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A Salisbury, North Carolina (N.C.) teen was killed in a car crash last Saturday after attempting to pass another vehicle, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol. The fatal accident occurred in the early hours of the morning. It is unclear as to whether alcohol played a role in the wreck.

The accident victim, Marc Joseph Payette who was 17, was driving a 1998 Dodge pickup and attempted to pass a 2000 Ford pickup on Centenary Church Road before 3 a.m. near Salisbury, N.C. In the process, Payette struck the Ford, then swerved and hit a nearby tree, the Highway Patrol said. The driver of the Ford had possible injuries, but wasn’t taken to the hospital.

This tragic death of such a young man is terrible. It is always best to be conservative in your judgment when it comes to driving safety. Safe driving is important to everyone. Some situations, however, can be tricky for both the newly licensed and the experienced drivers. Passing a car on a two-lane road requires special care so here are a few tips and rules of the road to keep you safely on your way.

  1. Be observant of any posted warning signs. The "Do Not Pass" sign indicates that passing a car is prohibited. This is a common sign on two-lane roads where visibility is obscured. Look for a sign that says "Pass with Care" to indicate the end of a no-passing zone.
  2. Check the dotted line. Make sure you have a dotted lane line on your side of the road. Solid yellow lines indicate that passing is not allowed. On many rural two-lane roads, there may not be lane lines. Exercise caution at all times when traveling a two-lane road with traffic moving in both directions.
  3. Verify that the passing lane is clear. Make sure you have complete visibility on a hill or around a curve. Do not attempt to pass if another car is trying to pass you or if another car is approaching in the opposite lane.
  4. Signal that you intend to pass. It is important for the driver ahead of you to know of your intention to pass. Use your turn signal to alert the driver. Flashing your headlights is also a good way to alert the driver ahead.
  5. Increase your speed to pass the other car. Position your vehicle a car length away from the vehicle ahead and then accelerate to approximately 10 miles per hour faster than the car you are passing. Always maintain a speed within the posted speed limit.
  6. Confirm that you have passed the other car. Check your rear view mirror to make sure that you have completely passed the car and have enough clear space to safely re-enter your lane.

Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), with an office also in Elizabeth City, in Northeast North Carolina (NC), practicing primarily in the southeastern U.S. and handles only injury law, including car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. Our Carolina injury law website is:, the firm edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, as well as the Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard and also hosts a YouTube injury law video library covering many FAQ’s on personal injury subjects. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY.


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