wikiHow to Pass Safely on a Two Lane Road

Passing on a two-lane road can be dangerous; in fact, following the proper steps and thinking before passing can make the difference between a safe trip and an accident.


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    Ascertain that passing is legal on the stretch of road you are on by observing the highway markings and road signs. Also, make sure you will not exceed the speed limit when passing.
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    Examine all road features such as speed limits, hills, signs, or curves that may influence your ability to pass safely. Remember, tunnels, bridges, and viaducts can obstruct your view.
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    Make sure you can see an adequate distance ahead. These distances are different at different speeds. Establish there is no oncoming traffic that will come within 200 feet (60.96m) of you in the passing lane.
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    Check all traffic and think how it might influence your ability to pass safely, whether it is oncoming traffic, side road traffic, or traffic behind your vehicle.
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    Accelerate slowly to a safe distance behind the vehicle, you will be passing; this is usually one vehicle length or more. Turn on your turn signal, or direction indicator, at least 100 feet (30.5 m). (30.48m) before passing.
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    Check behind you in your rear view and side mirrors for traffic from the back the second before you move into the opposite lane to pass. Then check for oncoming traffic once again.
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    If the conditions are still safe for passing, accelerate quickly and smoothly after you move completely into the other lane, do not gun the engine.
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    Quickly pass the vehicle, glance in both your side and rear view mirrors to determine the position of the vehicle you just passed. If you are two or more vehicle lengths in front of that vehicle, you may signal or indicate that you are moving back into the normal lane of traffic and then move your vehicle back over.


  • If the vehicle you are passing suddenly accelerates, do not pass it resume your position behind the vehicle.
  • Always plan your next move when driving. Think what you would do if a vehicle suddenly popped up out of nowhere or started swerving.
  • If a vehicle does enter your path of travel when passing look behind to see if you can slow down and move back behind the vehicle you were passing.
  • Some driving manuals recommend honking your horn or flashing your lights once when passing a car at night.


  • If a vehicle in front of you has been traveling at a steady speed then suddenly slows down, do not pass immediately, he may be slowing to turn across your path of travel.
  • Do not forget to check all traffic, not just the oncoming vehicles, before passing.
  • Any form of precipitation makes the road slicker. Consider this before increasing your speed.
  • If following a vehicle being operated irrationally, such as one that refuses to let you pass and then drives very slowly, it is best to fall back in traffic and call the authorities.
  • Always be ready for the unexpected.
  • Never pass a vehicle where your vision is impaired by weather, vehicles, curves, or hills.
  • Take extra care when you are in a motorized vehicle passing a bicycle or motorcycle. Never move into the same lane as a bicycle or motorcycle even if the lanes are wide and the smaller vehicle is to the side.
  • Traffic from side roads can do things that are not expected.

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Categories: Defensive Driving Skills & Safety