Top Things To Consider When Overtaking | LTrent Driving School

Top Things To Consider When Overtaking

Top Things To Consider When Overtaking | LTrent Driving School

Stay Safe When You Pass A Vehicle!

Overtaking another vehicle may be necessary if they’re driving under the speed limit. But there are some key considerations you need to keep in mind to ensure you keep other road users safe, and obey all road rules while you pass the vehicle in front of you. In this blog, the team at LTrent Driving School will discuss a few of the top things you need to keep in mind when you pass a vehicle. 

What To Consider Before Overtaking

There are a few things that you must consider before beginning to overtake a vehicle in front of you:

  • You must be sure that it is safe to overtake the vehicle
  • If you are on a single lane road and must pass on the “wrong” side of the road, you must make sure the road ahead is clear of approaching traffic for a sufficient distance
  • You must not endanger the vehicle that is being overtaken or approaching vehicles
  • You must be sure that no other vehicle is trying to overtake your vehicle by checking your mirrors and blind spot
  • You must signal your intention to overtake for a long enough period of time that all other road users will be aware of your manoeuvre

If you can abide by all of these requirements, it is likely safe to overtake.

What To Consider During An Overtake

Once you’ve begun to overtake, you must abide by these requirements:

  • You must leave a safe gap (ideally several car lengths) between you and a vehicle you are overtaking
  • You must allow for a least 1 metre of clearance if you overtake a bicycle rider, or 1.5 metres if you are moving faster than 60 km/h
  • You must not return to your lane or the standard flow of traffic until you have passed the other vehicle sufficiently to avoid a collision
  • You cannot obstruct the other vehicle

When Am I Not Allowed To Overtake?

There are many situations when you should not attempt to overtake on the left, and it is not legal to do so. They are as following:

  • You cannot overtake if you do not have a clear view of oncoming traffic
  • You cannot overtake when approaching a crest, curve or any other situation that limits your vision
  • You should not overtake any vehicle that is coming to a stop, or a vehicle that has fully stopped at a road feature like an intersection, railway crossing or pedestrian crossing
  • You cannot overtake across an unbroken line, unless the line closest to your vehicle is broken
  • You cannot overtake where a road narrows
  • You cannot overtake if a road sign says “No Overtaking” or a vehicle that displays a “Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle” sign is signaling that they are turning left or right


If you are on a multi lane road with a KEEP LEFT UNLESS OVERTAKING sign, you cannot drive in the right hand lane unless:

  • You are using the overtaking lane to pass a vehicle
  • You are turning right
  • You are legally making a u-turn
  • The left lane is a marked lane with a left lane traffic arrow or “left lane must turn left” sign
  • You are avoiding a dangerous obstruction
  • All marked lanes are congested
  • The right lane is a special purpose lane that allows for its use
  • A slow-moving vehicle in the left lane is making a left turn

Know How To Overtake Safely!

With these tips and tricks, you can overtake safely and legally in Australia. For more information or to learn more about safe driving, check out our Safer Drivers Course, or book yourself driving lessons  through the link below. 

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