Digital Driving Coach Lessons

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Lesson 24: Judging the Gap, Part 3: Re-entering Traffic

Lesson 24: Judging the Gap, Part 3: Re-entering Traffic

In an emergency, your teen may have to pull over onto the shoulder of the road. You may want to practice pulling over on a quiet road, at a time where there is very little traffic, before trying this on the expressway.

1. Practice re-entering traffic
After pulling over, be sure to have your teen put on the vehicle’s hazard lights, slow down and watch for debris on the shoulder. Make sure your teen pulls over far enough to be able to open the driver’s-side door and avoid stepping into traffic.

Re-entering traffic from the shoulder, especially on an expressway, can be dangerous. Because there is no on-ramp, there isn’t the luxury of space to get up to speed before entering traffic (or if there is, the shoulder may be littered with hazardous debris).

2. Patience is key
The key here is patience. Advise teens to wait for the right moment. Additionally:

  • Remind teens to turn off the hazard lights and to turn on the proper turn signal.
  • Watch for oncoming traffic with teens.
  • Have teens wait until there is a large enough pause in traffic to give them time to get up to speed without forcing others to brake or change lanes to avoid hitting your car.
  • Teens should begin their acceleration on the shoulder and move over on to the expressway when it’s safe to do so.
  • Remind teens to watch out for debris on the shoulder.