5 big steps to do a perfect overtaking maneuver

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Overtaking is one of the basic driving skills that every driver driving on the road should hone very sharply.

Overtaking a slow-moving vehicle involves moving to the other side of the road, which is why overtaking can be dangerous at times.

Even the most expert drivers sometimes become a victim while doing the overtaking maneuver.

That should not mean you have to avoid overtaking all the time.

If the situation is favorable, it is always legal to overtake a slow-moving vehicle.

With the experience of driving for more than 15 years, I am here to show you how you should be doing the overtaking maneuver perfectly.

Before I start

Concentration and good judgment are the prerequisites when we are to overtake a slow-moving vehicle safely.

It is important to ask yourself whether it is really necessary to overtake.

At times, it might be a better option to keep your ego a little aside and let the other driver move on his own way. This little gesture of your behavior can save a life or prevent a dramatic collision.

I am surely not here demotivating you to move forward with the overtaking maneuver.

But it is the judgment of a sensible individual that I am prioritizing.

As long as you are sure enough that your behavior will not bring any harm to you and other drivers, go on with the overtaking maneuver.

As long as you can do it safely and swiftly, there is no one preventing you from doing it.

5 Good rules of overtaking

No matter whether you avoid overtaking or do it occasionally, overtaking a vehicle is one of the important and basic driving skills that every driver needs to be good at.

The 5 big rules of overtaking are-

  • Inspection and proper positioning
  • Consider the speed of your vehicle
  • Let other drivers know your next move
  • Accelerate to go past the vehicle
  • Return to your previous lane once you overtake

Now let’s break down each of the steps for your better understanding-

Inspection and positioning

As long as the vehicle in front of you is moving at the equivalent speed of your vehicle or driving in a long queue of other vehicles, it is completely unnecessary to overtake.

But if the vehicle in front of you is moving real slow and the lane is clear enough to overtake the car, consider performing the overtaking maneuver.

Once you have decided to go on with the process, position yourself well and ensure whether any vehicle from your behind is trying to overtake or not.

overtaking Inspection and proper positioning

Consider the speed of your vehicle

Before you accelerate, it is necessary that you overlook the speed of your vehicle.

At the same time, guess the speed of the vehicle that you want to overtake. Doing so will give you a sense of certainty regarding how fast you need to accelerate your vehicle in order to overtake the car that is in front of you.

overtaking Consider the speed of your vehicle

Let other drivers know your next move

One of the important techniques of defensive driving is to let other drivers on the road know your next move.

Turn the turn signal on to let the drivers driving next to you and in front of you know that you are about to overtake.

Doing so reduces the chances of any uncertainty while performing the job.

overtaking movement

Accelerate to go past the vehicle in front of you

Now, accelerate your car and move to the other side of the road very swiftly.

This step needs to be done very carefully as moving to the other side of the road is always the most vulnerable part of overtaking.

step four overtaking

Return to your previous lane once you overtake

Once you go past the vehicle, immediately return to your previous lane to complete the overtaking maneuver.

This is important because driving to the other part of the road means blocking the way for vehicles moving in your opposite direction.

overtaking past the vehicle in front of you

No overtake road signs and lane markings Look out for road signs

Sometimes overtaking a vehicle in certain situations can be illegal.

Therefore, always look out for certain signs that may indicate illegal overtaking.

The road sign mentioned above says that you are not allowed to overtake any vehicle.

No overtake road signs

Look out for lane markings

Some specific lane markings also indicate whether you are allowed to overtake or not.

The four possible lane markings you may notice on the road and their meanings are described below-

Scenario one: broken lines down the center

The broken lines down the center of the lane represent that both the white and the yellow cars are allowed to overtake.

overtaking step one

Scenario two: broken lines to the left side

Broken lines to the left side of the road represent that the car on the left side is allowed to overtake.

In the above picture, the broken lines next to the white car mean that the white car can overtake at any time if the driver wants.

But the straight line next to the yellow car means that it is illegal for the yellow car to overtake.

overtaking step two

Scenario three: broken lines to the right side

Scenario three is the opposite of scenario two. The broken lines next to the yellow car mean that the yellow car can overtake at any time.

But the straight line next to the white car prohibits the car from overtaking.

overtaking step three

Scenario four: two continuous straight lines

Two straight lines on both sides of the lane represent that none of the cars from each side are allowed to overtake.

Precautions during overtaking

  • Never overtake unless it is necessary.
  • Always  drive your motor vehicle straight.
  • When you are about to overtake, look around and inspect the surroundings.
  • Check your mirrors before overtaking.
  • Stay calm when the driver in front of you does not allow you to overtake.