to do if things go wrong?:
Keeping it all together if things go wrong when you are nearly past a
car calls for advanced planning. Keep the car prepared and then you hardly
need to react.
The faster the speed the more imperative it is to have the car balanced
and going in a straight line. An emergency swerve could cause a skid while
braking and swerving could be worse. Braking in a straight line is relatively
From the moment you are committed to going on, the secret is to aim the
car straight to your safety point of re-entry to the stream of traffic,
ie, to your side of the road. There may be no danger at this point but
what matters is what could happen in the next split second. Approaching
traffic may be quicker than you judged or an approaching car may swing
out to overtake towards you.
'D' shows the correct overtaking principle. Rather than a haphazard round
detour (shown by a dotted line) it is best to ease out gently as far as
point A. Add speed in the process but don't overaccelerate and skid. From
A go as hard as you can keeping straight as far as B. Till point B you
are not committed. Since you are still in a straight line you can brake
and fall back behind the car you are overtaking. After B it is almost
certain that you must go on as attempting to drop back would be a greater
risk. From B you must get balanced and going straight aim directly for
your safety gap, always keeping in mind the distance the vehicle you are
passing will travel in time.
In the normal course of events, you keep going hard till safely returned
to your own side of the road before steering back on course. Should someone
appear, your confidence should remain intact. Your deliberate pointing
in to the left (you can add the left indicator) tells him you are already
in control of the new situation. He only has to keep in left and judge
whether to slow down. With the car prepared, you hardly need to react
in case of any unexpected turn of events. You keep going as you are (straight
for safety) which is usually enough with no need for panic.
If you had been passing like an amateur you would have probably had to
swing violently to get out of the way, might have skidded and cause a
major accident. Frightened, the oncomer could also blunder towards you
instead of away and skid in the attempt to get clear.
In case of an emergency like for instance two speedies appearing, one
overtaking the other, you might have to brake towards your safety gap,
keeping straight and balanced. Unfortunately this temporarily squeezes
the car being passed. But the advantages in terms of life saving outweigh
this. Being already straight and well poised on your way to safety the
chances are you won't skid into the oncoming vehicle.