Two-lane roads can be very dangerous. Many head-on collisions occur on these roads due to passing when unsafe, distracted driving, and speeding are all factors.
When passing a vehicle on a two-lane road, it is legal to pass only if there is sufficient visibility and space to complete the passing maneuver safely. Otherwise, you must wait until it is safe to pass.
Many drivers are unaware of the distance required to complete a safe passing maneuver. This article will go into detail about the required passing distances for different types of vehicles and how to use them correctly.
Passing can be very tempting on two-lane roads because the width of the road appears to be enough room for two vehicles to pass each other. However, this is not always the case! Many accidents can be prevented by understanding correct passing distances and using them correctly.
This article will discuss these details and more.
Do not check mirrors enough
Many head-on collisions occur on two-lane roads when passing because drivers do not check their mirrors enough to ensure that there is enough room for a vehicle to pass.
Many people rely on the other driver checking their mirrors and assuming that they can pass, but this is not safe assumption to make.
Others don’t check their own mirror before pulling out to pass, which is also a bad habit to get into. When you are focused on the car ahead of you, you may not notice something in your rear-view or side-view mirror.
This can be dangerous as you may pull out in front of a passing vehicle without realizing it. Getting into the habit of constantly checking your mirrors will prevent this from happening.
Are distracted by cell phones
While driving, many people engage in distracting behaviors like texting, using the GPS system or calling.
However, these actions can be disastrous when done while driving. Many head-on collisions occur when a passing driver is distracted by another vehicle or object and does not notice the oncoming car until it is too late.
Drivers also have to pay attention to their surroundings. If a driver notices something on the side of the road or a stopped vehicle, they need to check that out before it’s too late.
When driving at high speeds, it is even more important to remain focused. If a driver is going too fast for the conditions of the road or traffic, then they should reduce their speed to avoid an accident or injury.
Are impaired by alcohol or drugs
A significant number of fatal head-on collisions occur when a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs. Many people believe that if you’re driving alone, you can have a few drinks, but this is a very dangerous notion.
Drinking even two drinks will impair your judgment and balance, which are important factors when driving. Even one drink can have this effect if you are not accustomed to it.
More than half of all head-on collisions involve alcohol in some way, so if you are going to drink, don’t drive. Call a ride share service or find another way to get home safely.
In addition to drinking alcohol, many common drugs impair driving ability. Some of the most common ones are insomnia medications, anxiety medications, and certain pain medications. If you need to take these medications, be aware of their effects and how long they last so that you do not drive while impaired.
Are rushing to get to their destination
Unfortunately, this can lead to drivers being in a hurry and passing other vehicles on two-lane roads. When passing a vehicle, drivers have to be aware that there may be oncoming traffic.
If there is no oncoming traffic, then it is safe to pass. However, many drivers are late to realize this and end up facing the consequences.
Drivers have to be aware of their surroundings and check multiple times before passing to avoid head-on collisions. If you are in a situation where you have to pass, then do so quickly and safely.
Don’t prolong the passing process or accelerate slowly to match the speed of the vehicle you are passing. Both of these actions increase the risk of a head-on collision.
Are passing other vehicles
When passing another vehicle, drivers tend to look at the road in front of the vehicle they are passing and not the road behind them. This can be a major factor in head-on collisions.
Many times, cars are passed in opposite lanes and are not seen until it is too late. By then, the car that was passed has moved into the same lane as the car passing, and a collision occurs.
Drivers should always check their mirrors and shoulder check before moving across lanes to avoid this situation.
Passing on hilltops can also cause problems. When passing on a hilltop, drivers tend to look at the road in front of them and not notice the drop off until it is too late. This can result in collisions as well.
Do not understand the right of way rules
Many head-on collisions occur on two-lane roads when passing because drivers do not understand the right of way rules. When a driver is passing a vehicle, they must reach the other side of the road before passing.
If there is oncoming traffic, then they must pass quickly before having to stop for oncoming traffic. If they have to stop, they have passed too far.
Many drivers assume that if you are passing a vehicle, then you have the right of way. This is not true! The right of way always goes to the left vehicle.
If both vehicles are traveling at the same speed, then the one that is traveling left has the right of way. Passers always have the tendency to pass too far and get in trouble for that.
Drivers are unfamiliar with the area they are driving in
Many drivers involved in head-on collisions are driving in an area they are not familiar with.
Often, these drivers are passing other vehicles when the collision occurs. This means that the driver passing is not paying close attention to oncoming traffic, only to find out that there is no oncoming traffic because they just passed it.
When there is no oncoming traffic, it becomes easy to lose focus and underestimate the speed of your vehicle. This can lead to overcompensation of speed which can be dangerous.
When driving in unfamiliar areas, try to pay close attention to road signs and keep the radio at a moderate volume so you can hear any alerts or announcements. These tips will help you stay prepared for any unexpected situations.
Weather affects visibility and safety conditions
When weather is a factor in a crash, it is often because of poor visibility or road conditions. Poor visibility can be due to heavy rain, fog, smoke, or darkness.
Driving in these situations can be dangerous unless the proper precautions are taken. Most times, your best bet is to wait for the weather to clear up or for daylight to arrive before traveling.
If you must travel in bad weather, make sure your vehicle is equipped with proper safety gear and that you are aware of all warnings and alerts.
Keep a watch on the other vehicles around you as well as the road to detect any potential hazards.
Be cautious of other vehicles and pedestrians that may not have noticed the alert due to lack of attention or confusion. Be aware of your surroundings and take quick action if needed.