Cars on highway

How to Use a Passing Lane

Whether you’re driving on a two-lane highway or a six-lane highway, knowing how to use a passing lane can make your driving experience much less frustrating (and a little less intimidating, if you’re not used to using them). The good news is that Lexington Toyota is here to help you figure it out!

What are passing lanes for?

When you’re driving on a highway, sometimes the experience itself can be overwhelming—loads of cars traveling at high speeds with little to no way to communicate between drivers can make for a nerve-wracking experience. Fortunately, between blinkers, purposeful lanes, and occasional honking can get you where you need to go with little worry. 

two-lane highway
city highway

Highways have a pretty standard setup: slower traffic sticks to the right, faster traffic to the left. That means if you’re going slowly relative to the other drivers, it’s your responsibility to make your way to the right of the road to let faster drivers pass. Conversely, if you need to pass slower drivers, such as semis, you must do so on the left.

How do I use a passing lane?

If you need to pass someone, you need to do so on the left. Ideally you’ll do so in the furthest left-hand lane, but on the off-chance that you’re going slower than the furthest left-hand lane but faster than the right-hand one, it’s okay to scoot into the middle to pass—just make sure you don’t pass on the right, since it’s illegal to do so. Once you’re done passing the slower car or cars, you want to get out of the far left-hand lane. In Massachusetts the left-hand lane is strictly for passing cars and driving in the left lane (even on a two-lane highway!) is illegal and can result in a ticket.

Related: How do Seat Belts Work?

Looking for more tips and tricks? Keep checking in with our blog and come see us at Lexington Toyota. We’re ready to help you figure out all the twists and turns. Pass safely and don’t forget to use that blinker!