Driving trucks in the same lane as of the smaller vehicles can prove to be very dangerous. Many of the truck accidents that happen on the highways are because of this reason. When the truck drivers drive their vehicle along with the cars and other small vehicles, on the same lane of the road, there is a high chance for the smaller vehicle to go unnoticed and the trucks may end up crushing them. To avoid this kind of fatalities, the government has put some restrictions on truck drivers, which specifies the lanes on which the truck is supposed to be driven.
The Problem on the Left Lane
The left lane on the highway is meant only for the vehicles that are passing. Many times one can see that trucks and other slower moving vehicles travel on the left lane. This can be very dangerous and troublesome to other vehicles traveling on the left lane. There can be times in which you get frustrated while driving your car on the left lane, because of the trucks, which disturb your journey.
In many cases, accidents happen in the left lane because the vehicles step out of the left lane to avoid or overtake the trucks and other slower moving vehicles. The lane regulations for trucks and other slower moving vehicles are intended to stop such kind of accidents.
Truck Regulations in California
The California Vehicle Code makes clear the restrictions that are abiding on different vehicles while they are driven on the highways. These restrictions are necessary because many vehicles are travelling on the busy highway roads of California. According to the restrictions, large trucks and trailers with three or more axles, vehicles towing other vehicles, etc., are required to be driven only at a speed of 55 miles per hour on the highways.
Truck Lane Restrictions
There are also limitations on the lanes in which the large trucks are supposed to travel. The speed variations of the vehicles on the roads can be the main reason for accidents to happen. When the vehicles suddenly apply brakes and slow down, the vehicle in the front or the back may lose control and may crash into each other. Such accidents happen very often and can be avoided if there is a speed limit applied for the vehicles. The sudden lane change of vehicles can also cause accidents, more so in the case of trucks.
Because of this reason, on many Californian roads, the right lane of the highway is reserved for trucks and other slower moving vehicles. The number of lanes on a highway can differ in different places. Therefore, the number of lanes reserved for the larger vehicles will also depend on the total number of lanes in a highway.
The rules say that if there are three or less than three lanes in one direction of the highway, the trucks, and other larger vehicles are to use the lane to the extreme right side. On the other hand, if there are four or more lanes in one direction, the two right side lanes are reserved for the trucks. It also requires that all slow-moving vehicles regardless of their size should use only the right side lane.
There are some roads like Interstate 5 in California where there are special lanes called “truck only lanes” for the trucks, to avoid traffic problems and accidents. There are not many states with the truck-only lanes. California is so special in that. While the smaller vehicles are discouraged from traveling on the truck only lanes, they are not prohibited to do so.
Where they exist, the trucks are supposed to travel only on the truck only lanes. There are black and white signs, which denote the beginning and end of the truck only lanes. The truckers must obey these signs strictly. The failure to follow these signs may end up in fines. There are also large green signs that are intended to discourage other drivers from using the truck only lanes. However, it is not very strict and it is not legally wrong for them to travel on the truck only lanes. It is a fact that driving normal vehicles in a truck-only lane is unsafe and risky.
The lane restriction applies to any kind of trucks or trailers and also for all vehicles towing some other vehicle.
Truck Law Enforcement
The California Highway Patrol has to ensure that the truck drivers follow the lane restrictions on the highways in the state. They work for the efficient and safe usage of commercial vehicles. You can see them on duty on the highways. The large vehicles that violate the speed limits and those which are traveling on the wrong lane will be fined and ticketed.
If you are injured in a truck accident, get the help of an experienced truck accident attorney at the earliest. You can thus know if you have grounds to go for a personal injury lawsuit.