Over the past couple weeks, there has been multiple car crashes involving vehicles trying to pass others in no-passing zones in Oregon. Unfortunately, these crashes typically end with serious injuries or death due to the speed of the vehicles attempting to pass. Head-on collisions in these situations are extremely life-threatening. If you misjudge the amount of time to pass a vehicle in front of you and have to go back into your lane, there is a risk of clipping the vehicle that you were attempting to pass.
When there is a solid yellow line in your lane and a “Do Not Pass” sign posted on the road, that means you are not allowed to pass other vehicles. If your view of the oncoming traffic lane is blocked due to a hill or curve then it will be unsafe to pass. Passing at an intersection or railroad crossing is prohibited as well.
Parts of the road clearly marked with a passing lane are the safest areas for passing other vehicles. Stay in the left lane to pass and move into the right lane to let other vehicles pass you. Once the passing lane ends, make sure to safely merge with the other lane to avoid a collision.
To avoid trouble when you are passing other vehicles, know the speed and acceleration ability of your vehicle. A general rule of thumb is if you can recognize any movement of the oncoming vehicle then it is too close for you to risk a pass. Large vehicles and trucks make it harder to see a good view of the road ahead so be cautious if trying to pass. Signal and check your rear-view and side-view mirrors before you change lanes as well as check your blind spot. Complete your pass as soon as possible and remember it is against the law to exceed the posted speed limits. Flashing your lights to signal you want to pass is illegal.
Keep these tips in mind while driving on roads where other vehicles are likely to pass. Collisions while passing can be fatal to not only you and your passengers but also all the other vehicles’ passengers around you.