Ontario G1 test

0 of 128 lessons complete (0%)

MODULE 8: Changing positions

Lesson 6 with Quiz : Passing on the right

Under certain circumstances, passing on the right allows drivers to pass another car on the right. 

Although it’s generally not recommended due to safety reasons, passing on the left is legal in certain situations. 

Module 8: Lesson 6

Passing on the shoulder

1 / 2

Passing on the right may be done if…?

2 / 2

If you are in the far left lane and your approach a slow moving vehicle, your best option is to…?

Your score is

The average score is 0%


This exploration will explore the regulations and risks that are associated with this driving maneuver.

The general rule of overtaking to the left

Standard practice is to pass or overtake another vehicle on the left. The standard practice is to overtake or pass another vehicle on the left side. This ensures that traffic flows in a uniform and predictable manner, since drivers are expecting others to do so. It is safer to pass on the left, as it reduces blind spots and improves visibility. There are times when it is necessary to pass on the left.

Passing on the Right

Traffic laws explicitly permit the passing of rights. The following conditions may be used to justify the passing of the right:

  • Multiple-Lane highways: When there are multiple lanes in one direction on highways, it is common to allow passing if a lane is available. Before making such an maneuver, drivers should be cautious and make sure they are on a safe path.
  • Slowed-Moving Vehicles or Stopped Vehicles: If a vehicle moves at a pace that is significantly slower than traffic flow or has stopped because of an obstruction, it may be possible to pass on the right. This should only be done with great caution in order to prevent collisions and pedestrian injuries.
  • Right Turn Lanes Designated: Passing on the right is permitted in areas with designated right turn lanes. This should only be done with caution and attention paid to the other vehicles turning.

The Challenges and Risks of Passing the Right

Drivers must be aware of the additional challenges and risks that come with passing on the right. They include:

  • Reduced Visibility: When passing on the left, it can reduce visibility. This is especially true when there are obstacles such as cars parked or landscape. Blind spots and other potential hazards should always be considered by drivers.
  • Unpredictable behavior: Overtaking on the right may catch drivers by surprise, causing unpredictable reactions. Many drivers don’t expect to be passed on the right, which can increase their risk of collisions and accidents.
  • Dangerous Intersections: The act of passing on the right at intersections is particularly dangerous. Right-turning drivers may not expect to be passed by their right. This can lead to side impact collisions.

Traffic Signals and Signs

The traffic signals and signs are crucial in controlling the flow of vehicles and providing drivers with guidance. It is important to obey all signs and signals indicating merging or lane change when passing to the right. Ignoring these signs can cause confusion, increase the risk of an accident, or even have legal implications.

Defensive Driving Techniques

Adopting defensive driving is essential for drivers who are contemplating passing to the right. It is important to maintain a safe distance behind the vehicle in front, be aware of any surrounding traffic, and anticipate potential hazards. The use of defensive driving can help reduce the risks that come with overtaking on the right, and improve overall safety.

 Passing on the Right

Communication and Courtesy

In some situations it may be acceptable to pass on the right, but effective communication and courtesy are essential. To ensure a safe and smooth passing maneuver, it is important to use turn signals and maintain a moderate speed. A courteous driving style contributes to an environment of cooperation and positive traffic.

Situational awareness

When considering passing to the right, situational awareness plays a major role. The driver must consider the traffic situation, the driving style of the vehicle that is being passed, as well as any potential obstacles. By being aware of their surroundings, drivers can make better decisions and perform passing maneuvers with safety.

Local and State Regulations

Depending on where you live, there are different regulations for passing to the right. To know when and how to pass on the right, drivers must understand local and state laws. Traffic violations can be issued for failure to follow these rules.

Passing to the right in congested traffic

Drivers may pass on the right more often in heavy traffic as they seek to avoid congestion. This situation calls for increased attention and caution. In congested traffic, drivers should pay attention to frequent lane-changes, sudden stops and increased risks of collisions.

Merging Highways and Exiting Concerns

Passing on the right can be associated with exiting or merging onto highways. Passing on the right may be required by drivers entering or leaving highways to get to their designated lanes. Communication through the use of turn signals, and attention to surrounding traffic movements are essential for a safe and coordinated flow.

Summary – Balance Safety and Need

Passing on the right can, when performed in compliance with traffic regulations and laws, be both permissible and necessary. It does, however, introduce additional challenges and risks that require careful consideration. To minimize the dangers of passing on the left, drivers should focus their attention on visibility, communication and defensive driving. Balance the need to pass with an emphasis on safety to ensure a smooth and safe flow of traffic.