This week we will be discussing what is a “gap” in traffic and when it is a safe gap. When you read the ICBC text book or when you speak with a driving instructor, the words “safe gap” will come up a lot because it’s when you know it is safe to proceed.
The space on the road you will need to get across an intersection safely or when you need to merge into traffic is called a gap. There are many factors you need to consider when deciding when it is safe to go.
The following is the order in which I recommend my students follow when they are at an intersection and they are determining when to go:
1) The speed of the oncoming car
2) Is the oncoming car facing uphill or downhill? (Hills can affect speed of vehicle)
3) The type of car that is coming (Corolla or Ferrari)
4) The type of car YOU are driving (As in the time it would take you to execute the turn or merge)
5) How confident you are in your abilities
Please exercise extreme caution when you are dealing with motorcycles or bicycles because they are often traveling faster then they appear. Of course if you are ever in doubt, it is better to wait than to go.
As always, work closely with your supervisor or driving instructor to practice this. Determining safe gaps in traffic can be really tricky on top of all the other things you need to consider.