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).
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?
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.
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!“