Was I over-cautious here (driving related)

al78

Veteran
Location
Horsham
Today, I drove to work (I don't like leaving the car on the drive for more than about three weeks at a time) and coming home, got behind a queue of traffic which was behind a tractor and trailer doing about 25-30 mph. As I got to the last half mile of the main road before I turn into my village the tractor moves left and the traffic steadily overtakes. By the time I got behind it I was at this point on the road. I decided that as I was only about 300 meters or so from the left hand bend just before the roundabout I refrained from overtaking at this point (I would still have had to partially go into the opposing lane to overtake) as I thought it would be cutting it a bit fine for little time gain. This seemed to really annoy the driver behind who flashed his lights and beeped at me. Normally I take an 'if in doubt don't' attitude on the road, but do you think I was too passive here, and would you have overtaken at this point?
 

Pauluk

Senior Member
Location
Leicester
No. If you didn't want to that's your decision and not his to take for you. If you had overtaken then got into a problem he wouldn't have been responsible you would. So just drive safely based on your own judgement and just ignore the stupid and ignorant drivers.
 

Night Train

Maker of Things
I would say you were fine not to overtake if you didn't want to, or felt it wasn't safe or appropriate.

I might have overtaken if there was nothing coming the other way and the tractor was slowed down to give a good speed differential but then again I wasn't there nor do I know the road so maybe I wouldn't either.
Just had another look at the road and there were arrows, just a little further up warning you to keep left before the solid white line so a fair call not to start an overtake.

Some road users just have no patience nor understanding of safety and responsibility on the road.
 

Risex4

Dropped by the autobus
Impossible to say.

What car are you driving? In my (much beloved) non-Turbod 1.7 diesel 306, I would be cautious about overtaking on the motorway...

Is this stretch of road 30 or unrestricted? And generally busy or quiet when you were driving it? If it was a 30 on a generally desolate stretch with a decent engine under you; just maybe.

If it was a 40/50/National with unpredictable oncoming and a not-sure ability of getting past your target, the car behind can honk and fash all it likes.
 
It's up to you what you do and when you do it. Just because some asswipe driving with his dick thinks different, it's his own problem.
I'm more hesitant nowadays as the 318i Beemer is a damn sight slower off the mark than my Astra Turbo was. I'd rather think twice and ignore a neanderthal than end up splattered on a Scania.

I watched a jogger leap out of the way as some dimwit decided to overtake a tractor this morning, she didn't matter to him/her. It's the same spot, same road as the incident that ended my road biking days.
 
OP
al78

al78

Veteran
Location
Horsham
Impossible to say.

What car are you driving? In my (much beloved) non-Turbod 1.7 diesel 306, I would be cautious about overtaking on the motorway...

Is this stretch of road 30 or unrestricted? And generally busy or quiet when you were driving it? If it was a 30 on a generally desolate stretch with a decent engine under you; just maybe.

If it was a 40/50/National with unpredictable oncoming and a not-sure ability of getting past your target, the car behind can honk and fash all it likes.
A Vauxhall Corsa.

It is an NSL road, not busy but not quiet either. At that point on the road the amount of traffic coming the other way depends on what is happening at the roundabout just around the corner, and who is giving way to who at the time. Thus you get pulses of traffic interspersed by quiet periods.

Ah well, back to the cycling tomorrow.
 
OP
al78

al78

Veteran
Location
Horsham
I watched a jogger leap out of the way as some dimwit decided to overtake a tractor this morning, she didn't matter to him/her. It's the same spot, same road as the incident that ended my road biking days.
Sorry to hear that. What happened?
 
Sorry to hear that. What happened?
Two cars in a 60mph limit coming up towards me as I headed down the B6090 at about 30. The chasing car decided to overtake, and just went head-on to me at high speed, I'd guess going at over 70. I waved my arm about trying to be noticed, his car went underneath my arm about 2 feet from my handlebars.

The happiness I now have in my life is too important to risk at the whim of the monumental dickheads being allowed to drive without risk of being caught these days. I ride enough road to get me to the nearest trail on the MTB nowadays, the road bike stays in the shed.
I didn't take the hint when I was nearly taken out by a Nokia driving a Landcruiser a couple of months before.

I won't go into why cycling is so important to me, I've mentioned why in other threads, but it was the last straw.
<Rant>
I think it's time for lifetime driving bans now.
The law is the law, now bloody well enforce it!!
</Rant>
 

buddha

Veteran
At 25-30mph it only takes about 20-25 seconds to travel 300 metres (distance to the roundabout in OP) - if my mental maths is correct?
The "driver behind" is an idiot.
 

GrasB

Veteran
Location
Nr Cambridge
You weren't confident in the overtake so you didn't commit to it. You did the right thing.

Overtaking is one of the most dangerous manoeuvres you can do. So if you have doubts about the safety of the overtake you don't do it. If you don't to commit to the overtake then you should leave a larger than normal gap so that you can be overtaken.
 

asterix

Comrade Member
Location
Limoges or York
Today, I drove to work (I don't like leaving the car on the drive for more than about three weeks at a time) and coming home, got behind a queue of traffic which was behind a tractor and trailer doing about 25-30 mph. As I got to the last half mile of the main road before I turn into my village the tractor moves left and the traffic steadily overtakes. By the time I got behind it I was at this point on the road. I decided that as I was only about 300 meters or so from the left hand bend just before the roundabout I refrained from overtaking at this point (I would still have had to partially go into the opposing lane to overtake) as I thought it would be cutting it a bit fine for little time gain. This seemed to really annoy the driver behind who flashed his lights and beeped at me. Normally I take an 'if in doubt don't' attitude on the road, but do you think I was too passive here, and would you have overtaken at this point?
Nope. Make your own decisions. The guy behind is a <insert expletive of your own choice>.

You weren't confident in the overtake so you didn't commit to it. You did the right thing.

Overtaking is one of the most dangerous manoeuvres you can do. So if you have doubts about the safety of the overtake you don't do it. If you don't to commit to the overtake then you should leave a larger than normal gap so that you can be overtaken.
May I just say that I think a normal gap should be large enough to allow a following vehicle to overtake?

It is far less stressful to leave a good sized gap!

On single carriageways I rarely overtake anything except tractors, cyclists and mopeds. The minute portion of time I might save is simply not worth the risk.
 

GrasB

Veteran
Location
Nr Cambridge
May I just say that I think a normal gap should be large enough to allow a following vehicle to overtake?
Not really, when overtaking there are potentially large speed differentials going on. What is a safe gap at 20-30mph can be awkward to get into if the overtaking vehicle is doing 40-50mph.

Put it another way, in all of my cars starting at 20mph I can be approaching the gap at the front of 3 cars inexcess of the NSL. To slot into a gap that's safe & suitable for travelling at 20 from those sorts of speeds you'll be having to brake hard & turn at the same time. Not that I would do that type of manoeuvre with that sort of gap.
 

accountantpete

Legendary Member
I was once stuck for 30 mins behind a tractor all because the car immediately behind wouldn't overtake.

The angry driver had probably one or two similar bad memories - personally I would have done what you did.
 

benb

Evidence based cyclist
Location
Epsom
It's better to be over-cautious than under-cautious. The time "lost" was negligible, and the car behind was an impatient tosser.
 
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