Overtaking … Over and out?

Overtaking … Over and out?

Accidents like the one shown here could be easily avoided with a little planning and forethought – driving can be fun on open roads, and so can overtaking… But only within the rules and with care. overtakeCrash

It’s quite possible that your driving instructor didn’t teach you how to overtake safely, in which case this page will raise your awareness of overtaking risks and how they can be minimised.

A well planned and well executed overtaking manoeuvre is no more dangerous than any other manoeuvre. The important thing to remember is that you should avoid impulsive, opportunist overtakes.

The time to decide whether or not you want to overtake is when you first come up behind a vehicle, not when you see a gap. You may decide to overtake a vehicle and then follow it for miles before an opportunity arises. The opportunity might not arise. Don’t force it!

Researchers at Nottingham University determined the following statistics when studying police records of overtaking accidents:

  • 35% hit a vehicle turning right as the overtaking vehicle was attempting to pass
  • 16% hit a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction
  • 10% side swiped the vehicle being overtaken
  • 8% lost control during whilst overtaking or returning to the nearside lane
  • 6% hit a vehicle that was turning or crossing at a junction
  • 14% involved ‘undertaking’ (passing on the left)
  • 5% resulted from evasive action taken by a driver when attempting to avoid someone else’s risky overtaking manoeuvre

The statistics certainly show that there is a lot of room for improvement, but what improvements can be made, and how?

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