Poor overtaking technique leads to many accidents and accident compensation claims on our roads. Although the impatience of some drivers plays a part, many people still do not know how to make this relatively simple manoeuvre in a way that reduces the risk of having a road accident, injuring themselves and sometimes others in the process.
Good overtaking technique involves considering many factors, but above all it should never be rushed. Signals should be given as early as possible to allow the driver behind and (assuming they use their mirrors!) the driver in front of you to be aware of what you are about to do. Allowing plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front also enables you to pull out smoothly, and have good visibility of the road ahead.
Preparing to overtake
- Make sure that the road ahead of you is clear
- Look in your mirrors to make sure that there are no vehicles trying to overtake you
- Ensure there is enough space in front of the vehicle you are overtaking
- Don't get too close to the vehicle you want to overtake, this will restrict your view of the road ahead
- Indicate well before you start to pull out, so that the drivers behind you know what you are about to do
Making your move
- After you have checked your mirrors and your blind spot, move out cautiously
- If the vehicle in front is overtaking, do not be tempted to follow them, wait for them to complete their manoeuvre first
- When you have started to overtake, do so quickly and move back to the left as soon as it is safe to do so
- Give cyclists, motorbikes or horses the same amount of room that you would for any vehicle
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