The Law Office of Matthew E. Bennett
A Maryland Law Firm Based in Silver Spring And Serving Surrounding Communities
301-960-5347

Passing can be helpful, but when is it illegal?

Knowing your roadway directions and instructions is important, even if that information is only a display through lines on the road. If you understand what lines, signs and symbols mean, you could help yourself become a safer driver and, hopefully, avoid crashes on the road.

Take passing for example. You may find yourself in certain instances while on the road when a slow-moving vehicle is in front of you or someone in front of you is driving erratically or otherwise unsafely. As a result, you may want to go around that vehicle and get on your way. However, do you know when you can pass safely?

Check dividing lines

Roadway markers can indicate whether a driver can legally pass another vehicle in many ways. For instance, the lines that divide lanes of travel can indicate your legal ability to pass. If you see a double yellow line dividing opposite lanes of travel, neither side can pass in that area. If your side of the yellow line is solid and the other side is a dashed line, the drivers on the other side can pass and you cannot, and vice versa. If a single dashed yellow line separates the lanes, either side can pass.

Check your speed

Even when attempting to pass another vehicle, you must still adhere to the speed limit for the area. If the act of passing would result in you exceeding the speed limit, the act is illegal. Some people may hold the misconception that driving over the speed limit momentarily in order to pass another vehicle is acceptable, but it is not.

Check your surroundings

In some cases, certain parts of the road may not have distinct markers indicating no-passing zones. However, you can discern whether you could pass safely by checking your surroundings. If you are approaching a hill or curve in the road, you should not attempt to pass another vehicle. Hills and curves limit your line of sight, which means you may not have a chance to see an oncoming vehicle before a crash occurs.

Check your legal options

Though you may understand the importance of passing another vehicle safely and of staying put when necessary, other drivers may operate their vehicles more recklessly. If someone causes a car accident due to passing illegally or recklessly and causes you injury, you may have reason to file a personal injury claim against that driver. Exploring this and other legal options may help you understand how to pursue compensation for damages allowable under Maryland state law.

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The Law Office of Matthew E. Bennett
8720 Georgia Avenue
Suite 701
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Phone: 301-960-5347
Fax: 301-589-1585
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Attorney Matthew E. Bennett