Passing Traffic Safely

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated May 27, 2010)

One of the most difficult things to learn about driving is how to pass another vehicle safely. Many people simply pass other cars without regard for their own safety or the safety of others around them. Just the other day, I was getting on the freeway driving a very large, older truck. An even larger semi-truck tried to run me off the road.

The safest way to pass any vehicle is the same, regardless of what type of road you are on. Here are the basic rules for being able to safely, correctly, and quickly pass anyone.

  • Side. In most states within the United States, we are required to pass on the left side of the road. This is to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. As we all know, faster traffic is to the left, while the slower should stay to the right. This may not happen all the time because slower traffic seems to happen in all lanes. But as much as possible, pass only on the left.
  • Signal. Other drivers can't read your mind and signaling is your car's communication system. It allows the vehicle ahead, to the side, and behind you, to know which direction you will be moving. This helps minimize potential accidents.
  • Speed. Never drive faster than the road conditions permit. This also applies when passing other vehicles. Do not go too fast, or too slow, for passing since you do not want to become a danger to those around you.
  • Room. Only pass when you have enough room to do so safely. A good rule of thumb is that when another vehicle (like that large semi barreling right at you) is about three seconds away from hitting you, you really should be back in your original lane. Roughly speaking, three seconds is 200 feet of distance.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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