You may have noticed a trend of more trucks in the middle lane instead of staying to the right on freeways, and you may be wondering what the rules are governing truck traffic. Commercial trucks are not supposed to travel in the far left lane when there are three or more lanes of traffic. The far left lane is to help with traffic flow, and cars are not supposed to hang out in that lane either unless marked otherwise.
Must Truck Drivers Stay Right?
Depending on the area, truckers are supposed to drive in the two right lanes. They are not relegated to only the far right lane, and there are good reasons why they do not stay there. Legally, they can be in either of the two right lanes. In some states, trucks are required to use only the far right lane except when passing, however, on federal highways, as long as they stay within either of the two right lanes on a three or more lane highway, they are within their legal rights.
Truckers often have heavy loads and long rigs. This makes maneuvering certain situations more difficult. One of the reasons truckers are taking more to the middle lane is because of poor merging practices by other drivers. Merging into traffic can be tricky, particularly if it is during the busy rush hour. Many truck drivers take to the middle lane to avoid the hassle of coping with drivers who don’t know how to merge onto a freeway properly.
Additionally, the right lane is reserved for slower traffic on most freeways. The trucking industry has often put unrealistic goals on its truckers. Drivers must contend with getting their cargo to its destination on time while dealing with traffic issues and speed limits. They need to keep up a certain momentum in order to make that delivery time. Hanging out in the right lane, with slow traffic and poor mergers, will only add to the stress, making it all but impossible for them to get to their destination in a timely manner.
State Troopers are cracking down on truckers, and drivers who hog the left lane; however, the two right lanes are legal territory for truckers. When you consider what could happen if a fully loaded semi had to slam on the brakes to let in a slow-merging car, it may actually be a good thing they are not relegated to the far right lane.
Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., attorneys are specialists in personal injury law and business litigation. If you have a case and want excellent, caring legal representation, contact us for a free initial consultation. We are the lawyers who care and proudly serve the areas of North Port, Port Charlotte, Englewood, and the surrounding southwest Florida region.