legal blog

Proper Lane Usage Saves Lives

Written by Jared Staver

Read Jared's Bio

Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents


Driving in the proper lane is not just about following the rules of the road and avoiding tickets. Staying in the proper lane and changing lanes carefully keeps you and other motorists safe. When you drive in the wrong lane, move between lanes too quickly or drive without paying attention to traffic, you increase the risk of accidents. Meanwhile, proper lane usage drastically reduces the chance of a crash or of striking pedestrians. It helps every driver on the road know what to expect and see potential hazards in time to avoid a collision.

If you were injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s improper lane usage, do not hesitate to reach out to a lawyer at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.. We have years of experience helping individuals recover compensation after serious collisions.

Call (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation.

Which Lane Should You Use on the Highway?

Under Illinois law 625 ILCS 5/11-701(d), you should not drive a vehicle in the left lane on an interstate except when passing another vehicle or a few other particular circumstances. Due to this law, you should drive in the right lane until you reach a vehicle you want to pass. However, you will not get a ticket if you are driving in the left lane while no one else is around, due to the weather or road conditions, or because of dense traffic.

This law has as much to do with safety as it does etiquette. The law codifies common highway courtesy in which the slower traffic stays to the right while the faster traffic moves on the left. However, providing additional structure on already dangerous roadways also decreases the risk of an accident. If you are driving slowly in the left lane, vehicles driving much faster than you may come up on you too quickly and be unable to avoid a collision. You could be rear-ended or the faster vehicle may swerve, colliding with other cars. By using the right lane when you are simply moving at the speed limit or going with the flow of traffic, you give faster vehicles room to pass you without incident.

Pass Properly

You took a driver’s education class, so you know what you are supposed to do before you pass. You should check your mirrors, look over your shoulder to see in your blind spot, then turn on your turn signal, and slowly move into the other lane. These steps only take a few seconds, however, when you are in a hurry or not being careful, they can be easily overlooked. Skipping a shoulder check or turn signal can cause serious and fatal accidents.

Stay Put in No Passing Zones

Stretches of the road are designated as no passing zones for a reason. Often it is because you do not have enough visibility down the road or around a curve to safely pass another vehicle at the speed limit. If you try and pass on a curve, you could be speeding headfirst into another car. It may impossible to stop in time, causing you to try and squeeze back into your lane or swerve in the other direction. You are likely to collide with the vehicle you were passing or lose control of your car altogether.

Avoid Weaving

When you are in a hurry, you may be tempted to weave between vehicles whenever you have the chance, constantly changing lanes to get a little bit ahead. However, this back-and-forth increases your risk of an accident. First, when you weave, you end up driving too closer to the vehicles in front of you. This tailgating is a rear-end accident waiting to happen. Second, you may try and move into the other lane too soon. If you are not especially careful, you are likely to clip or sideswipe other vehicles. Third, if you are so in a hurry that you need to weave, you are probably speeding whenever you have the chance. Driving above the speed limit or what is appropriate for the traffic conditions means you are less likely to be able to avoid a crash. All it takes is one car to unexpectedly apply the brakes while you are weaving for there to be a serious accident.

Contact a Lawyer for Help

If you were hurt because another driver’s improper lane usage, then you may have the right to recover compensation. Evidence of improperly driving in a lane, improper passing, or weaving can help you prove negligence within a personal injury claim. At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we can help you investigate the cause of the accident and gather the evidence you need to recover. We will also help you seek compensation for your:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Pain and Suffering

To learn more about how we can help, contact us at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a consultation.

Free Consultation
(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
Skip to content