January 30, 2024

What Is a Traffic Check?

Whether you're driving on a busy highway or a quiet side street, traffic checking is important. It involves a quick scan of the area to see where other cars and pedestrians are, and whether it is safe to proceed through an intersection or change lanes. Traffic checks are especially important in heavy traffic, where there is more commotion. Join Drivers Ed Direct instructor Micah as he demonstrates how to make the proper traffic checks on major streets.

Regulation signs indicate road rules and special hazards. They are normally white rectangles with black letters or symbols. Warning signs are yellow and diamond-shaped with black letters or symbols. Destination signs are green and show where you're going. Service signs are blue with white letters or symbols and tell you where services are available.

In addition to signs and signals, some areas are controlled by flag persons. These are persons who are authorized to control traffic in work zones and at school crossings. They may signal vehicles to stop, reduce speed or use other methods of controlling traffic. It's important to always follow the directions of flag persons.

It's also important to check your mirrors and blind spot before changing lanes. In some situations, it may be safer to inch out a little farther into the lane. This allows you to react safely to other drivers and pedestrians who might be in the lane behind you. If you move too quickly into a lane, you might impede the flow of traffic and cause other drivers to speed up or change lanes in reaction to your presence. This could lead to a critical driving error and an auto fail on your test.

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