Passing Other Cars in Kentucky can be Dangerous

May 9, 2012

It can be frustrating, being stuck behind someone driving slower than you want to go, especially if they are going below the speed limit or you are running late. If this occurs on a road with four lanes or more, it may seem fairly easy to move to the left lane and pass the person. Passing on a two-lane road is inherently more challenging. But both scenarios can be dangerous, as two Kentucky drivers discovered recently.

On Saturday, May 5, 2012, two teens were driving on U.S. 68, which is a two-lane road, near Campbellsville, Kentucky. The driver decided to pass the car ahead of them and pulled into the left-hand lane. Unfortunately, a car was coming from the other direction and the two collided head-on, resulting in a deadly car accident. Both cars rolled over and the teens tragically lost their lives. The driver of the other vehicle was taken to the hospital with injuries and was released the next day.

In another accident on Sunday of the same weekend, a driver again attempted to pass the car in front of him. This time the accident occurred on KY 213 in Morehead, Kentucky. When the passing car moved back into the lane in front of the other car, it clipped the front bumper. Both drivers appear to have lost control, and this car wreck injured all three people in the cars, including one critically.

These two accidents highlight the importance of using caution when passing other cars. Teendriving.com, a website started by a teen driver who was concerned about the number of accidents involving his classmates, provides the following tips about passing to drivers:

Don't Pass:

  • When there is a solid yellow line on your side
  • When you're uncertain there is enough time or space
  • When you can't see around a curve or over a hill
  • When behind multiple cars and passing one car doesn't really make any difference
  • On two lane roads, don't pass tractors or trucks or others you can't see around
  • In hazardous weather conditions
  • When another car is coming toward you in the opposite lane
  • When a car is passing you
  • When there is construction or road work
  • When the car in front of you is going the maximum speed limit
  • When on narrow roads, on bridges, or in tunnels
  • When you are unfamiliar with the car you are driving and its capabilities
  • Don't play leap frog by passing a friend that just passed you

Passing with Caution:

  • Only pass if there's a dotted line on your side.
  • Check that the passing lane is clear.
  • Make sure you have plenty of space to pass safely.
  • Signal before you pass.
  • Pass at least ten miles per hour faster than the car you're passing while not exceeding the speed limit.
  • Make sure you have cleared the passed car with enough space before pulling back into your lane.

These tips will help keep drivers of all ages safe when passing other cars. Keep in mind that being on time for an appointment or getting ahead of someone who is driving too slow is not worth risking your life or the lives of those around you. Please be careful when passing another vehicle.

If you are involved in a car accident caused by unsuccessful passing, or any other type of accident, a Kentucky car accident attorney can help you sort through the facts, determine what claims need to filed, and decide whether any legal action such as a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit needs to be taken. Charles Miller and Rheanne Falkner are experienced Kentucky personal injury attorneys who have helped numerous victims and their families through this difficult situation.


2 Campbellsville teens killed in head-on collision; WLKY; Marissa Alter; May 7, 2012
Two-vehicle accident in Powell County Kentucky leaves one person critically injured; WOWK; Tiersa Davis; May 6, 2012