A shoulder check, also known as a shoulder glance or shoulder look, is a driving technique where you briefly turn your head and look over your shoulder to check the blind spot before changing lanes or making a maneuver that may affect the position of your vehicle on the road. It is an important practice to ensure the safety of yourself, your passengers, and other vehicles on the road. It involves briefly turning your head and looking over your shoulder in the direction you intend to move to ensure that there are no vehicles, cyclists, or other potential hazards in the blind spot.


The primary purpose of a shoulder check is to assess the presence of vehicles or other potential hazards in your blind spot, which is an area that cannot be seen using just the rearview and side mirrors.


What is Blind Spot?

The blind spot is an area around a vehicle that is not directly visible to the driver through the rearview mirror or side mirrors. It is an area where other vehicles, cyclists, or pedestrians may be present but are not easily seen without additional visual checks, such as a shoulder check. Shoulder checking blind spot is crucial for safe driving, especially when changing lanes, merging, or making turns. It helps ensure that no vehicles, cyclists, or pedestrians are present in the areas not visible in the mirrors, reducing the risk of collisions.


How to Shoulder Check


  1. Performing a Shoulder Check:

    • Before changing lanes: When you intend to change lanes, activate your turn signal to indicate your intention to other drivers. Then, take a quick glance over your shoulder in the direction you plan to move to check for any vehicles in your blind spot.

    • Before merging: When merging onto a highway or entering a busy road, it's crucial to shoulder check to ensure there are no vehicles approaching from behind that may be in your blind spot.

    • Before turning: When making a turn, especially in situations where you need to cross multiple lanes of traffic, perform a shoulder check to verify that no vehicles are in your blind spot and that it is safe to proceed.

  2. Proper Technique:

    • Turn your head and look directly over your shoulder in the direction you want to check. Ensure you turn your head far enough to have a clear view of the blind spot.

    • Maintain control of the steering wheel while performing the shoulder check to keep the vehicle in a straight line and prevent unintended movements.

    • Be aware of the traffic around you and the road ahead. Don't solely rely on the shoulder check; continue to use your mirrors and be mindful of your surroundings.

  3. Integration with Mirrors:

    • Shoulder checks should complement the use of mirrors, not replace them. Mirrors provide a general view of the traffic behind you, while shoulder checks offer a more detailed assessment of your blind spot.

 Performing a shoulder check is a critical practice to help prevent collisions and ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road. By incorporating shoulder checks into your driving routine, you enhance your awareness of the traffic around your vehicle, minimize the risk of collisions, and ensure safer lane changes and maneuvers. Remember to always follow the traffic laws and regulations of your specific jurisdiction.