Can Trucks Drive in the Left Lane in San Diego?
David Muñoz | September 16, 2021 | Truck Accidents
In most cases, the left-most lane on a multi-lane highway is reserved for the fastest traffic on the road. That’s why the left lane is often referred to as the “passing lane.”
Lane restrictions apply to all multi-lane highways in San Diego and across California.
If you are driving more slowly than others in the left-most lane, you are required to move to the right. This rule applies to trucks, too.
The maximum speed for large commercial trucks on California highways is 55 miles per hour. This raises the question of whether large trucks can drive in the left lane in San Diego at all.
Below, we will discuss how this highway speed limit for trucks restricts legal maneuvers for truck drivers.
Large Trucks Cannot Use the Left Lane in San Diego
It is illegal for commercial trucks to drive in the left-most lane on California multi-lane highways. This lane regulation applies to every highway on which traffic in multiple lanes flows in the same direction.
Allowing large trucks to use the left lane on multi-lane highways would disrupt the flow of traffic. It would make highways less safe and lead to more collisions.
If a large truck traveling at 55 miles per hour were to use the left lane, other passenger vehicles would be unable to pass. They would either have to slow down or pass using the right lane. Both maneuvers can be dangerous.
A slow vehicle using the passing lane would decrease the speed of all traffic and cause a more congested roadway with a higher likelihood of accidents.
Forcing faster vehicles to pass large trucks on the right side would make the following types of mishaps more likely:
- Lane-change collisions
- Merging accidents
- Sideswipe crashes
Allowing large commercial trucks to drive in the passing lane would result in increased risks to all motorists and passengers. Because of this, trucks are prohibited from using the left lane on multi-lane highways in California.
Permitted Truck Lanes in San Diego
Many California state laws apply to large commercial trucks in particular. California is one of the only states in the nation with specific regulations regarding truck lane usage.
Drivers of three-axle vehicles who opt to use the left-most lane on a highway could face penalties. When a truck driver has violated this law at least three times within a twelve-month period, they may face a fine of up to $250.
In some locations across the state, highways feature “truck-only” lanes. These lanes are designated for larger and slower vehicles.
Much like left-lane restrictions, the purpose of truck-only lanes is to facilitate safe traffic patterns.
What to Do Following an Accident
When truck drivers violate traffic laws, they make traffic collisions and injuries much more likely. If you have been involved in a large truck accident, it is important to seek legal representation right away.
Consulting with a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer can help to secure a positive outcome in your case.
Collect the following information if you have been involved in a large truck accident:
- The name of the trucking company
- Name of the driver
- Photos of the damage
- Photos of any injuries
It is vital to seek medical care immediately after a collision with a commercial truck. If the truck driver was violating left-lane restrictions at the time of the crash, you may be able to pursue financial compensation.