Overtaking is one of the highest risk manoeuvres for both drivers and riders because it can put the overtaking vehicle into the path of oncoming traffic, often at high speeds. If there is a head-on collision, the speed of both vehicles combines to create a much more severe impact.

In 2015, 9055 vehicles were involved in an overtaking accident, of which 57% were car drivers, and 34% were two wheel vehicles.

There are three types of overtaking manoeuvre:

  • Overtaking a moving vehicle on the offside
  • Overtaking a stationary or parked vehicle, a rider or an object on the offside
  • Undertaking on the nearside.
  Pedal cycles Motorcycles 50cc and under Motorcycles 51-225cc Motorcycles 126-500cc Motorcycles over 500cc All motorcycles
Overtaking a moving vehicle – offside 163 123 702 187 678 1,709
Overtaking a stationary vehicle – offside 432 98 463 107 285 963
Overtaking – nearside 436 37 226 33 111 412
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