Call for a Free Consultation
click for free consultation

Can Trucks Drive in the Left Lane in Texas?

As a Texas driver, you are likely familiar with the sight of large commercial trucks navigating our busy highways. While many states have strict laws prohibiting trucks from using the left lane, Texas takes a more nuanced approach.

Local governments have the power to implement truck lane restrictions based on safety concerns and traffic studies. This means that the rules for truck lane use can vary depending on where you are driving in Texas. If you are involved in an accident, make sure to contact a McAllen truck accident lawyer today.

What Are Left-Lane Restrictions for Trucks?

Left-lane restrictions are rules that limit or prohibit large commercial vehicles from using the leftmost lane on multi-lane highways. These restrictions serve several important purposes. First and foremost, they encourage truck drivers to maintain a safe speed. They also help reduce the frequency of lane changes, which can be particularly hazardous when a massive 18-wheeler is involved.

Truck accidents can be devastating, often resulting in severe injuries or even fatalities due to the sheer size and weight of these vehicles. By keeping trucks in the right lanes, traffic flow is improved as slower vehicles are kept to the right, allowing faster vehicles to pass safely on the left.

Rules for Truck Lane Use in Texas

Texas does not have a statewide law prohibiting trucks from driving in the left lane, but it does give the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and local governments the authority to pass local restrictions. This authority has led to truck restrictions on over 400 miles of highways in Texas, largely in major cities with busy roads, such as Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth.

The Texas Motor Vehicle Code states that the left lane should be used for passing only. It also restricts any vehicle from traveling at a speed that impedes traffic. Finally, it gives local governments the power to ask TxDOT for the authority to designate highways for truck-lane restrictions. If approved, TxDOT works with the local government to install signs notifying truck drivers of the restrictions.

It is important to note that these restrictions do not completely ban trucks from the left lane. Trucks can still use the left lane for passing or in certain safety situations, such as avoiding debris or disabled vehicles in the right lane.

How Are Lane Restrictions Enforced in Texas?

In Texas, truck lane restrictions are enforced by the police and the Texas Highway Control. For example, in Houston, a dedicated Truck Enforcement Unit patrols highways with restrictions, issuing citations to drivers who violate the rules. Truck drivers can be cited for using the left lane as a travel lane, even if they are not impeding traffic. Failure to follow posted traffic signs can result in a fine of up to $200.

What to Do If You Are Injured by a Negligent Truck Driver

Although trucks are required to follow local, state, and federal regulations, some drivers ignore the rules—leading to serious accidents. If you are involved in a collision with a negligent truck driver, it is important to stay calm, call 911 to report the accident, and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Then, contact an attorney to discuss your legal options and protect your rights. A Texas truck accident lawyer can guide you through the legal process and help you seek justice. Schedule a free consultation as soon as possible and begin planning your next steps.