Can Trucks Drive in the Left Lane?

Can trucks drive in the left lane in California? Read on to learn about the rules against trucks using the left lane in California designated truck lanes

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Can Trucks Drive in the Left Lane?

In a multi-lane highway, the left lane is for faster-moving traffic. This is a California traffic rule that applies on all highways. If you are traveling slower than the driver in the left lane behind you, you can move over to encourage the faster driver to pass. Unless otherwise shown on a speed limit sign, the legal speed limit in California for all heavy vehicles traveling on highways with at least two lanes going in the same direction is 55 miles per hour.
Trucks cannot travel in the left lane on California’s multi-lane highways due to their decreased speed.

Rules Against Trucks Using the Left Lane in California

Commercial trucks, 18-wheelers, big rigs, and cars towing trailers are prohibited in California from driving in the far left lane on an undivided highway with at least two lanes of same-direction traffic. This has the potential to destabilize traffic and result in motor vehicle collisions. If a car traveling at a top speed of 55 miles per hour were to drive in the fast lane, the approaching drivers would be forced to either slow down or overtake the truck. Both are risky in their own ways.
Reduced speed in the fast lane due to a slow-moving truck can result in increased traffic congestion and an increased chance of rear-end collisions. Forcing drivers to overtake a slow-moving truck in a non-passing lane can result in lane shift, merge, and sideswipe collisions. Permitting heavy trucks and other slow-moving vehicles to use the left lane poses a safety hazard for anyone on the route. Thus, California law forbids the use of any car with three or more axles, as well as trucks towing cars, in the left-hand lane.
In California, large trucks and other cars with at least three axles must use the right-hand lane on highways with three or fewer lanes of traffic. If there are four or more lanes of traffic going in the same way on the highway, the truck can use the right two lanes. The truck driver can enter the left lane only when passing another car. California is one of the few states with such stringent truck lane standards. If a truck driver fails to maintain the proper lane on a California highway, he or she can face penalties of up to $250 for a third violation within a 12-month period. The California Highway Patrol is responsible for enforcing this rule.
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Designated Lanes for Trucks in California

The left-lane restriction is one of hundreds of regulations in California that apply exclusively to commercial vehicles. Additionally, the California Vehicle Code has additional provisions, such as truck-only lanes. In two areas throughout California, large trucks are restricted to dedicated truck-only lanes. On these highways, they are not permitted to share the highway with other vehicles. Interstate 5 has truck-only lanes at the State Route 14 break in Los Angeles County (northbound and southbound) and at the State Route 99 interchange in Kern County (southbound).

What to Do After a Los Angeles Truck Accident

To ensure the safety of motorists, truck-only lanes, left-lane limits, and other trucking regulations are in effect. They want to keep truck drivers and motorists as distinct as possible. When a truck driver violates a state law, an accident can result. If you are involved in a truck crash in California, consult a Los Angeles truck accident lawyer on your right to make a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver or trucking business.
Collect facts about your truck crash, such as the trucking company’s name and the license plate number of the truck. Take photographs of the collision and any resulting injury. If you have sustained injuries, immediately seek treatment at a hospital in Los Angeles. Maintain duplicates of the police report and medical history. Then, bring all of the evidence you’ve gathered to a personal injury attorney in your area for analysis. A attorney will be able to assist you with obtaining restitution from the person or entity responsible for your injury.

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