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Drivers: opinions please on two overtaking hazards Watch

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    Actually, I'd be interested in anyones opinions, not just drivers but it might be a question of more interest to people who drive.
    There was a driving accident near where I live earlier this week; it was quite bad, both drivers involved were killed. It occurred as a result of an overtaking manoeuvre. In thinking about the incident it struck me how potentially dangerous such manoeuvres can be. Below I give two examples of overtaking manoeuvres. Bear in mind I live and drive in the UK so I am describing situations in which drivers would normally drive on the left side of the carriageway and overtake by pulling out to their right.
    I would be interested to know what other people think about who should take prime responsibility for ensuring the manoeuvre is carried out safely. Below, I have given my opinion, what’s yours?
    Example 1
    This example concerns motorway driving. Driver A is in the left lane following a slow moving lorry down a three lane carriageway (speed limit 70mph in UK), he looks in his mirrors and sees that there is a vehicle coming up behind him in the middle lane (Driver B) but it is quite a way back and, although gaining on him, is doing so slowly enough for him to safely pull out in front of it to overtake the lorry. Driver A indicates and pulls out into the middle lane and is hit by a car (Driver C) that he hadn’t noticed coming up in the far right lane that, having overtaken Driver B, had indicated and manoeuvred into the middle lane at precisely the same time driver A had chosen to occupy the same lane.
    My reading of this situation is as follows. Both driver A and C are entitled to make their respective manoeuvre into the middle lane. But from a purely practical point of view it is difficult for driver A to see or account for the movements of drivers in the far right lane. Therefore I do not think he can be expected to have anticipated Driver C coming in from this lane. Driver C however, can easily see Driver A and B so once he had overtaken Driver B he aught to have stayed out in the far right lane just in case Driver A made the type of manoeuvre he did. Of course, since the slow moving lorry is in front of driver A, Driver C would not be able to safely move into the middle lane till he had also cleared this vehicle as well.
    Example 2
    This example concerns town driving. Driver A is again following a slow moving lorry (it’s just not his day, is it.) He wants to pull out into the right lane to get around the lorry and can see far enough down the road to see that the vehicle coming the opposite way (Driver B) is some 500 yards / meters away. He judges he can clear the lorry in 200 yards by which time the combined speed of Driver A and B means they will be some 400 yards closer to each other. This gives Driver A 100 yards to play with and so he judges he can safely make the manoeuvre.
    Driver A indicates and pulls out to overtake just as a car (Driver C) he hadn’t seen in a side street to his right pulls out into the lane he is intending to overtake in. driver C is only 200 yards down the street so Driver A now has insufficient time to get past the lorry. Driver A now wants to pull back in behind the lorry but another car has pulled up into the available space and driver C, having belatedly seen Driver A on his side of the road, wants to retreat back into the side street but is also unable to because a car has moved into the available space.
    My reading of the situation is as follows. Again, the two drivers seemed to be making reasonable manoeuvres at the moment they made them only to find that they became dangerous the instant they did so because of the unanticipated actions of someone else. So who should have had the responsibility of anticipating this danger and not going ahead with their manoeuvre? How could driver A have known Driver C would pull out onto the main road just as he was making his manoeuvre. This suggests that Driver C is in error for pulling out of the side street when he did but when he began his manoeuvre his die of the main road was empty and it was not therefore unreasonable for him to pull out.
    I’m less sure about this scenario but I would guess Driver A should be held responsible because, in attempting an overtaking manoeuvre (something that is inherently risky) it is his responsibility to ensure he only makes it if he is sure he can complete it safely which probably means he should not even attempt it if he can see a side street on the right hand side of the main road ahead of him. But what if the side street is on the left side and therefore obscured from view by the lorry? If he is to be held responsible for drivers pulling out of side streets on this side he may not be able to attempt an overtaking manoeuvre at all because he can never be sure a driver will not emerge at the last minute from this side.
    Sorry the question was a bit long, hope you stuck it out to the bitter end; if you didn’t you won’t have read my apology which serves you right you impatient b…..! Just joking!
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    Example 1 I have the same opinion as you, I would have thought the driver C in the fast lane stood a better chance of seeing driver A than vice versa but that's not to say there was no way driver A could have seen driver C.

    With the latter one, I just wouldn't try and overtake if there were side streets and the like unless it was in the country and you could see no cars coming up/down to get in your way, I would take the fact that someone could pull out of a side street into account and probably not bother with the manouver, I'd go another route or just sit tight. Where I live you regularly get pulled out on and so I wouldn't want to be accelerating too much as I went by side streets.

    The car behind the lorry should, IMO have dropped back and left space for driver A to move back out of etiquette. But if I was driver A there is no way I would have done that manouver if I couldn't see very well who was coming out of side streets or if there was a queue of cars up there. I think driver C was doing a much less hazardous manouver.

    I'm not the type of person who's ever in much of a hurry, like I don't do a go slow but I don't speed unless I'm on a motorway usually, every round here is crawling with police and I'm used to leaving well in advance as a result of slow people
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    The first scenario I agree with you that it's car C's responsibility as he can see car A.

    The second scenario is car A's responsibility as you simply don't overtake on roads with an side road. There's a car crash blackspot near my house because of this scenario because when you're turning left many people don't look left along with a short straight and a recycling company opposite (lots of slow truck traffic) makes for atleast one fatal crash and many more head on crashes.
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    Example 1 - the usual 'if you run into the back of someone it's your fault' rule applies IMO.
    Someone approaching the back of a lorry on a motorway is quite likely to try overtaking it so C should have anticipated it and not been in such a hurry to pull into the middle lane. Quite often people do seem to enjoy pulling into the middle lane sharply after overtaking someone who's driving along the middle lane when the inside lane is clear - to 'teach them a lesson'

    Hopefully A used his indicators a few seconds before commencing the overtaking manoeuvres rather than the usual 'I've already started changing lane' signal you usually get from people on motorways.

    Example 2 - the hidden side road will have been signposted, people pull out of side roads without looking for traffic coming at them on the wrong side of the road (i.e. overtaking) all the time so it's something A could have anticipated. You really shouldn't be overtaking through junctions IMO (not even sure what the highway code says about this)

    also driver D shouldn't be in such a hurry to close the gap with the truck.

    all IMO
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    example 1, both are to blame for a) not looking properly and b) poor anticipation. Although A is slightly less to blame.
    any good motorway driver checks their blind spot before changing lane so with a blind spot check either driver should have seen each other and if paying enough attention seen indicators. That should be enough for you to re-evaluate before moving. Driver C is more to blame as coming up in lane 3 it would have been clear to see that car A closing on the lorry would likely pull into middle lane (ie sensible anticipation) and hence keep an extra eye on car A until past the lorry.

    Example 2. Plain and simple, car A to blame for dangerous overtaking manouver. Also it doesnt matter about the car pulling out side road as car A is on the wrong side of the road and hence always in the wrong.
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    (Original post by Martin E)
    Example 1
    This example concerns motorway driving. Driver A is in the left lane following a slow moving lorry down a three lane carriageway (speed limit 70mph in UK), he looks in his mirrors and sees that there is a vehicle coming up behind him in the middle lane (Driver B) but it is quite a way back and, although gaining on him, is doing so slowly enough for him to safely pull out in front of it to overtake the lorry. Driver A indicates and pulls out into the middle lane and is hit by a car (Driver C) that he hadn’t noticed coming up in the far right lane that, having overtaken Driver B, had indicated and manoeuvred into the middle lane at precisely the same time driver A had chosen to occupy the same lane.
    My reading of this situation is as follows. Both driver A and C are entitled to make their respective manoeuvre into the middle lane. But from a purely practical point of view it is difficult for driver A to see or account for the movements of drivers in the far right lane. Therefore I do not think he can be expected to have anticipated Driver C coming in from this lane. Driver C however, can easily see Driver A and B so once he had overtaken Driver B he aught to have stayed out in the far right lane just in case Driver A made the type of manoeuvre he did. Of course, since the slow moving lorry is in front of driver A, Driver C would not be able to safely move into the middle lane till he had also cleared this vehicle as well.
    No - he should have anticipated it. Instead of relying on mirrors alone he should perform a shoulder check (lifesaver), and ideally look twice to take account of the blind spot caused by Driver B. Even so, Driver C should anticipate Driver A moving out to overtake the lorry.

    Example 2
    This example concerns town driving. Driver A is again following a slow moving lorry (it’s just not his day, is it.) He wants to pull out into the right lane to get around the lorry and can see far enough down the road to see that the vehicle coming the opposite way (Driver B) is some 500 yards / meters away. He judges he can clear the lorry in 200 yards by which time the combined speed of Driver A and B means they will be some 400 yards closer to each other. This gives Driver A 100 yards to play with and so he judges he can safely make the manoeuvre.
    Driver A indicates and pulls out to overtake just as a car (Driver C) he hadn’t seen in a side street to his right pulls out into the lane he is intending to overtake in. driver C is only 200 yards down the street so Driver A now has insufficient time to get past the lorry. Driver A now wants to pull back in behind the lorry but another car has pulled up into the available space and driver C, having belatedly seen Driver A on his side of the road, wants to retreat back into the side street but is also unable to because a car has moved into the available space.
    My reading of the situation is as follows. Again, the two drivers seemed to be making reasonable manoeuvres at the moment they made them only to find that they became dangerous the instant they did so because of the unanticipated actions of someone else. So who should have had the responsibility of anticipating this danger and not going ahead with their manoeuvre? How could driver A have known Driver C would pull out onto the main road just as he was making his manoeuvre. This suggests that Driver C is in error for pulling out of the side street when he did but when he began his manoeuvre his die of the main road was empty and it was not therefore unreasonable for him to pull out.
    I’m less sure about this scenario but I would guess Driver A should be held responsible because, in attempting an overtaking manoeuvre (something that is inherently risky) it is his responsibility to ensure he only makes it if he is sure he can complete it safely which probably means he should not even attempt it if he can see a side street on the right hand side of the main road ahead of him. But what if the side street is on the left side and therefore obscured from view by the lorry? If he is to be held responsible for drivers pulling out of side streets on this side he may not be able to attempt an overtaking manoeuvre at all because he can never be sure a driver will not emerge at the last minute from this side.
    Sorry the question was a bit long, hope you stuck it out to the bitter end; if you didn’t you won’t have read my apology which serves you right you impatient b…..! Just joking!
    Driver A should not be overtaking where there is a side street to the right. The vehicle he is overtaking could turn into it, or in the example you give, a car could emerge from it.

    Both of these scenarios are fairly elementary stuff, and are given as illustrations in Roadcraft as examples of dangerous driving (p.153 and p.135 of the 2005 edition).
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    We seem to be in agreement then. I must admit its been a few years since I've looked at the Highway Code; perhaps I need a refresher course as I wasn't as certain about these things as it appears I should have been.
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    (Original post by Jez RR)
    No - he should have anticipated it. Instead of relying on mirrors alone he should perform a shoulder check (lifesaver), and ideally look twice to take account of the blind spot caused by Driver B. Even so, Driver C should anticipate Driver A moving out to overtake the lorry.



    Driver A should not be overtaking where there is a side street to the right. The vehicle he is overtaking could turn into it, or in the example you give, a car could emerge from it.

    Both of these scenarios are fairly elementary stuff, and are given as illustrations in Roadcraft as examples of dangerous driving (p.153 and p.135 of the 2005 edition).
    What Jez said...

    Tried to rep but couldn't but this is basically exactly what i was gonna say...
 
 
 
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