The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Fleet Safety Tip of the Week

May 07, 2012

Here are some driver safety tips about passing on the left while traveling on a two- or three-lane roadway. The advice is culled from “What Every Driver Must Know,” published by the State of Michigan. You may want to pass these tips along to your drivers as a friendly reminder.

On a two- or three-lane road with traffic moving in both directions, drivers may pass on the left when overtaking another vehicle if there are no signs or other markings prohibiting passing and the pass can be completed safely. But passing another vehicle on the left is prohibited when:

• You must cross a solid yellow line

• There is a “no passing” sign

• Approaching a hill or curve where your view is obstructed

• Your view is obstructed within 100 feet of a bridge, viaduct or tunnel

• Oncoming traffic is close enough so you would interfere with the safe operation of the approaching vehicle or the vehicle being passed

• You cannot see clearly ahead

• When the center lane of a three-lane road is marked for left turns only. 


When passing or preparing to pass another vehicle by using the center lane of a three-lane road, always use extreme caution. Approaching vehicles may also be preparing to pass. If you and an approaching vehicle move into the center lane at the same time, a serious crash could occur. If the center lane is marked for left turns only, using this lane for passing or merging is prohibited. 


After passing another vehicle, you need to return to the right lane when there is enough room to return safely. One rule of thumb is to return to your lane when it is possible to see both headlights of the vehicle you passed in the rearview mirror. Remember to allow extra room when pulling a trailer. Do not try to pass more than one vehicle at a time or follow too closely when another vehicle is passing slower traffic. 

A driver being passed on the left must give way to the passing vehicle. Do not increase speed until the other vehicle has completely passed. 

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