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Texas Left Lane Driving


When you’re on a four-lane highway, which lane do you spend the majority of your time in? If you said left, you’re likely in violation of Texas state law. Though many drivers don’t know it, there are strict regulations for the use of that left lane. This isn’t the place to linger, and for good reason. Sticking to the right is the safe choice for several reasons. Brush up on the rules of the road to make sure you’re using the left lane as you should.

The Purpose of the Left Lane

Texas Left Lane Driving

Many drivers are unaware of the proper use of the left lane on Texas roadways. On a two-lane road, the left is not intended for regular driving. You should use the left lane only for brief periods of time to serve a specific purpose. According to Texas state law, you may use the left lane if:

  • You are passing another vehicle.
  • There is an obstruction in the right lane.
  • The road has traffic restricted to one-way driving.

If a roadway has three lanes of traffic, you may choose to drive in the center lane as long as you’re moving with the flow of traffic. Any vehicle that’s moving more slowly than the flow of traffic must stay in the right-most lane at all times.

Hazards of Left Lane Driving

Unaware of Texas laws, many drivers linger in the left lane even when they’re not passing another vehicle. Driving in the left lane is a hazardous practice. This act is considered a Class C misdemeanor and is punishable with a fine up to $500. Lingering left can cost you significantly if you’re caught.

Driving in the left lane is also hazardous to others on the roadway because it causes traffic congestion and makes it impossible for other drivers to pass properly. When a vehicle stays in the left lane, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to pass. This practice can back up traffic that would otherwise move smoothly and create major traffic jams, particularly in busy metropolitan areas.

Benefits of Sticking to the Right

Staying in the right lane isn’t just your legal obligation, it’s also a better overall method for driving. Maintaining a stable speed in the right lane is the most efficient option for driving. It will help you save on gas and ease your environmental impact when you’re on the road.

When you stay to the right, you can enjoy a more stress-free experience, as you won’t have to worry about other frustrated drivers trying to get around you to the right. Left-lane drivers can spur bouts of road rage. Aggressive driving is responsible for 66 percent of traffic fatalities. Avoiding confrontations on the roadway may just save your life.

Consider your choice of lane carefully the next time you’re on the road in Texas. Use the left lane only as needed and get into the habit of staying right. This will keep you in line with the law and help you avoid aggressive driving situations.


Categories: Safety, Tips