A-Class Driving School's Online Driving Tutorial - Overtaking
This is probably the most dangerous manoeuvre you'll be asked to do. If you are travelling at 60mph and there is a car coming towards you at 60mph that means the closing speed of the two cars is 120mph!
You'll not have to do this on a single carriageway during your exam (unless something extraordinary happens), but if you are travelling down a dual carriageway and there is a slow moving vehicle in front of you, you will be expected to make progress. Not doing so has resulted in failing tests before.
There are three things you must ask yourself before attempting this move.
1 - Is it safe? What view do you have of the road? Are there any cars coming towards you? Is there a brow of a hill, junction or a bend coming up?
2 - Is it legal? Is there a crossing coming up? Do road markings say it's not allowed? What is the speed limit? Image B shows you a range of road signs where overtaking is not allowed.
3 - Is it necessary? Are you turning off soon? Will you be able to make any progress?
The procedure for this is M-P-S-L-M-S-M (P-S-L) -M-S.
Mirrors - interior and right door mirror for anyone who could also be wanting to overtake.
Position - You need to position yourself behind the car in front so you can see ahead of you well, making sure nothing is coming towards you.
Speed - You need to match that of the car in front. Too close and you'll block your view of the road ahead (Image A). Too far away and you'll have no chance of getting past the car.
Look - Take one more look around and down the road to make sure it's all clear.
Mirrors - Interior and right door mirror for cars trying to overtake.
Signal - Signal to let everyone, including the person in front that you intend to overtake.
Manoeuvre - Position yourself to move around the car. Your speed needs to increase, get past the car as quickly and efficiently.
Looking ahead for any changes in the road; bends, junctions, cars.
Mirrors - Before moving back in, you must check your mirrors, interior and left door mirror. You MUST be able to see the car in your interior mirror, otherwise you'll be too close to him.
Signal - Signal to the left to let everyone know you're moving back in.
Manoeuvre - Move back on to your side of the road and make progress.
If you see any of these signs it's probably best NOT to overtake