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Overtaking continued

Depending on the circumstances preparing to overtake and overtaking will need you to process lots of information and keep processing new information as the manoeuvre develops. It takes good judgement, experience and practice to get it right. You need to consider the primary hazard (the car that you want to overtake) and any secondary hazards. Also we need to talk about speed differential. When overtaking you need approximately a fifteen mile an hour differential. What I mean by that is if the car you are considering overtaking is doing 45mph on a 60mph road, assuming you have enough road you should if there are no other hazards have a reasonable chance of overtaking it within the speed limit. Other numbers that might help you make your decision. At 30mph you will cover approximately 44 feet in one second, at 40mph: 58 feet, at 50mph: 73 feet and of course at 60mph: 88 feet. These figures can help you make other decisions in advanced driving. Firstly, 'Information'. Once you have checked all around your car, not just in front and behind and the car that you want to overtake, ask yourself, have I got enough road? Can I get back in safely? 'Position', once you are happy you are able to overtake, move into the following position. The following position is closer than you would normally allow. This position reduces the need to close up a lot of space immediately prior to overtaking and enables the manoeuvre to be completed quicker and over a shorter distance. You must, however, compensate for the lack of separation distance by increasing your scanning. You may need to adjust your road position to the right or left in order to maximise forward vision. This position should not be adopted indefinitely. Driving in this position places increased stress levels on the drivers of both the overtaking vehicle and the target vehicle. If an overtaking opportunity does not seem to be likely in the short term, resume your usual following distance. Your 'Speed' should be matching the car in front. At this point move across the white line without accelerating. Once in this position you will get more information, provided everything that you have already considered is still alright you can then select a 'Gear' if you need it and 'Accelerate'. As you reach the rear of the car that you are overtaking, confirm again that there is no reason why you shouldn't continue to overtake. Once you have safely passed them, move back in giving them as much room as possible. Overtaking is not a simple manoeuvre but it is one we should practice, even if we don't carry it out, so that when the opportunity arises it becomes much easier. There is far more than I have covered here, so please read Roadcraft to get the full picture. Why not ask an Observer if they can go over the overtaking manoeuvre with you. Terry Joyce

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Chelmsford Advanced Motorists

Issue 104

Forward Vision 104 February14  

Newsletter of Chelmsford Advanced Motorists