Suppose you are on a two-lane road with an oncoming vehicle approaching and a bicyclist ahead to your right. Instead of driving between the vehicle and the bicyclist, take one danger at a time. First, slow down and let the oncoming vehicle pass. Then, when it is safe, move to the left to allow plenty of room (at least 3 feet) to pass the bicyclist.
Increase your following distance and allow a bigger space cushion for drivers who may be potentially dangerous. Persons who present dangers are:
Sometimes there will be dangers on both sides of the road at the same time. For example, there will be parked cars to the right and oncoming cars to the left. In this case, the best thing to do is “split the difference.” Steer a middle course between the oncoming cars and the parked cars.
If one danger is greater than the other, give the most room to the most dangerous situation. Suppose there are oncoming cars on your left side and a child on a bike on your right side. The child is more likely to make a sudden move. Therefore, slow down and, if safe, use as much of your lane to the left as possible until you pass the child.
Enter the freeway at or near the speed of traffic. Do not stop before merging into freeway traffic, unless it is absolutely necessary. Freeway traffic has the right-of-way. When it is safe, follow the “3-second rule” (refer to the “Do not be a tailgater!” section).
When crossing or entering city or highway traffic from a full stop, signal, and leave a large enough gap to get up to the speed of other vehicles. You must share the space with traffic already on the road. It is important to know how much space you need for merging, crossing, entering, and exiting out of traffic. You need a gap that is about:
If you are crossing lanes or turning, make sure there are no vehicles or people blocking the path ahead or to the sides of your vehicle. You do not want to be caught in an intersection with traffic coming at you.
Even if you have the green traffic signal light, do not start across the intersection if there are vehicles blocking your way.
When turning left, do not start the turn just because an approaching vehicle has its right turn signal on. The driver may plan to turn just beyond you, or the signal may have been left on from an earlier turn. This is particularly true of motorcycles. Their signal lights often do not turn off automatically. Wait until the other driver actually starts to turn before you continue.
When you plan to exit the freeway, give yourself plenty of time. You should know the name or number of the freeway exit you want, as well as the one that comes before it. To exit safely:
Before you pass, look ahead for road conditions and traffic that may cause other vehicles to move into your lane. Only pass when safe to do so. You must judge whether you have enough room to pass whenever you approach:
Do not pass:
How to pass:
Never drive off the paved or main-traveled portion of the road or on the shoulder to pass. The edge of the main-traveled portion of the road may have a painted white line on the road’s surface. Passing other vehicles at crossroads, railroad crossings, and driveways is dangerous.
Pass traffic on the left. You may pass on the right only when:
Always signal before passing. You may also lightly tap your horn, or briefly flash your lights, to let the other driver know you intend to pass. Do not pull out to pass unless you know you have enough space to pull back into your lane.
Avoid passing other vehicles, including motorcycles and bicycles, on two- lane roads. Every time you pass, you increase your chances of having a collision. When you pass a bicyclist, slow down and pass the bicyclist only when safe, allowing for a minimum of 3 feet between your vehicle and the bicyclist where possible. Do not squeeze the bicyclist off the road.
Before you return to your driving lane, be sure you are not dangerously close to the vehicle you have just passed. One way to do this is to look for the vehicle in your inside rearview mirror. When you can see both headlights in your rearview mirror, you may have enough room to return to your driving lane. Do not count on having enough time to pass several vehicles at once or that other drivers will make room for you.
If a vehicle is passing you, or has signaled intent to pass, you should avoid accelerating and maintain your lane position to allow the vehicle to pass you. Do not accelerate or try to go faster to avoid being passed.