While driving on single lane roads, you will possibly understand the need of overtaking a slower vehicle, in most cases a bus, lorry or tractor. For the new comers who rent cars in Uganda, overtaking is quite hard most especially for long vehicles such as trailers and buses. You will also agree that overtaking on single lane roads can be overwhelming for recently qualified drivers, sometimes even challenging for the already established ones but with confidence, you can be able to maneuver easily.
By overtaking, we simply mean passing a slower moving road user that is most times travelling in the same direction as you. However, it should be noted that overtaking is also complex and depends on several conditions that include visibility, vehicle acceleration, the driver, road conditions and power, yet there are simple ways of also going about it. Therefore, here are the 6 tips for safe overtaking;
Make use of the mirrors
By checking on your vehicle mirrors, you will ascertain whether the road is clear and with this, you will check ahead in the incoming lane as well as behind you in the blind spot. You might not be sure when a motorcycle or another vehicle also trying to overtake you yet you hadn’t seen previously. It is advisable to check twice as most road accidents in Uganda are attributed to overtaking.
Don’t overtake when the visibility is poor
Poor visibility is normally brought about by rain, mist or fog and this makes overtaking risky and life threatening. You might want to skip some of the participants in the movement hence becoming an incident. For this reason, only overtake when required and always make sure of the side mirrors.
Consider overtaking only when it is necessary
It is undeniably frustrating being stuck behind someone who is driving slowly in addition to holding up your journey but if you ate getting off the road soon, then it is not worth taking this risk. Do you know how many lives you will be saving instead of time that you think you are saving? You might think you are saving time, not knowing that your life and that of other road users will be saved in trying to overtake at a spot that would have been otherwise been avoided.
Ask yourself whether it is really safe to overtake
Before you think of overtaking, ask yourself whether there are no overtaking signs on the road, whether there are any hazards ahead (like a junction or pedestrian crossings), whether you are coming up to a bend or if there is a dip in the road obscuring your vision. All in all, don’t try overtaking until there is a clear visibility on both lanes of the road ahead of you.
Consider your vehicle’s performance
Some drivers are literally used to driving by themselves but when it comes to having passengers onboard and luggage in the trunk, then overtaking might not be an option. However it doesn’t mean you can’t do it but always consider whether the road is gentle or uphill before taking on this huge decision that is likely to affect other road users.
Check the speed and acceleration
One of the mistakes that drivers make is overtaking within outside urban areas where the speed is high, hence very risky. Before taking the step, make sure that you have properly evaluated the distance as well as speed of other oncoming vehicles before finally taking action. If you have to do it, make sure that it is fast and when you press the gas pedal yet the car is not accelerating, then you have to switch over on a lower gear. All in all, make sure that overtaking is in a controlled and confident manner.