Hello riders this is about safe overtakes. Safety for yourself, your bike and others on the road. The key fact in safety is that you should be concerned about others on the road as much as you concern about yourself.
- Make sure that your side mirrors are set perfectly so that you are able to see what’s going on behind you. Changing lanes come in handy during overtakes if the rear view mirrors are used. Simply changing lanes just like that may hinder the vehicle which is already on the lane.
- Some remove the side mirrors for the reason that they will obstruct the progress while passing through a narrow gap in between two vehicles. Narrow overtaking is always dangerous because you may get squeezed between the vehicles or you may have to brake hard even if one of the vehicles moves towards you. Reacting to and handling your bike within that short period is almost impossible. Another terrible fact is that most of the CV’s (Tata Ace, Bolero Pick-up and the likes) have loose latches/rods sticking out on the sides. Any slack in your cloth may get hooked to them and you will be dragged along.
- The worst case scenario comes with our public transports. If you are tailing them be careful that they may apply brakes suddenly to stop in their regular stops without slowing down early or any warning.
- Adding to the chaos most of the heavy vehicles won’t have their tail lamps working intact. So always maintain a fair distance behind such vehicles. Here is a tip, if you are following such vehicles notice that the brake drums produce a squeaking noise whenever brakes are applied. Act according to that.
- Never overtake a vehicle from the extreme left corner of the road. Because you will not know what is happening on the other side of that vehicle. Also the driver will be focused more on the right side of his vehicle because he won’t be expecting anything to his left as he thinks he is already in the corner.
- On the highways don’t follow a vehicle which is already overtaking another. The driver may apply brakes suddenly if he gets an obstacle in his path. So wait until the vehicle has overtaken and make your move when the path is clear.
- On dealing with oncoming traffic overtake one vehicle at a time. Make sure that you have enough space to place your vehicle back on the lane after overtaking. Also after overtaking don’t switch back to your lane close to the vehicle that you just overtook. Instead move a reasonable distance forward before you switch back. This allows the other driver to maneuver (if there is a need) without any hindrance.
These are only a few tips based on my riding experience, but there are infinite possible situations on the road. To be safe keep all your sensors (senses) active.
You have any more points in mind? Share it with us!
– Shivaram Sundar