Anyone who has taken a driver’s ed course knows how to pass on two lane roads. On the other hand, many young drivers who live in urban areas get little practice doing it. Speed limits in cities are low to begin with, and the traffic density makes passing impossible. Urban high-speed roadways are typically multilane, which again give no opportunity to practice. Why is this an important topic? Because driving in rural areas on two lane highways is more dangerous than driving in urban areas. In fact, more people die per mile driven on rural roads than on urban roads.
Rural two lane highways have speed limits as high as 50 or 55 mph. A head-on collision between two cars at such speeds is deadly. The end result is the same whether two cars obliterate each other in a straight head-on, or are deflected off the road down an embankment into trees. When the dashed line is on your side and you start your pass, your odds of completing it intact depends on important considerations. Here are five of them:
- Don’t pass cars driving near the speed limit. The stretch of road where it’s safe to pass (dashed lines on your side) may have insufficient length for the high passing speed required. A few miles per hour make little difference to your arrival time. In other words, the risk to yourself and another innocent party isn’t worth the benefit.
- Don’t pass when a car in front is passing. The distances in passing zones are estimated for a single passing car, not two. If the passing car in front should want to abort his attempt, you will block him.
- Don’t pass when there is a car following close behind you. If the car decides to pass with you, then he will block you should you decide to abort your attempt. If you safely complete the pass and the other car collides with an oncoming car, there is a good chance that the accident will involve you as well.
- Don’t pass when there is an intersection with a side road. A car could pull into the passing lane toward you or otherwise get in your way.
- Begin your pass at the start of the passing zone. This will give you the maximum distance to safely complete your pass. The exception to this is when the passing zone is very long, and gives you a clear view of the road ahead.
Remember that you can’t pass when the solid line is on your side. Check your mirrors and blind spot, and don’t forget to use your turn signal. Finally, if you’re in doubt because it doesn’t feel right, trust your intuition and don’t pass.
If a reckless or negligent driver injured you in an accident, an Anne Arundel County accident lawyer can help. The Law Offices of John Critzos, II have extensive accident litigation experience, and would like to put it to work for you. Contact us at (844)-Take-MyCase or visit our website at www.844TakeMyCase.com.
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