Passing a Vehicle: Do it Quickly & Confidently…

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in Rules of the Road: Driving Tips

You should always be confident in the maneuvers you make while driving, especially if you’re in heavy traffic. If you find yourself in the passing lane but simply driving alongside another vehicle maintaining roughly the same speed, then there’s a possibility you’re holding up other cars who wish to pass the same vehicle. Slowly making the pass can cause cars in the passing lane behind you that are moving at a higher speed to slam on their breaks as they come upon you in the passing lane, which is only going to annoy them. A hesitant driver can be just as dangerous as an aggressive one, particularly because that hesitancy can lead to aggression in other drivers.

When you’ve made the lane change to make a pass, then you need to do so and get back into the right lane as soon as possible. If that requires you to go slightly faster in order to complete the pass, that’s fine. Once you’re back in the right lane, well ahead of the car you’re passing, you can return to a comfortable speed.

Of course, it’s important that you leave the vehicle you’re passing with enough of a cushion so that when you do return to the right lane, you don’t force them to alter their speed. You should be able to see both of their headlights in your rearview mirror before switching into their lane ahead of them. And as always, whenever you’re making a lane change, be sure to signal your intentions with your blinker.

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