In recent years, lawmakers have passed laws about how to use the left lane while traveling on highways where there are three or more lanes. Traffic consisting of standard vehicles may only use the far left lane for passing. It is designed to ease and assist the flow of traffic. You may pull into the lane until you have free clearance to pass the vehicle in the right lane, but then must move back to the right lanes.
Commercial trucks cannot use the left lane, but may legally use the center or right lane.
Our San Antonio truck accident lawyers want you to know the following:
- Using the left lane as the law dictates allows to keep traffic moving and reduce traffic congestion.
- If you pull into the far left lane in order to pass a truck, you must be sure that you can see both of the truck’s mirrors in your rearview mirror before you pull back into the lane in front of the truck.
- A commercial truck weighs 80,000 (plus) pounds and they cannot stop quickly. The truck needs space to come to a stop. If you pull in front of them too soon, the driver will not be able to slow to your speed and this is a recipe for disaster.
- Any vehicle traveling in the left lane and not moving to the right when the area is clear is subject to a $200 fine.
- The left lane rules were created to assist passenger vehicles from being stuck behind large trucks while in thick traffic. It also keeps the trucks from having to make too many lane changes.
- You must be aware of the blind spots on a truck. Following too close to the front or back of the truck ensures the driver cannot see you. Pulling up too far when the driver is making a right turn is a good way to lose the side of your car.
Sharing the highway with large trucks is a fact of life. As the driver of a residential vehicle, you must drive defensively. It doesn’t matter if you think the truck driver is driving well or not. The bottom line is, in a battle between a semi and a car, the semi will always win. Give them enough space and allow enough time for them to slow down or stop, especially if you are going to pull in front of them.
If a trucker breaks the law in San Antonio and pulls into the left lane and causes an accident from traveling in the lane or switching back to the center or right lane, they may be liable for any damages. If you can, get a picture that shows the truck (going or stopped) in the illegal lane and provide it to your attorney. Be sure to tell the police about it when they are making a report.
Do not hesitate to report truckers that are abusing the left lane law. This lane was put there for your safety. The laws only work when everyone obeys them. When they don’t, call your truck accident attorney.