There will be times when you need to overtake, such as very slow moving vehicles. You may just want to go faster than the vehicle you are currently behind. This is entirely acceptable, but you can make it safer by following some simple rules
* Donít get too close to the rear of the vehicle you want to overtake
* Use your mirrors, signal when it is safe to overtake, give a quick sideways glance and start to move out.
* Move quickly past the vehicle you want to overtake
* Leave plenty of room Ė donít pull back in too near the other vehicle.
* Always give way to oncoming vehicles.
* Take extra care at night or when visibility is reduced.
* You should give motorcyclists, cyclist and horse riders at least as much room as you would give another vehicle
* You should only overtake on the left if the vehicle is signalling and turning to the right.
Do Not Overtake:
* If you would have to cross or straddle any double white lines.
* If you would have to enter an area surrounded by a solid white line.
* If you would have to enter a bus, cycle or tram lane
* After a no overtaking sign
* On the brow of a hill
* Over a hump bridge
* On a corner or a bend
* The vehicle nearest to a pedestrian crossing
Overtaking on a busy two-way highway is the ultimate test of driver's ability. Some pass it, some don't. There's an error which most of the drivers make, and it's overtaking by acceleration, that's why I made this article. Even the "easiest" overtake might be fatal if done wrong, and even the hardest one can be controlled if you follow these steps:
Step 1 :You have a responsibility towards all the drivers and the passengers in your own lane and in the incoming lane. You're the one initiating a dangerous move, and you're responsible for it. Usually there's no less than 5-10 people being affected by your move. Keep that in mind. That's your first step.
Step 2 : Slow down and develop at least a three-second distance from the vehicle you'll be overtaking. This is the essential part which makes the entire process easy and safe, and the biggest mistake you can make is to get as close as possible to the vehicle in front. Tailgating doesn't help here.
Why are we doing this? Let's compare the two styles, overtaking a vehicle which travels at 60 mph. If you're right on his tail, at the moment when you start overtaking, the difference between the speeds of the two vehicles is zero, which means you overtake by acceleration, and it takes you a few seconds to develop 80 mph needed for overtaking. However, if you're already 20 mph faster at the moment when you start passing the vehicle, you'll be ahead of it much sooner.
There's another difference. When overtaking by acceleration, you don't have many chances to turn back to your starting point if things go wrong (incoming traffic). An accelerating car is also harder to stop, as you first need to come to stable speed, and only then start reducing it. When overtaking by speed, you're accelerating near your own lane, which means you only have to make minimal speed & direction adjustments to go back to your original position.
Step 3: Gear down, to the lowest possible gear. Depending on your speed, it might be 2nd, 3rd or 4th. Now your car is ready to overtake, but it doesn't mean you have to start right away. Some other things need to be done first.
Step 4 : Don't mind the road signs much, rely on your own judgment. The engineers who built the road can't tell you what you can or can't do in your own unique situation, so don't trust the signs blindly. Examine the situation ahead of you and have the big picture in your mind at all times. You want to be sure that the next 15-20 seconds of the road is clear from incoming traffic. In the night, don't search for headlights, search for illuminated road, which indicates a car is somewhere near. It's one of the reasons why overtaking during the night is much safer than during the day.
Step 5: Turn your turning signal on. You'll leave it on until you finish overtaking, as it draws everyone's attention, and everyone instantly knows someone is overtaking or attempting to overtake. It's important to prevent the car behind you attempting to overtake both you and the slow vehicle. He might just attempt an overtake at the moment you do, because it's very likely he'll see the same chance as you did, and decide to take it. It also goes for the vehicle in front of you, if both of you are riding behind a vehicle which is slowing you down.
Step 6 : Move to the center of the road, and then accelerate. Examine the situation in front of you, keep an eye on possible incoming traffic. Look as far ahead as you can. In case there's incoming traffic, slow down, go back to your lane completely, and go back to Step One.
Step 7 :Switch lanes and keep accelerating as much as your car can. As soon as you switch lanes, turn your high beam headlights on, to warn the incoming traffic. That way, the incoming cars can see you before you see them. Another important thing - you should be driving on the shoulder of the road, not near the center. If near the center, steering towards the shoulder slightly throughout the overtake, you'll be in problems if you need to steer back promptly. Ideally, you should be on the shoulder of the road when starting to overtake, steering towards your own lane all the way throughout the overtaking process. Even if the situation doesn't allow that, remember you should not be steering away from your own lane after you already switched lanes. Not even a little bit.
Step 8 : If you made a bad judgment and need to go back to your own lane, remain calm, as two lanes are wide enough for three cars to pass. Both the incoming car and the vehicle you're overtaking will drive towards the right shoulder of the road (probably). You need to decide will you go back to your lane ahead of the vehicle you were overtaking, or behind it. If you want to go ahead, signal the turn, and the vehicle you are overtaking will slow down, as they already saw you're in trouble, they just need to know what is your decision. Most of the time, a better decision is to abandon the overtake and go back to your original position. To do that, brake hard, without steering - unless you really have to avoid hitting the incoming car and decided anything is better than that, even sliding off the road or hitting the fence at full speed. In that case, steer and brake at the same time, but avoid braking first and then steering hard, you'll oversteer and spin. Try to steer gradually. In the case you have enough time, first brake hard, then release the brake and steer back to your lane.
Step 9 : If there is more than one vehicle in front of you, it is often wiser to seize the opportunity and overtake multiple vehicles in one pass, than to risk again later. If the road is open, do it, but remember it's illegal, and keep your eye on the incoming traffic. When you passed the last vehicle you wanted to overtake, signal the turn and go back to your own lane. I repeat, signal the turn. It means a lot to everyone, even when you're overtaking in one-way traffic. Just do it.
Step 10 : Always be aware of the incoming traffic, they overtake as well, and they make bad judgements because they didn't read this article and because they think their cars can outrun death. A man who is able to judge the speed of the incoming traffic wasn't yet born, but be aware that fools who THINK they can do it are born every day. This article is "moderately challenging" for a reason, it takes a lot of skill to do this perfectly every time, not needing any luck. Any fool can overtake and survive, but - how many times?
You'll love this story.
Year ago, I worked beside this woman who was a total scatterbrain. She decided to try again to pass her driving test, having failed at least 15 times before. She was approaching 60 years old by this time - no idea why she bothered.
Anyway, for some strange reason, she finally passed her test, and was driving along a busy city road one day not long after when she came upon a double-decker bus stopped in front of her.
The driver signalled her to overtake, but she misunderstood his signal and waved back.
And sat there. And sat there.
10 minutes later the bus driver approached - by this time there was a queue of traffic behind her - and told her that the bus had broken down and could she overtake?
That was when she had to admit to the driver that she couldn't because she was too nervous to do so.
In the end, he had to drive her car past the bus!
This was the same woman who got the postman to drive her car up the hill where she lived every morning after she finished her night shift, because she couldn't do that either!
1. make sure any oncoming vehicle (opposite direction) is more than 1/2km away
2. never overtake an overtaking vehicle
3. never overtake on a left turn
4. get a petrol car, Diesels and CNG's need to be passed.
Now that you've got that sorted out
1. never get closer than 12metres away from the vehicle you want to overtake
2. Horn like a maniac or flash your lights many times. If the chap in front does not give you way, dont get frustrated, you will get another opening.
3. when you see a clear stretch, downshift to at least the next lower gear, rev to about 4000rpm as you release the clutch.
4. make the pass, and move back into your lane about 30mts after making the pass.
Overtaking should always be done from the right side for right hand wheel drive. If the vehicle in front flashes the signal for right turn, you can overtake from the left.
Before embarking on the manoeuvre, evaluate the distance and speed of the car in front.
Also evaluate the hazards that could exist and prove to be threatening.
Never overtake in blind areas such as bends in roads, corners, near junctions, crossroads, and intersections. In such areas, the driver of the vehicle ahead is not able to have a clear vision of what is behind and passing which may eventually result in an accident.
Place the car on the lowest possible gear depending on the speed of your car. This does not mean that if you are already driving at a speed of 80 km/h, you will have to lower down to the 1st gear. Reduce gears to slow down your car for safe overtaking.
While overtaking, make sure that you maintain a safe distance with the vehicle ahead. This will help you drive your car in flow with the moving traffic.
Fast acceleration and unnecessary speeding is dangerous just before overtaking. If in case you do accelerate, the distance required for safe overtaking reduces rapidly and could result in an accident.
You can either flash your carís headlight or blow the horn to draw attention to your intention to overtake. This will help the drivers ahead and behind you know that you are attempting to overtake.
Try and make eye contact with the driver of the car you are passing. This ensures that the driver of the vehicle ahead has seen you and is sure that you are going past.
The vehicle behind you may also overtake at the same time that you are. Stay alert to this and be cautious. Give clear indications of your plan to driver of the vehicle behind you.
After overtaking, move to the centre of the road and then accelerate as fast as you can to maintain the speed and distance differential.
Constantly keep an eye on passing vehicles and try to merge with the flowing traffic rather than spacing yourself away from it.
Overtaking on crowded and busy city roads is dangerous due to numerous signals that are exchanged by drivers. Traffic congestion and different sized vehicles add to the problem. In such cases, avoid overtaking as far as possible and enjoy a slow and safe drive.
When being overtaken yourself and in case there are approaching vehicles, be sure to slow down a little to let the other driver pass by safely.
Safe overtaking methods will prevent a number of road accidents which are not uncommon on Indian roads.
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