Whether you’re a new driver or an experienced one, it’s important to understand the rules of the road—including how to use center lanes.


In Tri-Cities, some drivers drive me crazy as they'll stay in the center lane as if it's another lane to drive in.

Are You Using The Center Lane Correctly?

Center Lanes for Turning Left In Washington State Laws

If you want to make a left turn, you must do so from the center lane. This is known as a marked left turn. You can also make unmarked left turns from the center lane but only if it is safe to do so and there are no other drivers present.

In order to make an unmarked left turn in Washington State, your vehicle must be within 200 feet of the intersection or driveway that you plan on turning into. In addition, you may not cross over any solid lines or double-yellow lines while making your turn.

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Center Lanes for Passing In Washington State Laws

In Washington State, it is illegal to pass another vehicle on the right side unless it is a one-way street with two lanes going in opposite directions and both lanes are wide enough for vehicles to safely pass each other.

On multi-lane highways with two travel lanes going in the same direction, passing on the right can only be done if there is a broken yellow line indicating that passing is permitted on the right side of the roadway.

If there is no indication that passing on the right side of the roadway is allowed, then you must use either the center lane or left travel lane if available to pass other vehicles safely.


Center Lane Requirements For Driving In Washington State

When using center lanes, there are certain requirements and regulations that drivers must follow in order to drive safely and legally.

First and foremost, drivers should always stay within their designated lane and not change lanes until they have checked their blind spot and determined that it is safe to do so.


Drivers should also keep their speed at an appropriate level when driving in center lanes as these types of roads often have curves that require slower speeds than normal roads due to their limited visibility ahead.

Additionally, all drivers should use their turn signals when exiting a center lane onto another roadway or when changing lanes while traveling in them.

Following these rules will help ensure that everyone stays safe while driving on Washington State’s streets and highways—especially those containing center lanes.

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