Sharing the road with others requires clear communication, staying calm, and obeying the rules of the road. Shared expectations and responsibilities allow cars to pass each other safely. Signal twice when passing a car. Your first signal should be before you move into the passing lane and the second when you move back. Be sure to wait an appropriate length of time after signaling before you move over. That gives other drivers time to notice what you’re doing.
While some rules vary from state to state, these guidelines can help you practice safe driving habits when passing another vehicle, no matter where you live.
When can you pass a car on a two-lane road?
Passing on a two-lane road is legal when the yellow line dividing the directions of traffic is a dash on your side and when you can safely pass the vehicle ahead before getting close to oncoming traffic. You can also pass a car if no other signs make passing illegal and the road and weather conditions allow for safely passing.
When is it illegal to pass another vehicle?
Even in the absence of specific signage, passing is illegal when you have a solid yellow line on your side of the road and if you are approaching a curve, hill, or other obstruction that prevents you from seeing traffic clearly. In several states it’s illegal to pass if you are within 100 feet of a bridge or railroad crossing or there’s a school bus stopped ahead.
General tips for passing a car
Here are some general rules of passing a car to keep in mind:
- Check your blind spot before you merge into another lane
- Avoid weaving back and forth and aggressive driving behaviors
- Don’t camp in the left lane; move over once you’ve passed the slower vehicle
- Avoid passing a vehicle on the right and follow the speed limit
- Move over before passing smaller vehicles like motorcycles or bikes
Driving rules and etiquette can be easy to forget as we become more experienced and pay less attention to our good and bad driving habits. Following the rules of the road, practicing safe driving habits and knowing how to pass safely are just a few things you can do as a driver to make the roads safer and prevent crashes.