Meeting and Passing Cars on Driving Lessons

When confronted with oncoming vehicles the first thing to do is decide on priorities. When cars are parked on your side of the road then oncoming cars have priority. When cars are parked on the opposite side of the road then you get to proceed first. When cars are double parked, one on each side of the road then there is equal priority. A good level of forward planning and anticipation is necessary in this situation. If two cars meet in a narrow gap and other cars are following close behind then the road can easily become gridlocked.

When you see a parked vehicle on your side of the road check mirrors and pull to the right of your lane for an early view of the road ahead, if no other cars are approaching in the other direction then just drive on through. If something is coming the other way and you think the gap is big enough then drive through the gap slowly. Remember, less space means less speed. You must be able to stop if someone gets out of a parked car. If a car is coming and there is no room for you to get through then wait in what’s called the hold back position. Slightly to the right of your lane and two to three car lengths back from the obstruction. This way you can see and be seen. Many drivers make the mistake of pulling too far to the left and too close to the parked car, following traffic will tend to drive past and block you in if you do this.

In older parts of town where streets are really crowded you may get parked vehicles on both sides of the road with only enough room for one car to fit down the middle. Now cars in both directions have equal priority. Here’s where your ability to communicate with other drivers comes into play. If the other car speeds up and moves towards the middle then hold back and let them through. If they slow down and seem to be giving way then proceed with caution. Many qualified drivers will flash their headlights to signal that they are giving way and this is frowned upon by driver trainers. According to the Highway…

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