Passing is very challenging for most drivers and can be very dangerous. In fact, one of the most common cause of fatal head-on collisions, is because of improper passing. Before you go to pass someone, ask yourself, “Will this make a difference in my trip if I pass this person?”
If you answered “yes” to yourself, make sure you know these laws and tips so you can pass safely:
No vehicle shall at any time be driven to the left side of the roadway under the following conditions:
- When approaching or upon a turn that makes the driver’s view obstructed. This might result in a hazard in the event that another vehicle might approach from the opposite direction and you couldn’t see them
- When approaching within 100 feet of or traversing any intersection
- When approaching within 100 feet of or traversing any railroad grade crossing
- When the view is obstructed upon approaching within 100 feet of any bridge, viaduct, or tunnel
Each passing situation is different, and the driver should be aware of the following:
- Check the path ahead, the off-road areas, behind you, and the lane you want to enter. Make sure that no other vehicles are signaling to move into the lane. If you are on a two lane, two way road, check that there are no oncoming vehicles. If there are, make sure that they are far enough away to allow you to complete passing safely. If you have any doubt, don’t pass.
- If the way is clear, signal your intent to move left. Use your turn signals.
- Check over your left shoulder for cars in your blind spot. Adjust your speed upward if necessary (but do not exceed the speed limit) and steer smoothly into the passing lane.
- Accelerate firmly. If you are on a road with a single lane in each direction, keep watching for oncoming traffic.
- Check your rearview mirror quickly. When you see both headlights of the vehicle you have passed in the mirror, signal your intent to return to the right lane, and steer gradually in that direction.
- Turn off your signal, and maintain an appropriate speed.
Passing should be attempted only when it is safe to do so.