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How to Pass Safely

How To Adjust To Other Drivers On The Road

If you were the only vehicle on the road, you could drive as fast as you wanted and not have to worry about other people. But you're not. You have to share the road with other people who choose to go a different speed than you. At times, you'll need to pass other drivers.

Here Is How To Pass A Vehicle Safely

Passing is a huge cause of some of the worst collisions because they are head-on collisions. 

  1. When deciding to pass, check your speed versus the vehicle in front of you. You will need to accelerate at least 10 to 20 kilometres an hour faster to get around the car in front of you quickly – you do not want to be in the opposite lane for very long
  2. Check the vehhicles around you. Do you have vehicles behind you? Make sure they have not decided to pass as well. They might be in your blindspot as you pull out. Being aware of those vehicles behind you and their speed is important
  3. Check the yellow line in the middle of the road. Is it dotted or solid? Only pass on a dotted yellow line!
  4. After these three steps, ease your vehicle slightly to the left – but do not yet leave your lane. This is where a lot of collisions happen because a vehicle pulls out to pass without checking down the road for oncoming traffic first. Check the road ahead for oncoming traffic. Double check!
  5. Check to see if there are other vehicles in front of the vehicle you are passing. You'll want to determine how many vehicles you have to pass and that you have enough distance of dotted yellow line to do it
  6. Signal. This alerts the vehicle in front of you and the vehicle behind you that you intend to pass
  7. After you have determined that it is safe to do so, pull out into the oncoming lane but look far ahead to confirm that there are no vehicles coming
  8. Turn off your signal (so drivers don't think that you are turning left)
  9. Accelerate to a speed that allows you to maintain safe control over the vehicle but allows you to pass as quickly as possible
  10. While passing keep watch for two things: (1) Watch for oncoming traffic and be prepared to pull back into your spot if necessary. (2) Watch the vehicles you're passing to make sure that they don't choose that moment to pass someone in front of them
  11. As soon as possible, signal and pull into line in the correct lane again

Even at the best of times, driving can be a risky activity. Although we all need to pass other vehicles from time to time, it increases the risk dramatically. Pass only when it is safe to do so.

DISCLAIMER: This article is presented for informational purposes only and should not be seen as any kind of advice. The information provided herein or linked to via this article is 'as is' with no guarantee of accuracy or completeness. Reliance on any information provided in this article is solely at your own risk.

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