Overtaking Rules in the Philippines: How and When to Overtake

Safely overtaking a truck or any other vehicle on Philippine roads requires several key steps to avoid traffic fines and accidents. Firstly, it’s imperative for the car driver to maintain a safe distance from the truck and remain aware of surrounding traffic conditions, ensuring there’s enough space ahead and behind for the maneuver. Clear communication through the use of signals is essential to indicate the intention to overtake, helping other drivers understand the planned action.

Before initiating the overtaking maneuver, thorough assessment of the road ahead and behind is necessary to minimize risks. Once the decision to overtake is made, prompt yet responsible acceleration is crucial for a swift and safe execution. After successfully overtaking, it’s vital to merge back into the lane smoothly, avoiding sudden movements, and to continue driving attentively, prioritizing safety to safeguard against potential accidents and ensure the well-being of all road users.

how to overtake a vehicle on the road

Overtaking and Its Risks

Overtaking poses inherent risks on the road, as it involves moving into oncoming traffic or navigating around slower vehicles. These risks include potential collisions with oncoming vehicles, misjudgments of speed and distance, and the possibility of encountering unexpected hazards. 

The risks of overtaking trucks when driving a car are even more significant, thanks in part to the size and speed differential between the two vehicles. Having said that, overtaking a truck requires careful consideration of factors such as road conditions, visibility, and oncoming traffic. Drivers must exercise caution and patience, as well as ensure proper signaling and sufficient acceleration, to minimize the inherent risks associated with overtaking trucks.


Safe Overtaking Tips

According to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority – Traffic Engineering Center (MMDA-TEC) Road Safety Unit MMARAS Annual Report in 2018, bad overtaking ranks as the 8th cause of road accidents in the Philippines. Therefore, it’s imperative to approach overtaking with caution and awareness.

To ensure safety when overtaking other vehicles and trucks in particular, here are some things that you can keep in mind:

1. Maintain Safe Distance

Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the truck in front to allow for reaction time in case of sudden stops or slowdowns.

2. Check Surroundings

Assess both oncoming and trailing traffic using side mirrors and blind spot checks. Ensure there’s ample space ahead and no hazards present.

3. Signal Intention

Indicate your intention to overtake by using your signal lights for at least five seconds before making a move. This alerts other drivers of your intentions.

4. Execute Maneuver

Once it’s safe to proceed, accelerate quickly and overtake the truck. Consider downshifting for additional power if necessary.

5. Return to Lane

After overtaking, signal your intention to return to your lane. Ensure you do so without crowding the truck you’ve just passed.

Where Not to Overtake

It’s essential to be aware of areas where overtaking is prohibited to avoid potential accidents. These include:

  • Roads with “No Overtaking” signs.
  • Approaching crests, curves, or areas with obstructed views.
  • Railroad crossings or intersections, unless controlled by signals or a watchman.
  • Roads with pavement markings such as solid yellow lines which indicates no overtaking.

Where to Overtake

According to RA 4136, passing another vehicle should be done on the left side of the highway. In business or residential districts with multiple lanes, overtaking on the right may be allowed. However, always ensure it’s safe and legal to do so.

Respecting Larger Vehicles

When overtaking trucks, drivers must exercise extra caution due to their size and limited visibility. Waiting until there’s sufficient space ahead and ensuring clear signaling are crucial steps. Additionally, being aware of trucks’ braking limitations and giving them ample space can prevent accidents and ensure mutual safety on the road.

Are you allowed to overtake on a broken line?

Yes, overtaking on a broken line is generally allowed. When the line is “broken,” it is permissible to cross it for overtaking or lane changes. However, remember that vehicles proceeding straight in their lane have the right of way. Exercise patience and wait for the appropriate moment to make your move.

Ano ang Dapat Gawin ng Isang Drayber ng Kotse Kung Gusto nitong Mag Overtake sa Isang Truck 

  1. Mahalaga para sa drayber ng kotse na panatilihin ang ligtas na distansya mula sa trak at maging alisto sa kalagayan ng trapiko sa paligid, tinitiyak na may sapat na espasyo sa unahan at likuran para sa maniobra.
  2. Magkaroon ng malinaw na komunikasyon sa pamamagitan ng paggamit ng mga signal upang ipahiwatig ang intensyon na mag-overtake, upang maunawaan ng ibang drayber ang planong aksyon.
  3. Bago simulan ang maniobra sa pag-overtake, kinakailangan ang masusing pagsusuri sa daan sa unahan at likuran upang mabawasan ang mga panganib.
  4. Kapag nagpasya nang mag-overtake, gawing mabilis ngunit responsable na pagpapabilis para sa mabilis at ligtas na pagpapatupad.
  5. Matapos matagumpay na mag-overtake, muling pagsamahin sa linya nang maayos, iwasan ang biglaang mga kilos, at ipagpatuloy ang maingat na pagmamaneho, pinaprayoridad ang kaligtasan upang maiwasan ang mga potensyal na aksidente at matiyak ang kagalingan ng lahat ng gumagamit ng daan.

Video: Things to Consider to Safely Overtake a Truck

Before overtaking a truck, there are some questions you need to ask yourself. You can learn about these questions and their answers along with other tips on how to safely overtake a truck by watching this video from Mylicensesa.

For more detailed and appropriate tips on how to execute the overtaking maneuver properly, you may watch this video:


Overtaking a truck on Philippine roads requires careful consideration and adherence to safety protocols. Safe overtaking is a skill, but it takes more than driving knowledge to safely execute this maneuver. In fact, you need to prioritize awareness of your surroundings and signaling intentions clearly before executing maneuvers with caution in order to safely navigate past slower and/or bigger vehicles like trucks to minimize if not remove the risk of accidents. Remember, prioritizing safety benefits not only you but all road users around you so make sure you do your due diligence. 

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