It’s seeding time here in the prairies, and that means trucks.
The bread-basket of North America produces a lot of grain.
This grain gets moved around a lot, especially in the spring when farmers need to get money for seed and fertilizer. Before it travels by rail, it usually travels by trucks: Big trucks – Semis, with giant trailers. More often than not they’re pulling TWO trailers, commonly called a B-train. If you get stuck behind one, it can be a long drive, especially when you come to the hills.
As a person of alternate steering lifestyle, the first question most people ask me is “How do you pass?” I’ve addressed this before in a previous entry, but still, the question continues to get asked. The obvious, if not facetious answer, is I indicate, pull out, accelerate, indicate, pull back in, and continue on my merry way. But that’s not really what they mean, is it?
It’s all about angles and sightlines.
1. Don’t tailgate.
2. Increase your distance behind the vehicle you want to pass until you can see the entire road ahead of you, the same way you would if you were sitting 20 inches or so the left, or the “non-right” side. This requires a lot less space than you’d imagine, even if its a giant truck.
3. Looks clear? Okay, without taking the wheel with you, do a lean out with your head to ensure all is as clear as it was a half second ago when you last looked. Unless your name is FIDO, this doesn’t require rolling down the window. Just lean your head over a little until you’re seeing from closer to the centerline of your vehicle.
4. Still good to go? Okay, begin closing the gap as you cross the yellow line, and by the time you reach the target, you are already eclipsing their speed at a rate which will put you in the opposing lane for the shortest possible window.
LUCK is not a “strategy”
1. Don’t pass on a curve.
2. Don’t pass on solid line.
3. Don’t peek out from the shoulder side. You’ll likely miss something, even as you run over a shredded tire. Plus, it looks weird.
3. Don’t outdrive your visibility, whether that factor is daylight, fog, or precipitation.
3. Don’t pass if a blind hill is approaching.
Does this list sound familiar? That’s because LH-drivers should be doing the exact same thing. It’s not rocket science. RHD can pass on single lane highways just as safely as LHD vehicles can, as long as you work that angle.
I’ve used this method successfully behind the wheel of everything from super-slow diesel SUV’s to very quick Lancer Evolutions. I’ve never had a head on collision, and I haven’t died, not even a single time.
So go ahead. Take that back road. Enjoy the drive. And if you need to overtake on a single lane highway, do it safely. So you can enjoy the next drive!