What Are the Safety Rules to Follow When Passing Another Vehicle?
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Essential Rules for Safely Passing Other Vehicles

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Passing another vehicle is an inevitable part of driving and sharing the road with other people, but there’s a safe—and legal—way to do it. While specific rules may vary from state to state, the same general rules apply no matter where you’re driving. If you’re uncertain about the safety rules to follow when passing another vehicle, read on for some tips from the experienced agents at Altra Insurance Services, a premier provider of auto, motorcycle, homeowners, and renters insurance San Diego County residents rely on for high-quality service.

How Do I Know When It’s Safe to Pass?

The most important thing to consider when passing another vehicle is safety. First, always make sure there’s no oncoming traffic. Attempting to beat a car coming in the opposite direction can be a recipe for disaster. If your line of sight is hindered by a hill, curve, or bad weather conditions, you should also avoid passing. Never pass a stopped school bus, motorcycle, or bicycle. Avoid passing if you must exceed the speed limit or go beyond the painted lines on either side of the road.

How Do I Know When It’s Legal to Pass?

Once you’ve established it’s safe to pass, you need to make sure you can legally do so. First, look at the yellow lines in the center of the road. A double solid line means you cannot legally pass. In many states, it’s also illegal to pass if you’re within 100 feet of a railroad crossing or nearing a bridge. Of course, you should avoid passing if there’s a “do not pass” sign on the road. You should also avoid passing if the car you want to pass is driving above the speed limit.

How Do I Pass a Vehicle on a Two-Lane Road?

Passing a vehicle on a two-lane road can be especially dangerous if you aren’t careful. Never make a decision to do so in a hurry. Always check to ensure it’s safe and legal first. Once you establish you can pass, make sure you have enough time to safely get around the car in front of you and back in your lane. Some states require you to avoid passing if there’s any oncoming traffic within 200 feet of you. You’ll also want to avoid passing if you must pass more than one vehicle. Keep in mind that in most states, you must always pass on the left, with few exceptions.

Other General Safety Tips for Passing Another Vehicle

Always use your turn signal to let other cars around you know that you intend to pass. Check your blind spots before making a move. Speed up to about 10 to 15 miles over the speed of the car you’re passing to ensure you don’t stay in the left lane for a long time. Look over your right shoulder to ensure it’s safe to get back in the right lane rather than relying on your mirrors. Make sure you can see both of the other car’s headlights before merging back into the lane.

Driving safely provides a number of benefits, not the least of which is the reduced risk of being in an accident. If you’re involved in an accident, it’s essential to have reliable car insurance. Chula Vista drivers know they can trust the team from Altra Insurance Services to be there when they need assistance. For a free quote, give us a call today.

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