Saskatchewan's road infrastructure is changing. New lanes are popping up to accommodate growth and improve traffic flow in our cities and towns and on the roads that connect them.
With some highways being twinned and freeways being widened, it's important that drivers remember the rules of the road with respect to lane position and selection.
Lane position is more important and telling than you may think.
When travelling on highways and rural roads, always keep to the right of your lane. In urban areas, drive in the middle of the lane; however, if the middle of the lane doesn't provide the best line of sight, drive in the part of the lane that does.
Keep in mind that your lane position provides information to other drivers. If you intend to turn left, move to the left side of the lane. Likewise, if you intend to turn right, move to the right side. This, along with your turn signal, will give other drivers a heads-up that you plan on making a turn.
Choosing a lane
Proper lane selection involves more than just arbitrarily picking a lane to drive in.
In general, when selecting a driving lane, choose the lane that gives you the best vision and allows you to keep good distance from vehicles around you (when the option exists). On slippery surfaces, drive in the lane or on the part of the lane that offers the most traction.
When turning at an intersection, select the lane that is meant for the kind of turn you plan on making. Watch for lane designation signs.
Whatever you do, don't travel on the shoulder portion of a road. The shoulder is not meant to be a driving lane - it's designated for stopped vehicles and emergency manoeuvres.
On a multi-lane divided highway, slower vehicles should travel in the right-hand lane, even if they are going the speed limit. The reason for this is that passing on the right is not as safe as passing on the left and it's difficult to predict what other drivers are going to do to get around you when you travel in the left-hand lane.
Some intersections have designated turning lanes, others do not.
When making a right turn, move as close to the right curb or right edge of the road as possible. If a vehicle is parked near the intersection in the lane closest to the right curb, move into that lane at the 1st opportunity before turning. Do not make a right turn from the main driving lane.
When making a left turn, approach the intersection and complete the turn in the left-most lane available.
If, however, you're at an intersection that has 2 or more turning lanes, you must complete the turn in the same relative lane position that you started it in.
Remember, lane position and selection involves more than just arbitrarily choosing where to drive. By following the rules of the road mentioned above, you'll be safer and other road users will be too.
For more information on lane position and selection review the Saskatchewan Driver's Handbook.