Stay in your lane: When to avoid passing

If you’ve ever been driving when someone made a mistake, you know how frustrating it can be. One moment you might be driving along normally, and the next you’re swerving to try to avoid their vehicle.

Sometimes, it’s a poor understanding of the rules of the road that plays a part in people’s errors. For example, the lines in the center of the road mean something, but not all people pay attention to them.

Understanding the yellow lines in the roadway

To stay safe, you must understand all the signage and markings on the road. Start with the yellow lines in the middle. They will be presented in one of four ways:

  1. Two solid yellow lines
  2. One solid line on your side of the road and a dotted line on the other
  3. One dotted line on your side of the road and a solid line on the other
  4. A single dotted line

Each of these markings has a different meaning. For example, if there are two solid yellow lines, you know that no one should move out of their lanes to try to pass anyone else. If there is a single solid line on your side, you know that you have to stay in your lane, even if you want to pass someone.

A dotted line on your side means you can pass when it’s safe to do so, but the solid line on the opposite side means those drivers cannot.

Finally, if there is a single yellow dotted line, anyone can pass when it’s safe to do so, as long as they return to their original lanes.

Recognizing the markings on the road can help you stay safer

It’s helpful to understand the markings on the road, because doing so will help you stay safer. You will know when it’s unsafe to go out of your lane and be able to see how long you have to switch lanes if you do.

If someone violates the rules of the road by doing something counter to what the lines allow, they could be held accountable for any crashes or injuries that occur because of their actions.