The most important thing to remember when you are driving on a motorway or dual carriageway is concentration. Learning to split your focus between how you drive, where your car is positioned and the intentions of the cars around you is key to driving safely on roads that require high speeds.
This focus on concentration is never more critical than when you are overtaking on a motorway. Travelling at speeds of 70mph is a challenge in itself when you first start to drive, with overtaking requiring its own set of rules to keep you and others safe. What you need to overtake effectively is both confidence and awareness. By following these steps you should be able to achieve this and make overtaking a simple process every time.
- Make sure that you always leave a safe distance between you and the car you intend to overtake.
- You must first judge whether it is necessary to overtake the car in front. Then you must make sure that it is safe to do so before moving.
- Use your rear-view mirror to check the traffic behind you and judge the position and speed of other road users.
- Use your right door mirror to check what traffic is beside you in the lane you intend to move into.
- You should always leave enough space to be able to move smoothly into the right-hand lane, never rushing the process or making a sudden movement.
- You should make sure that throughout the overtaking process you maintain your speed, never slowing down and only accelerating if it prevents you affecting the drivers behind.
- Look well ahead of you before you think about overtaking, to check that it is safe. Make sure there are no roadworks ahead for example, as these may block off the right lane.
- You must always check over your right shoulder before moving. This is your blind spot, an area that you cannot see from using mirrors alone.
- Always signal right before you move, to give other drivers the opportunity to anticipate what you intend to do.
- Signal before returning to the left lane too, making sure you are well clear of the car you have overtaken and that there is plenty of space for you to move in to.
Why not download our PDF and make sure that when you’re out practicing you have everything you need to know when it comes to overtaking on a motorway.