Semi-trucks are to stay in the right lane

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2024 | Commercial Trucking Accidents

Sharing the road with semi-trucks can be intimidating, especially on busy highways. Due to their size, weight and limited visibility, your risk of a car accident is increased.

Lawmakers hope a new law regarding left-lane travel will improve accident statistics.

Highway statistics

In 2022, there were 821 accidents involving large trucks on New Mexico’s roads. Of those, 235 resulted in injuries, and 44 were fatal. Their sheer size and weight contribute to the catastrophic nature of collisions with smaller vehicles.

Underride accidents are another potential hazard when sharing the road with semi-trucks. This occurs when a car ends up under a truck in a collision, shearing off or crushing the top of the vehicle.

To increase roadway safety, a new law took effect on July 1, 2023, that stated semi-trucks are required to stay in the right lane on any highway with two or more lanes. This is a significant change for truck drivers, who are accustomed to using all the lanes on the highway.

Failure to comply with the law can result in fines of up to $250, and state police have been cracking down, issuing over 100 citations since the law went into effect.

There are exceptions to the rule. The left lane can be used by truckers when it is necessary for safety or to maintain the flow of traffic, such as safely passing another vehicle or giving space for emergency vehicles and roadside assistance crews.

This lane regulation for semi trucks reflects an overall commitment to road safety. Unfortunately, some truck drivers will fail to comply. Furthermore, even with all precautions, accidents can and will happen. People who receive catastrophic injuries from an accident have a long road to recovery. That is why it is crucial that they receive compensation for their injuries to replace lost income and cover medical expenses.



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Nathan A. Cobb