Getting caught behind a tractor or someone towing a caravan at half 8 in the morning on your way to work is one of the biggest frustrations most motorists will ever encounter. Even when it’s outside of rush hour, it’s just as much a pain in the butt because it takes you twice, maybe three times as long to get to your destination, and if you’re in a hurry or stressing that you’re not going to be somewhere on time – it can cause you to take some dangerous actions.
Advice for overtaking safely
Overtaking can be a very risky manoeuvre especially with slow moving or large vehicles. Be sure to:
- Drop back and leave plenty of room from the vehicle so you have a clearer view of the road, and the driver of the vehicle you plan to overtake can see you in their mirrors.
- Only ever be prepared to overtake if you are confident you have enough time and the other side of the road is clear of vehicles.
- Always check your wing mirrors as another motorist behind you may be planning to overtake at the same time
- Be extremely cautious when overtaking on country or rural roads as these often have blind corners and hairpin bends.
- Never overtake on a hill or hump bridge, where a pedestrian crossing or level crossing is approaching
- Pay close attention to signs or road markings that indicate “no overtaking” – as this could mean there is a junction up ahead, road works or a divide in the traffic.
According to the Highway Code (rule 169) a large or slow moving vehicle must not hold up long queues of traffic and strongly encourages them to pull over if they have back log of 6 or more vehicles behind. Sometimes the driver of the vehicle will be considerate and pull over into the nearest lay by if they notice a long line of cars behind them waiting to get past. In an ideal world all tractor and lorry drivers would do this, but of course it’s not always the case! So be mindful when over taking and whatever you do, be extremely observant of your surroundings, the vehicles behind you, in front and on the other side of the road.