The Texas Transportation Code instructs drivers to pass slower-moving vehicles on the left, keeping a safe distance between the cars before and after passing, and moving back into the right lane only after the passing driver has clearly passed the other vehicle. 

Drivers are not permitted to cross into the left side of the roadway unless the lane is free of traffic and fully visible. Passing drivers are not to interfere with the operation of the vehicle they are passing.

Drivers of the vehicles being passed are to either remain in place and maintain speed or move to the right and gradually, safely decrease speed to allow the passing driver to safely complete the move. 

The vehicle being passed may not accelerate until the passing vehicle has completed the pass. However, these restrictions only apply on roadways where passing on the right is prohibited.

Why Are Vehicles Required To Pass on the Left?

The rightmost lane of traffic tends to have the most movement, especially on a highway. It’s the side where drivers are entering and exiting the faster-moving highway, so there is more “action” in the right lane. 

Driving in this lane could be dangerous, as drivers may not be fully paying attention in front of them. They could be looking over their shoulders or in their mirrors to merge onto the highway or the exit lane. Therefore, adding passing vehicles to the right lane of traffic adds another volatile element, and the chances of a highway crash increase.

At the same time, the leftmost lanes of traffic tend to remain more stable, with vehicles traveling at more consistent speeds and less shifting of cars in the lane. 

The left lanes are also for faster-moving traffic, so if you’re in the left lane and a vehicle seems about to overtake you from behind, Texas roadway laws require you to move to the right and let them pass if you can do so safely. 

However, it’s important to note that you must first look to your right to see if you can merge into the right lane and allow the other driver to pass you.

So When Can You Pass on the Right in Texas?

There are a few conditions under which you can safely and legally pass another vehicle on the right. Again, only pass when the conditions are safe to do so – make sure that you have room to merge into the next lane and use your turn signal.

Drivers may pass on the right in Texas if:

  • The vehicle they are passing is signaling to or is making a left turn
  • The driver is on a roadway with two or more lanes and sufficient room to pass
  • The roadway is free of obstructions, such as parked vehicles
  • The road is a one-way street

Drivers are not permitted to pass on the right if doing so would cause them to leave the designated roadway (i.e., on the shoulder).

What To Do After You’ve Been Involved in a Roadway Collision in Texas

If you’ve been struck by another driver improperly passing on the right, the first consideration is your safety and that of others involved. 

Because many accident injuries may not present symptoms immediately, it’s critical to have an immediate medical evaluation. Call 911, explain the situation and your location, and follow the instructions the 911 operator gives you, including whether to move your car. 

When the police arrive, speak only with them and first responders, not the other party. 

Finally, as soon as you can, consult an experienced Fort Worth car accident attorney to help protect your legal interests and rights.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth car accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.

Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107
(817) 420-7000