I have heard arguments for and against the laws that govern each state’s lane restrictions, but the law is the law.  Not that I am perfect, but I try to drive according to the laws that govern the roads to maintain a certain level of safety and keep my record clean.
 
While traveling the highways that are two lanes or more in each direction, I often witness big trucks of a “slower nature” in the improper lanes.  Although the set speed limit for 3-axle+ big trucks in California is 55mph some trucks will travel slower than that at around 50mph and just hang out in that left lane.  Whatever there is for going this speed is (fuel, safety, etc.), they should not be blocking the lane second to the right on any highway, as they are intended to be a “passing lane”.  At least here in California, trucks are only allowed to travel in the right two lanes, which should mean that slower traffic keeps to the right-most lane and the next one should be for the trucks traveling at a higher rate of speed.
 
Another important situation where lane selection is crucial is in turning, whether at a controlled intersection or during exiting the freeway at an off-ramp.  When in a traditional four-way intersection you want to be in the outside turn lane, if more than one turn lane is available.  This will eliminate the need to swing wide to avoid light poles, or people on the corner, if you jump the curb!  Always drive ahead of your truck and pay attention to the signs coming up to the intersection that usually illustrate which lanes turn which direction.  When exiting a freeway, black and white illustrative signs with this same information are just as important.
 
Proper lane selection will not only keep you out of some hot water when it comes to equipment damage, but it can also improve the flow of traffic and overall road safety.  Anyone who drives for a living knows that we should try and do everything we can to safely keep traffic flowing.  Don’t let yourself become "that person" holding up a line of trucks in the “hammer lane” for no good reason!  Be courteous and let the faster traffic on by!

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Jimmy Nevarez

Jimmy Nevarez is the Owner/President of Angus Transportation, Inc., based in Chino, California.  Jimmy pulls a 53' dry van hauling general dry freight for his own small fleet, operating on its own authority throughout all of Southern California and Southern Nevada.

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Driving through Chicago on a regular basis - for close to 3 decades - lane selection becomes a strategy to change lanes in a timely fashion designed to minimize lane changes.

November 15, 2016 4:33:23 AM