Lesson 1 Topic 13 –
Merging Passing & Turning
Merging, passing and turning require you to be extremely alert and aware of the other drivers around you. Many accidents happen because of drivers being oblivious and inconsiderate when doing one of these three things. Here are some tips.
Avoid making left-hand turns across busy intersections that don’t have turn signals. It takes awhile to learn how to gauge the oncoming traffic. It’s better to go down a block or two until you come to a light, or plan a route that doesn’t need this turn.
When there’s an obstruction in your lane, wait for oncoming traffic to clear before you pull around. Just because someone’s blocking your lane doesn’t mean you have the right of way in the next or oncoming lane.
Unless your vehicle has run out of “blinker juice” – you must use turn signals to indicate your intention to turn or to change lanes. Make sure to give the cars behind you enough time to react before you take the action. Then make sure to turn your signal off.
Here are some pro-tips from a member of the Indiana State Police –
Credit: PSA for ‘pretty incredible’ turn signal, Indiana State Police
Never Pass …
- If you don’t know if there’s enough space or time.
- Because you’re playing “passing games” with a friend.
- If the car you’re trying to pass is going the maximum speed limit.
- When there is another car passing you.
- When passing one car doesn’t make a difference.
- Over a solid yellow line on your side (you need a dotted line to pass).
- In dangerous weather conditions.
- When there’s a blind spot in front of you, like a hill or a curve.
- When there is oncoming traffic in the other lane.
- If there is road work or construction going on.
- Through tunnels, on narrow roads, or on bridges.
- On two lane roads, never pass trucks or other vehicles you can’t see around.
How to Pass with Caution
Pass at least ten miles per hour faster than the car you’re going around, but do not exceed the speed limit.
Be sure you’ve completely cleared the passed car with enough space before pulling back into your lane.
If another vehicle passes you on the left on a two-lane highway, decrease your speed slightly and keep to the right. This will help the other driver to pass safely. It is especially important to slow down if the other vehicle lingers on your left side or when you are driving in heavy traffic and there are small gaps between vehicles.
When the vehicle has safely passed and is ahead of you, continue your normal speed. Never increase your speed while you are being passed; it may put the other driver in danger.
Being Passed on the Right
If you find that you are being passed on the right by many vehicles, you are probably driving slower than the flow of traffic. Even if you are driving at the posted speed limit, you should move into the right lane and allow other drivers to pass you on the left.
Never tie up traffic in the left lane. It is not only a common cause of road rage; it may also trigger dangerous driving maneuvers by others.
Before moving over to the right, make sure you check your blind spot. It is often harder to see vehicles on your right side. Be particularly aware of small vehicles, like motorcycles.