A Truly Dirty Trick by Too Many Drivers, When Overtaking!

Does any driver enjoy getting a large amount of snow,  dirty water, or — worst of all — salt-filled winter slush thrown up onto their windscreen, temporarily making it hard to see and needing large amounts of windshield washer fluid to clean it away?  It’s a silly question, isn’t it?  It’s obvious that none of us likes that experience, especially as it can at least briefly make things unsafe, through the loss of view, the distraction of rectifying the lost view, and last but by no means least, the fact that the overtaken driver has now been forced into a tailgating scenario (see more about this, below).

Photograph in torrential rain on an interstate, in which the driver ahead of ours had suddenly pulled into our lane, too close ahead and without signalling, but then braked firmly as well. His spray and proximity badly harmed our already poor view and his braking was dangerous.
The driver directly in front of us in this photo dived into our lane, without signalling and far too close for safety, which also drowned our windscreen in his spray. Then, however, he riskily braked quite firmly and forced us to do likewise. Obviously, that is not something a sensible person wishes to do in such terrible traffic conditions. Copyright image.

So why is it that even on quiet, divided highways, some drivers mindlessly pull in too soon, right in front of a vehicle they have just passed, thus dramatically increasing the amount of snow, slush or water thrown onto the vehicle that is now newly behind them?

Photograph of a Volkswagen car in the left lane on an Interstate highway, that is about to cut in front of our own vehicle far too quickly. The mass of spray thrown up will hit our windscreen in moments.
The bad driver in the white Volkswagen is already far too close behind the motorcycle, especially given the very wet road, and is now in a rush to get into the right-hand lane, ahead of us, in order to speed past the motorcycle on the wrong side. Our own driver knew enough to get the wipers on full speed before our windscreen was hit by all the spray coming up from the back wheels of the VW. Copyright image.

On multi-lane highways this is the exact opposite of the left-lane hogger and it is certainly just as thoughtless.

It happens on undivided roads, too;  often when a driver overtakes another vehicle at an unsuitable, unsafe or even illegal location and is trying to get back to the correct side of the road as quickly as possible.

Photograph of huge quantities of snow being thrown up from the wheels of a pick-up truck during a potentially deadly passing maneuver.
The driver of this pick-up truck has just done a homicidal overtake, with very poor view on a snow-covered road, and is not cutting in dangerously close ahead. The snow coming up from his wheels is about to bury our windshield and almost entirely block our view. (See the next two photographs in the sequence for what happens next)! Copyright image.

The photograph above is the second one from a series of four that show a particularly stupid and potentially lethal passing maneuver from which all drivers need to learn how best to protect themselves, and which is the subject of a separate article.  At ADoNA, we will happily work with your drivers in winter conditions (or the rest of the year!) anywhere suitable in North America.  If this is relevant to you, please contact us about our courses.

Even when the road surface is dry and clean, a vehicle pulling in too soon front of you will not only block a significant part of your view but will also be far too close to you in terms of you having a safe following distance between you and him.  The only thing you can and should do is to slow down — gently if there is another vehicle close behind you — until you have re-established the necessary safe following distance to the vehicle that has just chopped in front of you.  After quickly checking your mirror, this can often be done simply by easing off the gas for a few seconds but depending upon the circumstances be prepared to use your brakes as well.  It only takes a moment and, as always, even if you are in a hurry it is better to arrive at your destination a little late than be “dead on time!

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Author: EddieWren

Eddie Wren is the CEO and Chief Instructor at Advanced Drivers of North America. His driver safety background is given at: http://www.advanceddrivers.com/ceochief-instructors-resumecvbio/

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