Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving



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☠️ Overtaking is both a high-risk and lethal action because of the combined vehicle speeds in the event of a head-on collision.

This section shows how to identify the risks as well as to avoid posing a danger to others.

We cover these categories:


? Questions:

Dangers Road Overtaking


When overtaking, there are certain factors to be cognizant of. This sub-section focuses on each of these factors.

Also Overtaking

When overtaking, be alert to any who may not see you and also decide to overtake.

Conversely, before overtaking, always check your side mirror to ensure there are no vehicles already in the process of overtaking.

Enough Speed

For the period that a person is in the process of overtaking, one wants to minimize the time spent on the opposite side of the road to reduce the exposure to oncoming traffic.

Renter Gap

In order to overtake, the driver must take into account not just the circumstances for the oncoming lane to be clear, but also that there is the space to be able to reenter his side of the road after overtaking.

Side Entrance

It may seem that the road is clear to overtake, however, there is always the danger that a vehicle can enter from the side of the road.


When overtaking, be alert to any vehicles ahead that may turn off the road, not expecting that they would indicate before doing so.

Here it is important to have an escape route in mind if such a situation does arise.


We examine the factors to take into account before overtaking, that would reduce the visibility of any oncoming vehicles.


A bend would reduce the visibility of any oncoming vehicles and is determined by variables such as curvature, inside or outside arc as well as the clearance of vision to the space surrounding the bend.

Blind Rise

Where the road rises in height to the extent that it hides the oncoming traffic, it then poses a danger to overtaking. We look at examples in this section.


A number of phenomena could blur the visibility of what lays ahead; things such as fog, smog, dust cloud and smoke.

Such limited visibility poses an obvious danger to being able to clearly see oncoming traffic in order to overtake safely.


In this scenario, when you are overtaking and have vehicles ahead of you that are also overtaking, they then block any visibility of approaching vehicles.

This is extremely dangerous as when an approaching vehicle does come into your vision, you may not have the time or space to respond.

Viewing Angle

It is imperative that enough space is allowed between the vehicle that wants to overtake and the vehicle ahead to be passed. This will give the driver a better viewing angle and the space for run up speed in order to pass.

☠️ Do head-on collisions have the highest fatality rate?

Yes, head-on collisions are often associated with one of the highest fatality rates among different types of traffic accidents. Head-on collisions occur when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide with their front ends facing each other. Several factors contribute to the high fatality rate of head-on collisions:

  • Impact Forces: Head-on collisions involve the combined speeds of both vehicles, resulting in very high impact forces. The forces involved can cause severe injuries and fatalities to the occupants of both vehicles.

  • Lack of Safety Distance: Head-on collisions often occur due to inadequate passing maneuvers or when a vehicle crosses the centerline into oncoming traffic. In these situations, drivers have limited time to react, and there is little distance available for deceleration or evasive action.

  • Lack of Crash Absorption: The front of vehicles is designed to absorb the impact during a crash. In head-on collisions, this crash absorption feature is compromised as both vehicles' fronts collide, leading to more severe forces transmitted to the occupants.

  • Occupant Protection: In a head-on collision, the force of the impact can exceed the safety features' capacity, such as airbags and seat belts, leading to a higher likelihood of fatal injuries to vehicle occupants.

  • Vehicle Intrusion: Head-on collisions can cause significant vehicle intrusion, especially in cases where one or both vehicles are traveling at high speeds. This intrusion can result in severe injuries to the occupants.

  • Rollover Potential: Depending on the speed and circumstances of the collision, head-on impacts can sometimes lead to vehicle rollovers, which can increase the risk of fatal injuries.

It's important to note that the severity of any accident depends on various factors, including the speed of the vehicles, the angle of impact, the type of vehicles involved, and the use of safety restraints. Reducing the occurrence of head-on collisions requires strict enforcement of traffic laws, proper road design, driver education, and promoting safe driving behaviors.

? Where is it unlawful to overtake and pass?

The specific laws and regulations regarding where it is unlawful to overtake and pass vary between jurisdictions. However, there are some common situations in which overtaking and passing are generally prohibited or restricted. Here are a few examples:

  • Solid Yellow (or White) Line: In many countries, if there is a solid yellow line marking on your side of the road, it typically indicates that passing is not allowed. Crossing a solid yellow line to overtake another vehicle is generally illegal and unsafe.

  • No-Passing Zones: There are specific areas where passing is prohibited for safety reasons, such as on curves, hills, intersections, or other locations with restricted visibility. These areas are often marked with signs or road markings indicating "No Passing" or similar restrictions.

  • School Zones: Overtaking and passing may be prohibited in school zones or near school buses when children are present. The focus is on ensuring the safety of pedestrians and students.

  • Construction Zones: Passing may be restricted or prohibited in construction zones to maintain a safe environment for road workers and motorists.

  • Emergency Vehicles: It is generally prohibited to overtake or pass an emergency vehicle that is stopped or displaying its lights and sirens. In such situations, it is important to yield and make way for the emergency vehicle.

It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific traffic laws and regulations in your local area, as they can vary. Referencing the traffic laws provided by your country's transportation authority or department of motor vehicles will give you accurate and up-to-date information on where overtaking and passing are prohibited or restricted.

? How to overtake traffic?

When overtaking traffic, it's important to do so safely and in accordance with traffic laws. Here is a general guideline on how to overtake traffic:

  • Assess the situation: Evaluate the traffic conditions, including the speed and behavior of the vehicles around you. Make sure you have good visibility of the road ahead and a clear understanding of any upcoming hazards or obstructions.

  • Use your indicators: Signal your intention to overtake by activating your turn signal or indicator. This alerts other drivers to your intention and allows them to anticipate your maneuver.

  • Check blind spots: Before changing lanes or overtaking, check your mirrors and physically look over your shoulder to ensure there are no vehicles in your blind spots. Be aware of motorcycles or smaller vehicles that may be more difficult to spot.

  • Choose the appropriate lane: Move into the lane that allows you to safely overtake the slower vehicle. Ensure there is sufficient distance and time to complete the maneuver without disrupting the flow of traffic or causing hazards.

  • Increase your speed: Accelerate to a speed that is safe and appropriate for overtaking. Be mindful of speed limits and adjust your speed accordingly.

  • Maintain a safe distance: Leave ample space between your vehicle and the vehicle you are overtaking. This allows for a smooth and safe transition between lanes.

  • Signal and move back: Once you have overtaken the vehicle, signal your intention to move back into the original lane. Check your mirrors and blind spots again to ensure it is safe to change lanes, then merge back into the lane while maintaining a safe distance from the passed vehicle.

Remember, overtaking should only be done when it is legal, safe, and necessary. Always follow traffic laws, exercise caution, and be considerate of other drivers on the road.

? What should you do when you are overtaken by another vehicle?

When you are overtaken by another vehicle, it's important to stay calm, follow the appropriate actions, and prioritize safety. Here's what you should do:

  • Stay focused and maintain your speed: Keep your attention on the road and maintain your current speed. Avoid any sudden changes in speed or direction that could surprise or endanger other drivers.

  • Stay in your lane: Do not attempt to match or compete with the speed of the overtaking vehicle by speeding up or changing lanes unpredictably. Stay in your lane and allow the other vehicle to pass safely.

  • Provide space: If it is safe and there is enough room, you can help the overtaking vehicle by maintaining a consistent speed and position within your lane. This allows them to complete the maneuver more easily.

  • Do not block or impede: Avoid actions that might hinder the overtaking vehicle, such as intentionally speeding up or blocking their path. Blocking or impeding the overtaking vehicle can lead to dangerous situations and increase the risk of accidents.

  • Be aware of your surroundings: Keep an eye on the traffic around you, including the overtaking vehicle. Check your mirrors regularly to monitor their position and movement. This awareness helps you anticipate any potential risks and adjust your driving accordingly.

  • Stay predictable: Maintain a steady and predictable driving behavior, such as maintaining a consistent speed and staying within your lane. This helps other drivers on the road anticipate your actions and ensures a smoother flow of traffic.

Remember, it's important to prioritize safety and cooperate with other drivers on the road. By staying calm, alert, and following these guidelines, you can help maintain a safe driving environment for everyone.

? Is overtaking on the right illegal?

The legality of overtaking on the right side of a vehicle can vary depending on the specific jurisdiction and the circumstances of the situation. In general, overtaking on the right is considered illegal and unsafe in most countries where driving is on the right side of the road (e.g., the United States).

The typical practice is to overtake or pass another vehicle on the left side, as it allows for better visibility and adherence to traffic flow. Overtaking on the right can be hazardous because it often involves crossing into the adjacent lane of traffic, which increases the risk of collisions, particularly if the driver in the other lane is not anticipating such a maneuver.

However, there can be exceptions to this general rule. For example, some jurisdictions may allow overtaking on the right in specific circumstances, such as when the vehicle being overtaken is making a left turn or when multiple lanes are designated for the same direction of travel.

To ensure compliance with traffic laws and regulations, it's important to familiarize yourself with the specific rules governing overtaking and passing in your local area. Referencing the traffic laws and guidelines provided by your country's transportation authority or department of motor vehicles can provide you with accurate and up-to-date information regarding overtaking on the right.

? Can you overtake at traffic lights?

No, it is generally not allowed to overtake at traffic lights. When approaching a traffic light, all vehicles are expected to come to a stop when the signal turns red. Overtaking or passing other vehicles is typically prohibited in this situation.

The purpose of traffic lights is to regulate and control the flow of vehicles at intersections. Overtaking at traffic lights can be extremely dangerous as it increases the risk of collisions with vehicles moving in different directions. It can also create confusion and disrupt the intended order of traffic.

It is important to follow traffic laws and regulations, which often dictate that you must come to a stop at a red traffic light and wait for it to turn green before proceeding. Only when the signal allows it and it is safe to do so should you continue driving through the intersection.

Exceptions to this general rule might exist in certain circumstances, such as when there are designated lanes for specific movements or when directed by traffic control personnel. However, in most cases, overtaking at traffic lights is not permitted and should be avoided to ensure the safety of all road users.

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Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving