid being distracted by your phone, passengers or environment around you. 

Keep glancing at the driving mirrors. Not only does this help you monitor traffic behind or besides you, mirrors help you position the car and know when you might be unknowingly drifting out of your lane. Some modern cars have lane change assist and blind spot monitor functions that help alert you when you are changing lanes or if there is oncoming traffic you might have missed because of the blind spot.

Get used to the size of your car and how its best positioned within the lane you are driving on. This happens when you practice on suburban roads, city traffic and highways. As you get comfortable with the car size and design, you will get used to positioning it correctly in the lane you are driving.

Establish reference points on your car bonnet, windscreen and dash board that help you align the position of the car in your lane. While some motorists use the centre of their bonnet or edge of the dashboard, I also use the centre of the outer left wiper to correctly align with the outer edge of my lane on the road. With some practice and careful consideration, you can develop reference points to help you stay in your lane.

Do not rush the learning process; it takes practice and confidence building. You can also consider attending a more advanced defensive driver training to practice these tips under supervision.