You can legally pass other vehicles on many two-lane roads. As long as you follow the instructions on the road signs — and keep an eye on the type of divider lines in the middle of the road — you are allowed to pass.
But does that mean it’s a good idea? Often, it’s not. Safety experts warn that passing is a very risky activity and that you should avoid it if at all possible.
The problem is that this type of passing, legal or otherwise, requires some judgment calls. There are factors that are out of your control.
For instance, maybe you feel like you have enough space to pass between you and the oncoming traffic. If that oncoming car was moving at 55 miles per hour, you’d be right. However, what you don’t know is that the speeding driver is going 80 miles per hour. You pull out to pass, they close the distance far too quickly, and you get into an accident.
There are also a lot of potential hazards that can obstruct your vision, such as hills or curves in the road. Sometimes, especially at night, it’s difficult to tell exactly what lies ahead. The safest course of action is simply to drive behind the car that you’d like to pass, even if it means going slightly slower than you hoped to travel.
Even if you do this, though, other drivers make risky, unsafe passes all the time. If one of them hits you and puts you in the hospital, you need to know what legal rights you have to financial compensation.