Can You Change Lanes in an Intersection?

When you change lanes or want to overtake another vehicle, first make sure you have enough space and time to perform the maneuver safely.

A lot of drivers ask if they can change lanes in an intersection. Laws in each state may vary. But the short and safe answer is: DON’T!

Intersections are meant to be kept open so that vehicles from any direction can pass without any obstructions. Besides, intersections tend to be busy and most drivers want to keep looking ahead when crossing it.

If you really want to change lanes, wait until you are on the other side. Follow the tips below when changing lanes.

Changing Lanes

Lane change refers to the maneuver that allows you to move your vehicle from one lane to another on a road that has at least two lanes in the same direction. You can do this to overtake another vehicle or to avoid a parked vehicle or when the driver in front of you is slowing down to make a turn at an intersection.

Never change lanes without having correctly signaled your intention and make sure the maneuver can be done safely.

Here’s How To Change Lanes Safely:

  • Look in your mirrors to find a space in the traffic where you can safely enter.
  • Check your blind spot by looking over your shoulder in the direction you want to go. Be sure to check for bicycles and other small vehicles. Signal your intention to go left or right.
  • Make sure once again that the lane is clear and that no one is approaching you at high speed from behind or from another lane on multi-lane roads.
  • Start gradually in the chosen path. Do not slow down. Maintain your speed or accelerate slightly.
  • Never change lanes abruptly by cutting the road to another vehicle, including bicycles. Other drivers expect you to stay where you are. Even if you signal your intention, they expect you to give them up.
  • Avoid changing lanes unnecessarily or zigzagging from one lane to another. This increases the risk of collision, especially when traffic is heavy or in bad weather.
  • Do not change lanes at or near an intersection. Remember that it is often safer to wait a few seconds behind another vehicle than to double it.


Exceeding is a maneuver that involves changing lanes to overtake a slower vehicle. While there is a speed limit on all roads, not all vehicles run at the same pace. For example, bicycles, road vehicles and drivers who are preparing to turn move more slowly than others. You may want to overtake some vehicles that run slower than you.

Here Are The Rules To Follow To Overtake Another Vehicle:

  • Signal your intention to move to the left and check that the lane is clear in front of and behind you before entering the passing lane.
  • The vehicle you are about to overtake can hide bicycles and small vehicles. So be vigilant. Also make sure there are no vehicles that intend to turn left in front of you or vehicles or pedestrians that are coming off another road or driveway to get on the roadway.
  • Do not change lanes until you have indicated your maneuver. After doubling the vehicle, signal your intention to return to your original path. When you can see the entire front of the vehicle you have passed in your rearview mirror, initiate the lane change.
  • Do not cut the road to a vehicle by placing yourself abruptly in front of it.
  • If the vehicle you want to overtake is accelerating, do not get into a race. Return to your path. Do not accelerate when another vehicle is trying to overtake you. It is illegal and dangerous.

Lastly, exceeding is prohibited if you are within 30 meters of a crosswalk. If you are within 30 meters of a bridge, viaduct or tunnel, overtaking a center line is prohibited. Do not attempt to overtake when approaching the top of a hill or in a curve, where your vision of the opposite traffic is obstructed and when you do not have enough space to pass safely.

When passing parked vehicles, be aware of motorists who open their doors abruptly or leave them open to load or unload their vehicles.

Motorcyclists, cyclists and drivers of speed-limited motorcycles or mopeds often have to stand on the left or right side of their lane to ward off poor road conditions or to be seen by other drivers. Do not take this maneuver for an invitation to go beyond them in the same way.

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