Getting stuck behind a big heavy truck in the left lane is not only frustrating, it may also put you behind schedule because of how slow they drive. When it comes to big trucks in the left lane, many states do not have laws prohibiting them from using the left lane. However, states have different laws regarding when vehicles can use the left lane on the highway.
Normally the right lane is reserved for travel, while the left lane is reserved for fast moving traffic, as well as passing traffic. When slow drivers decide to use the left lane, fast drivers are forced to constantly change lanes, which has the possibility of leading to an accident because of how often cars weave in and out of moving traffic. In 2016, traffic fatalities reached over 40,000 and has been on the rise since.
Keeping the left lane open helps traffic move smoothly. Too many cars in the left lane can cause traffic backups. In many states, it is illegal for slower moving traffic to use the left lane and may earn you a fine of up to $750 in the state of Virginia.
Commercial Motor Vehicle Accident Causes
Truck accidents have the potential to be more devastating than car accidents due to their larger size. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS), over 4,000 people died in large truck accidents in 2017. The most common causes of truck accidents involving cars include:
- Suddenly switching lanes in front of a truck
- Failing to speed up or slow down when a truck is switching lanes
- Driving in between two large trucks
Left Lane Truck Laws in Virginia
In the state of Virginia, commercial motor vehicles, excluding buses, school buses, or vehicles performing construction work on highways, are limited to the use of certain lanes. According to the state codes:
- Commercial motor vehicles may not use the left lane on any interstate highway with more then two lanes where the posted speed limit is less than 65 miles per hour
- Within the Eighth Planning District, as well as on Interstate Route 81, commercial vehicles may not use the left lane, regardless of the speed limit
- Commercial motor vehicles must use the right lane of interstate highways with no more than two lanes when driving 15 miles per hour or more below the speed limit
Our Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyers Represent Injured Victims of Truck Accidents
If you were involved in a truck accident, please contact a Virginia Beach truck accident lawyer today. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we know that while there are states that do not have explicit laws prohibiting trucks from using the left lane, local governments may still put restrictions on certain highways. It is important to pay attention to these restrictions to avoid a devastating accident. For a free consultation, call us at 757-352-2237 or contact us online today. Located in Virginia Beach, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk.