There are different types of drivers in Australia: slow, cautious, and fast. When driving on single-lane roads, it is usually tempting to overtake the first type, particularly if they’re slowing you down. While overtaking is sometimes necessary, it can be a risky manoeuvre.
Knowing how to overtake safely is vital because it keeps you, the passengers, and other drivers safe on the road. This article comprises tips to help you learn how to overtake like a pro. Follow through!
Overtaking – What Is It?
Overtaking is when you approach from behind and pass a slower-moving vehicle that is travelling in the same direction as your car. This simply means crossing the other side of the road to pass a road user in front, which is usually another vehicle, motorcycle, horse, or cyclist.
How to Overtake Safely
Be extra cautious when overtaking on Australian roads. You need to accurately gauge the distance you need to overtake another vehicle safely. Also, remember to check your mirrors and blind spots before overtaking another vehicle. But if you have doubts, please wait until it’s clear and safer to do so. Also, be mindful of other road users and always give them enough space to overtake or change lanes.
When You Must Never Overtake
There are some scenarios when you should never try to overtake another vehicle:
- On a narrow path
- When a vehicle has stopped at an intersection, pedestrian crossing, or railway crossing
- Across a solid white line
- If there is no clear view of the oncoming traffic
Basic Overtaking Road Rules
To prevent potential overtaking accidents, you must be alert and cautious of what’s happening on the road. Monitor the vehicles ahead and those behind you to mitigate risk through appropriate acceleration. Engage the gear appropriately to overtake fast and efficiently. Below are some steps to follow:
- Check if the road ahead is clear and maintain a safe distance between your car and the vehicle in front.
- Observe the side streets and merging lanes to ensure they are clear, and use the rear-view mirror to check the traffic behind and blind spots.
- When you’re sure that the road is clear and there is a safe distance, indicate to alert other drivers you want to overtake, and using the posted speed limit, accelerate and overtake as quickly as possible.
- Once you overtake, turn off the signal lights, get back to the correct lane, and resume your normal driving speed. While returning to your lane, you should be extra careful not to cram the vehicle you just passed.
Overtaking on the Left
You can only overtake from the left-hand side if the vehicle you’re overtaking has stopped, is moving on a multi-lane road, or is waiting to make a U-turn or turn right.
Overtaking Long Vehicles
Long and heavy vehicles are usually longer than standard vehicles, so you must be very careful when overtaking them. Give yourself more time to overtake and ensure you have a clear view of the road ahead.
Learn How to Overtake Safely with LTrent Driving School
LTrent Driving School specialises in training new driver learners throughout VIC, ACT, and NSW. In NSW we also offer the Safer Drivers Course, designed for learners wanting to become better drivers by reducing risks and anticipate hazard situations. Book your driving lessons to learn more about safe overtaking and other driving skills.