It’s real important to be able to keep your vehicle in the center of the lane. That’s why it’s one of the first things a new student learns in the parking lot, after they learn the basics of how to start and stop the vehicle.
Just in case you and/or your student are having a bit of trouble with keeping the vehicle in the center of the lane, here some quick tips to get you back on track (pun!).
First, you need to remember is that it’s not you that needs to be in the center of the lane, it’s your vehicle. The driver’s seat is on the left side, not in the middle. If you try and center yourself in the lane, the vehicle’s going to be way over on the right!
Also, one of the most common things that may cause you to drift away from the center of your lane is if you’re looking down over the hood of the vehicle, focusing on things that are too close. You want to make sure you’re looking as far up the center of your intended path as you can, which generally means you’re looking at the horizon. What’s right in front of your vehicle (that you can see) is available to your peripheral vision. And your peripheral vision can alert you to a problem. Keep your focus far ahead, and you’ll still see what’s in front of your vehicle.
One last pointer, to help you keep the center of the vehicle in the lane, it helps to know where the center of your vehicle is. The vehicle’s forward pivot point is at the center of the wheelbase and that’s the point that tracks over your intended path.
Know where that forward pivot point is, keep your eyes up at the horizon, and see that forward pivot point tracking over the center of your intended path that extends through the horizon. These pointers will keep you in the center of your lane and on track.
Watch this video to see Patrick Barrett, the Driver Education Guru, explain more about how to stay in the center of the lane.