Overtaking and merging

Written by Canrone Cochin

Learn all the basic lessons from driving school Marrickville. Take care when overtaking, changing lanes, and merging. If you have any doubts, wait until it’s safer.

Before overtaking, changing lanes, or merging, always check your mirrors and blind spots. Especially look out for motorcycle riders, bicycle riders, and large vehicles. Make sure you indicate to let others know your intention. Always give other vehicles enough room to overtake, merge or change lanes.

 

Overtaking

Be careful when overtaking. You need to accurately judge the space you need to pass another vehicle safely. If you have any doubts, wait until it’s safer.

Before overtaking, always check your mirrors and blind spots. Motorcycles and bicycles can also be easily hidden behind another vehicle.

 

When you must not overtake

You must not overtake another vehicle:

  • across an unbroken dividing line (single or double)
  • when you do not have a clear view of approaching traffic,

for example, before a crest or curve or if you have

limited visibility

  • when a vehicle is stopping or has stopped at a pedestrian

crossing, intersection, or railway crossing

  • where a road narrows

 

 

Overtaking safely

The faster a vehicle is traveling, the more distance and time you need to overtake.

Before overtaking another vehicle:

  • Check the road ahead is clear, with enough distance for you to safely overtake.
  • Check side streets and other lanes to make sure nothing will enter your overtaking space.
  • Check mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles and other vehicles.
  • Indicate to warn other drivers you intend to overtake. When overtaking:
  • Stay under the speed limit.
  • Make sure there’s room to move back into the lane (you should be able to see the vehicle in your rear vision mirror).
  • Indicate when you move back into your lane

 

Merging and changing lanes

Always check your mirrors and blind spots when changing or merging lanes. Especially look out for motorcycles and bicycles. You must indicate to let others know when you plan to move into another lane. Make sure your indicator is off after you’ve merged or changed lanes.

Changing lanes

When changing lanes, you must give way to vehicles in the lane you're moving into.

Changing lanes when a lane ends

When the lane you’re driving in is ending and you need to cross a broken line to move into another lane, you must give way to vehicles already in that lane – for example, when you’re joining a motorway.

Slow down and look for a suitable gap so you can change lanes safely.

If a vehicle is moving into your lane, you should leave a suitable gap.

Merging lanes

When you’re driving on a road and the number of lanes or lines of traffic reduces and there are no longer any road markings, you must give way to the vehicle that’s ahead of you. This is called a zipper merge.

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