Here’s another helpful driving tip from the people at Mike’s Auto Body. Almost everybody knows the basic laws, such as don’t cross over double yellow lines and never cut in front of the vehicle you just passed, for example. But seemingly many people believe in these myths about passing on the road. So, we’re here to debunk these myths in order to keep you safe on the roads of the Bay Area, some things to keep in mind when the driver in front of you is slow and you’re anxious to pass.
I recently got a ticket for speeding because I sped up to pass the slow poke in front of me. Bad mistake. The whole point of passing is to get by the car in front of you, but if it involves speeding, it’s both illegal and unsafe. Just because someone is lagging in the fast lane does not mean you can speed. The laws of the road apply all the time and your busy schedule won’t give you a free pass with the local police or CHP.
Myth Number Two: A two-way center lane is for passing
Some busy roads have a center lane available for vehicles traveling in either direction. Its purpose is to give drivers trying to make a left turn a place to wait for a break in oncoming traffic without causing a backup. What it most definitely is not is a passing lane. Using it that way isn’t only illegal, it’s dangerous and dumb: there are fewer better ways to ask for a head-on auto body collision, much less a ticket.
Myth Number Three: Signal late (or not at all) so nobody can cut you off
A driver told me once, “I never signal anymore, because when I do the other driver speeds up to make it impossible.” Judging from the drivers we see on California’s highways, it’s widely believed that if you signal, you’re just asking somebody behind you to speed up and block your move. It’s a sad fact that many drivers believe that their lane is theirs and don’t want any other drivers entering it. It stems from human beings and their territorial rights, including the lane they’re driving in.
In fact, signaling in advance of a passing maneuver is the law and in many states you have to signal at least 100 feet before you start to pass. That’s about two seconds on a highway and approximately four seconds on a city road. Your signal reduces your chance of a collision, so cheating here just increases the odds.