When and Where To Overtake

When and Where To Overtake

Updated on April 19 2024

In the Philippines, there are different kinds of drivers-- fast, slow, and cautious. It is the second type of driver that is very tempting especially if they are slowing you down. Overtaking is a necessary but risky maneuver.  Learning how to overtake safely is important because it will not only save you and your passengers but also that of other drivers.

According to the MMDA-TEC Road Safety Unit MMARAS Annual Report 2018, bad overtaking is the 8th cause of road accidents in the Philippines. Here at Automart.PH, we want you to be armed with the knowledge of safe overtaking.

Safe Overtaking

To prevent overtaking accidents, you need to be aware of what is happening on the road as well as aware of other vehicles both in front and behind you. Your objective is to lessen the danger through proper acceleration. You need to have the proper gear to execute overtaking in the quickest possible time. Here are some steps on how to properly execute overtaking:

  • Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front. It will allow you to have ample time to react in case the vehicle in front makes a sudden stop or slows down. Check the oncoming traffic and see if there is enough room ahead. Look around if there is no vehicle or hazard in front.
  • Check the traffic behind as the vehicles behind may want to execute an overtaking maneuver on you. Use your side mirrors and check blind spots. Use your signal lights to indicate your intention to other drivers. Flash your signal lights for at least five seconds before making your move and keep an eye on other vehicles.
  • Once you are absolutely sure that there is safe distance and there is a clear road ahead, create enough passing clearance. Let the other driver know of your intention by blowing your horn or flashing your headlight and make the other driver aware that you are overtaking him or her.
  • Step on the gas and overtake as quickly as possible. You may need to shift to a lower gear to allow more power and acceleration.
  • After a successful overtake, switch on your signal light to inform the other driver that you want to get back into lane. Return to the lane as soon as you can and be careful not to cram the other driver you have just overtaken. Resume normal driving speed.

Where Not To Overtake?

As a responsible driver, you should also know the locations where it is prohibited to overtake. The most obvious place is in areas where there is a “No Overtaking” sign. Section 41 Article II of RA 4136 covers the restrictions on overtaking and passing. Under this section, in passing another vehicle going in the same direction, overtaking on the left side of the center line of a highway is not allowed unless it is clear and visible and free of other vehicles.

In addition, you are not allowed to execute an overtake when approaching a crest of a grade, not upon a curve in the highway, where the view of a driver is obstructed within a distance of 500 feet ahead. Lastly, they are not allowed to overtake on a railroad crossing or an intersection of highways unless controlled by a traffic signal or allowed by a watchman.  

In roads with pavement markings, overtaking is not allowed if it has two parallel yellow lines in the middle. Also, overtaking is prohibited when there is one continuous line on the left unless the line closest to you is broken.

Where To Overtake

Under Article II Sec. 39 of RA 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, passing another vehicle shall be done on the left side of the highway. The driver only returns to the right lane until it is safe and clear to do so. Section 39 also states that in business or residential districts with two or more lanes, drivers may be allowed to overtake on the right side,

Meanwhile, Section 40 of the said article of  the law states that a driver of a vehicle about to be overtaken and passed by another vehicle approaching from the rear shall give way to the overtaking vehicle using an audible and suitable signal. The said driver shall not increase speed until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

When You Are The One Being Overtaken

If you are the one being passed by another car, show courtesy to the other driver. Do cooperate with the other driver and make it easy for them to pass you for both your safety. It is always better to just reduce your speed so that they can pass you in the quickest time possible.

Overtaking is something that you really cannot avoid since you need to get ahead of the car in front of you. The best thing you can do is always put your safety and that of the other driver in mind and always be mindful of your surroundings.