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How to overtake vehicles safely?


Ash_0104
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Hi!

I have seen many drivers commit to overtaking vehicles but at the wrong time. This could lead to the overtaking vehicle's collision with the oncoming traffic. From my mistakes in the past, I will be passing on to you how to overtake vehicles safely without risking a ban.

 

Section 1 - When must you not overtake a vehicle

There are certain conditions where you must not overtake the vehicle ahead. This section will cover city/country roads and motorways. Overtaking in these conditions can be very dangerous:

City/country roads:

  • You cannot see the road ahead due to a bend in the road - When you cannot see the road ahead, you won't know for sure if there is a vehicle approaching you. Only overtake when you can see the road ahead fully.
  • Signs and road markings prohibit overtaking - You must look out for these. If you see a solid white line/double solid white line AND/OR a no-overtaking sign, do not overtake as this is illegal. You may only overtake if the line is broken. If you see any of these, you must not overtake:
  • Overtaking when traffic is approaching - If you can see vehicles approaching or a vehicle behind you overtaking, do not overtake.
  • Vehicle required to break speed limiter to overtake - If you are travelling through the road at the maximum possible speed, do not overtake the vehicle ahead as your vehicle won't be able to overtake the vehicle swiftly.
  • Overtaking on a junction/railway crossing - You risk blocking traffic ahead of you if you decide to overtake here.

Motorways:

  • Overtaking on the hard shoulder - The hard shoulder is only meant to be used for breakdowns/emergencies. This is not an overtaking lane.
  • Overtaking just before your exit - If you need to exit the motorway, do not overtake as you may cut the overtaken vehicle off suddenly. Stay on the lane and exit the motorway as normal.

 

Section 2 - What must you consider before overtaking

There are a few things you can consider before you commit to overtaking the vehicle ahead. You must think about overtaking carefully as the risk of getting into an accident will be minimised.

  • Can I see the road ahead and any oncoming traffic? - If you cannot see the road ahead, you won't be able to see oncoming traffic. Hence, do not overtake in this condition.
  • Can my vehicle overtake the vehicle ahead swiftly? - If your speed limiter may interfere with overtaking the vehicle ahead, or if the vehicle may struggle to accelerate quickly, don't overtake.
  • Is it illegal to overtake? - If signs or road markingsare preventing you from overtaking, don't overtake.
  • Am I confident in overtaking? - If you are not confident with overtaking, don't overtake until you feel more confident with this.
  • Is this necessary? - If you feel it is not needed, it's best you do not overtake the vehicle ahead.

 

Section 3 - How to overtake vehicles safely?

City/country roads:

  1. Observe any no overtaking signs or markings - If you see any of the signs/markings, overtake when you have passed the prohibited area.
  2. Check for vehicles overtaking you, oncoming traffic & junctions - If you see any of these, wait until it is all cleared. Use your mirrors to check for overtaking vehicles.
  3. Fall back to allow the vehicle ahead to see you - If you cannot see the mirrors of the vehicle ahead, the vehicle cannot see you. Falling back will allow them to understand your intentions.
  4. Emerge out to the other lane and pass the vehicle as quickly as possible
  5. Return to the normal driving lane - Make sure you keep a good enough distance from the vehicle behind to your vehicle.

Note: You can signal but I highly recommend you avoid doing this if there is a junction ahead. You may mislead drivers ahead and they may slow down to allow you to turn.

Motorways:

  1. Check for vehicles overtaking you - If you can see a vehicle overtaking you, don't overtake until they have passed you.
  2. Fall back to allow the vehicle ahead to see you - Once again, if you cannot see the mirrors of the vehicle ahead, they cannot see you.
  3. Signal - Because there are multiple lanes, you need to signal to allow drivers to know you are changing lanes.
  4. Emerge out and pass the vehicle.
  5. Signal again and return to the normal lane - Make sure you keep a good enough distance from the vehicle behind to your vehicle.

Note: You should conduct step 5. Many drivers that overtake on the motorway may stay in the second/last lane when it is unnecessary. This is known as lane hogging and blocks traffic behind overtaking you.

 

Section 4 - If a driver is overtaking you

If they do commit to overtaking:

  • Do not accelerate under any circumstance - It is very dangerous and prevents the overtaking driver from returning to the normal driving lane.
  • Try to slow down if oncoming traffic is approaching - By slowing down, you are allowing the overtaking vehicle to return to the normal lane quickly with a minimal risk of a collision.
  • Avoid swerving - You risk colliding next to the overtaking truck.
  • Do not get angry if someone decides to overtake

 

Section 5 - When may you cross a solid white line

There are a few exemptions for crossing a solid white line. You may cross the solid white line if:

  • You are turning left or right while the line passes throught the junction
  • There is a stationary vehicle ahead of you

 

I hope this guide has been helpful. If you have anything to add or any questions, please comment on this post and I'll try my best to reply.

 

UPDATE: If any of you want a video included, I've included it below. The video showing how to overtake is from the TruckersMP youtube channel:

(i hope the tmp team won't mind me adding this) Please consider reading the guide as the video doesn't cover everything from the guide.

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