If you’re a learner driver or an experienced driver who wants to brush up on their Highway Code overtaking tips, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Alfie’s Driving School, we want to make sure that all our learners are confident and safe when they take to the roads – and that includes knowing how to overtake other vehicles safely and legally. So whether you’re new to driving or just need a refresher, read on for our top tips on overtaking other cars on the highway.
Only overtake when it’s safe to do so
First and foremost, you should only attempt to overtake another vehicle when it is safe to do so. This means that there should be no oncoming traffic, and you should have a clear view of the road ahead. You should also make sure that you have plenty of time and space to complete the manoeuvre – don’t try to squeeze past another car if there’s barely room or if you’re running out of time before the next junction.
And remember, even if the Highway Code says that it’s legal to overtake in certain circumstances, always use your judgement – if something doesn’t feel right, or looks too risky, don’t do it!
When you do overtake, make sure you signal in plenty of time to let the other driver know what you’re planning to do. If they’re in a hurry, they might not appreciate being held up behind a slower-moving vehicle, so it’s always good manners (and good driving!) to give them as much notice as possible.
You should also check your mirrors regularly while overtaking to make sure that no one is trying to overtake you! And finally, once you’ve finished overtaking, make sure you signal again to indicate that you’re moving back into the original lane.
When you’re passing parked vehicles, be extra careful – you never know when a door might open or a pedestrian might step out into the road. And if there’s a cyclist ahead of you, give them plenty of space when overtaking – at least half a metre is ideal, but more if possible. Cyclists can be unpredictable, and they might swerve out into the road to avoid a pothole or something else in their way, so it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
Also, be aware that cyclists might be riding two abreast, so you might need to overtake them in pairs. And finally, don’t forget that cyclists are entitled to use the whole lane – don’t try to squeeze past them if there’s not enough room.
If you’re ever in doubt, remember that it’s always better to be safe than sorry. So if you’re not sure whether it’s safe to overtake, or if you don’t have enough time or space, just wait until the next opportunity. Better to arrive a few minutes late than not at all!
We hope that these tips have been helpful – remember, safety should always be your top priority when driving! However, if you’re not sure about something or need some help with your manoeuvres, why not book some lessons with Alfie’s Driving School? We’re always happy to help our learners become confident, safe drivers.