How to safely pass other motorists

In car races, aggressively passing other drivers is the norm. However, this shouldn’t be the case in real life. Whether you drive on gravel roads, city streets or busy highways, passing is a manoeuvre that must be done safely. Here are the golden rules for passing other motorists.

  • Make sure that passing another vehicle is permitted. A broken yellow centre line on a two-way road means passing is permitted when safe to do so.
  • Look around and check your blind spots before passing. There may be a motorist intending to turn left in front of you, a vehicle changing lanes behind you or a cyclist entering the road.
  • To avoid getting into a collision with oncoming traffic in the left lane, make sure you have enough time to safely get around the vehicle in front of you.
  • Signal for at least three seconds before passing another vehicle. This way other motorists will know your intentions.
  • Once the vehicle you’ve passed is visible in your rear-view mirror, do a shoulder check to the right and return to your original lane.
  • Leave at least one metre of space when passing a cyclist on roads with a speed limit of 50 kilometres per hour or less. Leave one and a half metres on roads with a speed limit of 50 km/h or more.

Most importantly, never overtake another motorist unless you’re certain it’s safe to do so.

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