Overtaking Accidents on Florida Highways
We’ve all driven by accident scenes on the highway at some point, or at least been stuck in the resulting traffic jams. Many of these kinds of accidents are caused by reckless attempts to overtake a slower vehicle, which can have catastrophic consequences for the parties involved. Read on to learn more about the risks of overtaking on highways and what to do in the event of such a collision.
Passing a Slower Moving Vehicle
Overtaking a slower moving vehicle is a common maneuver not only on highways, but on freeways and surface streets alike. When executed properly and legally, passing a slower vehicle can help keep traffic moving more efficiently, avoiding congestion and potential pile-ups. In Florida, drivers who wish to overtake another car that is traveling in the same direction must:
- Give an appropriate signal;
- Pass to the left at a safe distance; and
- Avoid moving back to the right side until it is safe to do so.
There are also rules for drivers who are overtaking a cyclist. In these cases, drivers are required to give the cyclist at least three feet of space when passing. Things become a bit more complicated on two-lane highways. For instance, under Florida law, drivers are barred from passing on a two lane road when traffic is moving in the opposing direction when:
- A solid yellow line is painted on the passing driver’s side of the centerline;
- There are “Do Not Pass” or “No Passing Zone” signs;
- On hills and curves;
- At intersections; and
- Within 100 feet of a bridge, tunnel, or railroad crossing.
When these rules are violated or the passing is done improperly, trying to overtake another vehicle can have devastating repercussions.
Avoid These Dangers When Passing
Generally, the closer a driver gets to another vehicle that he or she wants to pass, the less that person will be able to see ahead. This proves particularly true when passing large vehicles, like trucks and trailers. Drivers that attempt to pass, but don’t fully check their blind spots could end up involved in a head-on collision with the vehicle traveling in the other direction. This is why drivers must return to the right side of the road before coming within 200 feet of any cars traveling in the opposite direction.
Another mistake that many people make when overtaking a slower vehicle is exceeding the speed limit. While this may seem necessary to pass safely, the reality is that speeding while overtaking leaves the driver with little room for error, so not only are accidents more likely, but their outcomes are also more severe. Failing to signal is another common mistake that drivers make when trying to overtake a slower vehicle. A failure to indicate one’s intentions in this way can confuse other drivers, who may not have time to avoid a collision.
Call Today for Help with Your Accident Case
If you or a loved one were involved in an overtaking accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your collision-related losses. For a free evaluation of your case, please call the experienced Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers at Boone & Davis today.