Collisions caused by improper lane changes are a one of the most common types, according to insurance and legal experts. What's more, passing accidents can be very dangerous.
For example, one study by the Federal Highway Administration found that passing accidents in three states on rural roads were somewhat more severe than non-passing accidents. In all three states, the percentage of fatal and incapacitating passing accidents was higher than that of non-passing accidents.
Now is a good time to remind your drivers about the proper and safe way to pass another vehicle. Experts suggest drivers take the following precautions before passing:
- Passing must be done in the left lane. Always pass to your left; never to your right.
- Never pass over a solid white line. Wait until you reach a staggered or broken line before passing.
- Put on your turn indicator. This way other vehicles understand your intention is to pass.
- Check that it's safe to pass. Use your side mirror and quickly turn your head over your shoulder to make sure there is no other vehicle in the lane you intend to move into.
- Once you know it is safe, pass the vehicle on your right side.
- Move safely back into the lane you came from. Make sure you can see the vehicle you passed completely in your rearview mirror before you move back into the lane.
- Never exceed the speed limit to pass another vehicle.