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What causes accidents: overtaking

When you overtake a vehicle, there are often many things to consider.

First of all you need to ensure that it is, as far as you are aware, safe to do so. Therefore don't overtake close to junctions or in conditions where overtaking requires you to drive on the wrong side of the road. This is always dangerous, even if you believe you have good visibility of the road ahead.

When you do go to overtake, take care of how far you are from the car you are overtaking when you pull out. Some cars get very close before overtaking, which is dangerous because if road conditions change and you are suddenly unable to pull out, you might have to brake dangerously quickly to stop yourself going into that car.

Also beware of other road vehicles in the lane you need to enter going very quickly, because they might move into the space you want to enter, causing a collision.

You also need to keep an eye on the vehicle you are overtaking. Some drivers are erratic, and even if the car has been going very slowly, there might be another slow car in front and the driver you wish to overtake may themselves indicate that they are coming out ahead of you; in this instance you should switch off your indicator and cancel overtaking until you are sure of the position of the car.

Those scenarios above show that there are various things that you need to consider when you are overtaking; and also remember that you may be in a blindspot at some part of the overtaking manoeuvre.

Whilst overtaking is very common on things like motorways, the maneouvre still needs to be executed with vigilance whenever you wish to overtake.

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You are travelling along the left-hand lane of a three-lane motorway. Traffic is joining from a slip road. You should A) race the other vehicles B) move to another lane C) maintain a steady speed D) switch on your hazard flashers

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