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Are Trucks Allowed to Travel in the Left Lane in Tennessee?

Posted on in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Campbell County truck accident attorney

Every state has different restrictions when it comes to large trucks driving in the left lane -- known as the fast lane -- of a highway. Tennessee is one of the many states that does not allow trucks to drive in the left lane except when necessary. Trucks are restricted from the left lane to avoid collisions truck accidents with other vehicles that may be traveling a faster speed. Smaller cars also tend to get lost in a truck’s blind spots, and therefore, truck drivers must yield to other vehicles before safely moving into the left lane. In the event you are involved in a semi-truck accident, it is important to understand Tennessee’s traffic laws regarding trucks.

When Can a Truck Use the Left Lane?

Tennessee law states that, when traveling on a three-lane highway, trucks are allowed to be in the left lane only if they are passing slower traffic or if they are preparing to make a left turn. This rule is enforced with signs that are posted along the highway, reminding truck drivers to stay in the right two lanes. Other guidelines for this law include:

  • Trucks can only drive in the left lane up to two miles until their left-hand turn.

  • Restrictions are lifted in construction zones when traffic is being redirected.

  • Lane restrictions are lifted on roads with heavy traffic.

  • When passing slower traffic, the truck driver must make the maneuver as quickly as possible but still safely.

Any violation of the law will result in a fine of up to $50 and/or 30 days in prison. Additionally, should a truck cause a collision with another vehicle while in violation of the left-lane law, the driver of the truck or their employer may be responsible for compensating the other motorist for any vehicle damage as well as medical costs as a result of injuries suffered in the accident.

Safe Driving Practices

Larger vehicles like semi-trucks or tractor-trailers have larger blind spots and move at a slower pace than smaller cars or motorcycles. Because of their massive blind spots, truck drivers must be diligent about checking their mirrors, and they should make sure no one is next to them before they move into the left lane.

Motorists should be aware of the differences between cars and trucks and exercise safe driving techniques when trucks are present. Tips for driving near trucks include:

  • Do not drive directly behind a truck.

  • Do not enter the highway directly in front of a truck; it is hard for a truck driver to slow down fast enough to accommodate you on the road.

  • When changing lanes, do not cut too close in front of a truck; wait until you can see the entire front of the truck in your rear-view mirror.

  • Pay attention to a truck’s turn signals, since these vehicles have a wide turning radius.

There are specific traffic laws, rules, and regulations for truck drivers. If truckers fail to follow them, crashes with injuries can occur as a result. In some cases, a trucking company may be held liable for failure to inspect its fleet for defective parts or failure to properly train drivers. 

Contact a Jacksboro, TN Truck Accident Lawyer

Even when drivers follow the rules of the road, motor vehicle accidents can still occur. In certain situations, truck drivers and/or their employers can be at fault for causing a crash. If you or someone you know has been hurt in a collision with a truck, it is important to hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of William F. Evans to explore your options for seeking compensation for vehicle damage or medical bills. To schedule a free consultation with a qualified Campbell County personal injury attorney, call us today at 423-449-7980.

 

Sources:

https://sharetngov.tnsosfiles.com/sos/rules/1680/1680-02/1680-02-05.pdf

https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/safety/documents/cdl14.pdf

 

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