How to Pass a Car on the Highway

More head on collisions are caused by improper passing than by any other reason. It is extremely important, therefore, to know the rules of safe passing.

1. Look for signs and road-markings which will indicate whether or not it is safe to pass.

2. Pass another vehicle only when the way is clear ahead as well as behind.

3. Check your mirrors, and over your shoulder.

4. Signal, and sound your horn.

5. Pull out, accelerate, and proceed with caution.

6. Get well ahead of the other car, signal, and get back into the right lane.

Use extra care when passing in bad weather, at night, or under any other unfavorable conditions, because it is difficult to judge speed and distance.

If the vehicle you are passing speeds up, do not race. Turn back into line. Never overtake and pass another vehicle unless you know that you can do so without danger to yourself or to others who are approaching or overtaking you.

If you are being passed by another vehicle, never speed up but, if necessary, slow down to allow the other driver to pass you quickly, so that he can get back safely into the right lane ahead of you.

When Not To Pass

There are numerous occasions when it is dangerous to pass. Here are some of the most important situations where this rule applies.

Do not drive to the left of the center of a highway when approaching a curve or the crest of a hill; within a hundred feet of a bridge, viaduct, or tunnel where the driver's view is obstructed; or within a hundred feet of a rail crossing. These rules do not apply, however, to streets of highways on which one-way traffic only is permitted, or to highways divided into clearly marked lanes where there are more such lanes for traffic in one direction than in the other direction.

If in doubt, do not pass!

Overtaking and Passing at Night

When approaching an oncoming vehicle at night, switch to the low beam of your headlights when you are at least 500 feet away. If the oncoming driver fails to dim his lights, watch the right hand side of the road and keep well over to the right. Avoid looking into the glare of the lights of the oncoming vehicle. Do not switch your own headlights to high beam – two blinded drivers are more dangerous than one.

Use your low beam when following another vehicle within 200 feet except when in the act of overtaking and passing. Switch to high beam as you come alongside the vehicle you are overtaking. This applies on all highways, including divided highways.