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Dashcam: The disastrous consequences of following too closely and attempting to overtake

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It can never be over-emphasized how dangerous it is to follow the vehicle ahead of you too closely and it gets even more dangerous when its a truck and you attempt to overtake.

In this video, of a fatal crash which happened on the Old Kriel Bethal road, a few years ago, a mix of following too closely behind a truck and attempting to overtake proved fatal to the driver.

The truck driver was killed and his assistant seriously injured after their truck collided head-on with another truck.

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Dashcam footage from the truck which was being overtaken showed the truck ahead and the one behind as it attempted to overtake leading to the crash.

The dashcam footage, clearly shows that the trailing truck failed to keep enough gap from the recording truck.

Another mistake the trucker made is that he seems to have gained good speed to overtake but he only started the manoeuvre too closely to the truck ahead of him which giving him no chance to correct his mistake.

We have slowed down the video so that everyone can see frame by frame as to what really caused the crash.

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As a professional truck driver these are situations you should always remind yourself of before attempting to overtake.

Watch the video below and read on for tips on safe overtaking.

Tips to safe overtaking:

Keep a gap big enough to allow you to see infront of the vehicle ahead without leaving your lane. If you have to move to the right to see ahead of the vehicle in front, it means you are following too closely.

The gap between you and the vehicle ahead should be enough for you to move safely to the right, not to swerve as you initiate your manoeuvre.

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Before changing position, you should once again observe in front and to the back to check of the vehicle behind is not already overtaking you.

Indicate your intention to overtake in time. If you are dealing with another professional truck driver, he will notify you of the danger ahead before you try overtaking.

Move out to the offside position without significantly increasing your speed just in case it’s not safe to continue.

Fast acceleration and unnecessary speeding are dangerous just before overtaking, as proven in the video.

If in case you do accelerate, the distance required for safe overtaking reduces rapidly and could result in an accident (as seen in the video) hence your manoeuvre should be determined by the gap you have ahead.

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