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How long should you signal for before passing another vehicle? How long should you signal for before passing another vehicle?

  • A. One second

  • B. Two seconds

  • C. Three seconds

  • D. Only signal if there's another vehicle behind you or one coming towards you

    The correct answer is C
    Three seconds gives any other vehicles behind you plenty of time to see your intention, and it gives you enough time to double-check the road ahead is safe and clear.

Signalling before overtaking

You should signal for at least three seconds before passing another vehicle.

Signalling is only a small part of the overtaking process. You will need to get into the overtaking position, read the road ahead for dangers, judge your speed and that of the vehicle you are overtaking, check your mirrors and blind spots, then indicate. Read our in-depth guide to overtaking here.

Keep signalling as you pass the vehicle then, when you see it in your rear view mirror, signal left and pull in in front of it. Remember that you can always abort the overtaking manoeuvre if you don't think it's safe, if you see that there's a solid yellow line coming up, or if you can see ahead that the speed limit drops significantly (e.g. 100kph down to 70kph).

Once you have pulled in front of the vehicle in front, check your speed. It can be frustrating for drivers if you overtake and then once you have overtaken you drive slowly and therefore you are holding them up.