This Bajaj Dominar 400 crash explains everything you should NOT do while overtaking

There are a lot of accidents that take place due to one driver/rider being overconfident and then running out of luck in the end. Here is one such crash that led to a Dominar getting hit:

What happened here:

Above, you can see a video of that exactly happened. The incident took place on a highway outside Bangalore. The road is an undivided one with traffic moving in both directions. From the beginning of the video, you see a Getz that is trying to overtake the Dominar in front.

Initially, the road had a solid white line (which means no overtaking) but we still see the Getz trying to pull the overtake. He wasn’t successful though. He did not attempt a quick overtaking by downshifting and accelerating, and instead probably chose to continue in the same gear, trying to inch ahead of the motorcyclist. When the road does turn to broken white lines (which means overtaking is allowed), the Getz driver tries the overtaking maneuver (still too slowly), but misjudges the speed of the bus in front of him. On seeing that he will hit the bus head on, he swerves to the left hitting the Dominar rider. The rider is flung off his bike and is thrown off the road.

What could have been done differently?

The driver, on seeing the bus should have braked and come in behind the rider, since there was no room to overtake. The other thing that could have been done was for the Getz driver to downshift, accelerate harder and overtake. There was more than enough time for him to do that, and he did not. It might have been illegal, but still safe.

The motorcyclist for his part either did not see the Getz struggling to overtake him so slowly. He could have just ceded way to the Getz by adopting a defensive riding strategy. He could have paid more attention to his rear view mirror, noticed the inept overtaking attempt by the car driver, and move out of his way for his own safety. This brings us to the next:

7 golden rules for safe overtaking:

  1. Never overtake on curves. Only do so on straight roads where you have good enough visibility of the road ahead.
  2. Always make your presence felt while overtaking. This can be either flashing your lights or honking. Make sure the other driver/rider knows you are coming through so that he doesn’t get startled on seeing you.
  3. Keep an eye on the mirror to see if the overtake has been completed before pulling over in front of the other vehicle. If the Getz driver in this case was looking at his mirror, he would have seen the bike rider there. Same for the rider. If he would have seen the car coming, he could have moved a little to the left and prevented injury.
  4. Overtakes are meant to be quick. If you are pulling an overtake, ensure you are in the right gear and have the right amount of power to pull the overtake as soon as possible. Here you see the Getz driver didn’t speed up enough to overtake the Dominar and hence crashed into him.
  5. Brake if needed. If you think that the overtake cannot be done, brake and pull in behind the vehicle. Do not risk an overtake when you are unsure if you can make it or not, especially if there is a heavy vehicle coming the other way.
  6. Know your car’s limitation. Most of us drive cars that aren’t really powerful. This coupled with the fact that cars are normally loaded with passengers and luggage on the highway makes overtaking more tricky. You need to understand that your car with added weight will see a drop in performance, which should be taken into consideration while overtaking.
  7. Know where to overtake. A solid white line on the road means no overtaking is allowed. A broken white line means overtaking is allowed. However, you have to make sure that you have clear vision and road ahead.