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  • Double Turn Lane Questions

    I see lots of rules in California VC regarding turns, but very little when it comes to double (and even triple) turn lanes.

    (using lane 1 as the left-most lane)

    Q1: On a double left-hand turn intersection, with 3 lanes available to turn into, must vehicle-in-lane-1 keep to lane 1 and vehicle-in-lane-2 keep to lane 2. Can the vehicle-in-lane-2 choose between lanes 2 or 3?

    Q2: Does the same rule from above apply to double right-hand turn lanes (yes, we got those here in California too)? By that, I mean that the vehicle-in-right-most-lane keep to the right and vehicle-in-next-right-most-lane keep to next-most-right lane? Could the vehicle-in-next-right-most-lane choose the left-most lane also?

    Q3: I read in a commercial driver's handbook that a tractor-trailer making a left-hand turn, must stick to the left-most lane. In the double/triple turn lane scenario, such a rig has to swing wide so that the overtrack of the trailer doesn't hop the lane divider; which means that the driver is technically in both lanes at once. What does (or should) he really do to make this turn safely and legally?
    Last edited by UncleVic; 06-13-2008, 06:37 PM. Reason: better grammar

  • #2

    I am sure the laws vary from state to state, but it is just good "common sense" that a tractor-trailer driver (or anyone operating a large truck of any type) would stick to the outside lane (rightmost lane of the ones used for turning left and, conversely, the leftmost lane for a right turn) when turning.

    Unless the lanes are very wide, a few feet of that trailer will be awfully close to the turning car in the adjacent lane.


    The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

    The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

    ------------------------------------------------

    "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

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    • #3
      Originally posted by UncleVic View Post
      I see lots of rules in California VC regarding turns, but very little when it comes to double (and even triple) turn lanes. Get a copy of the Driver's Handbook at your local DMV - kind of gives a simpler break-down of the complicated wording sometimes found in the actual Vehicle Code - and also offers some diagrams to help you out.

      (using lane 1 as the left-most lane)

      Q1: On a double left-hand turn intersection, with 3 lanes available to turn into, must vehicle-in-lane-1 keep to lane 1 YES - so you don't merge into the vehicle next to you (on your right) turing at the same time! and vehicle-in-lane-2 keep to lane 2. Can the vehicle-in-lane-2 choose between lanes 2 or 3? YES - because there is no vehicle to the right to cut off - but don't turn sharper and end up in lane 1 - for the same reason.

      Q2: Does the same rule from above apply to double right-hand turn lanes (yes, we got those here in California too)? By that, I mean that the vehicle-in-right-most-lane keep to the right and vehicle-in-next-right-most-lane keep to next-most-right lane? Could the vehicle-in-next-right-most-lane choose the left-most lane also? NO - the option to "drift" over a lane is reserved for left turns only, don't know why, just something I've come to accept.

      Q3: I read in a commercial driver's handbook that a tractor-trailer making a left-hand turn, must stick to the left-most lane. In the double/triple turn lane scenario, such a rig has to swing wide so that the overtrack of the trailer doesn't hop the lane divider; which means that the driver is technically in both lanes at once. What does (or should) he really do to make this turn safely and legally? You have to do the best you can with what physics allows. I can't expect a combination vehicle to make a turn so tight that the trailer will drag over the corner and up the sidewalk. Like when a tractor-trailer turns right, they have to swing out into the next lane over so they can move out the king-pin's pivit point. That's usually when a car tries to sneak in on the right and turn inside the truck, ending up under the trailer - and the car, not the truck, is at fault (at least here in CA). On a left turn, the truck will have to pull out straight a small distance into the intersection and then crank it left, again moving the pivit point out so that they can pull the trailer through. You have to be reasonable and make allowances - don't think any cop in CA would cite a truck driver for doing what he/she has to do in order to navigate a corner - just as long as it's done at a safe speed and mindfull of cars already in the intersection.
      Last edited by andy5746; 06-14-2008, 01:49 AM.
      LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO DRINK CHEAP BEER!

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      • #4
        Great Answers Andy5746

        Wow, great answers. Thanks. I've seen the illustrations in the DMV Driver's Handbook, but the laws backing it up are a lot more obscure to find.

        In reference to Q3, I imagine that where the law doesn't specify, common sense and reasonable safety takes over. By the way, what CVC applies to the situation of a car driver making turns in-and-around a tractor-trailer that jeopardizes either's safety? My guess is something like where it's illegal to enter an intersection if it's not safe to do so, and turns like this are clearly "entering an intersection."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by UncleVic View Post
          Wow, great answers. Thanks. I've seen the illustrations in the DMV Driver's Handbook, but the laws backing it up are a lot more obscure to find.

          In reference to Q3, I imagine that where the law doesn't specify, common sense and reasonable safety takes over. By the way, what CVC applies to the situation of a car driver making turns in-and-around a tractor-trailer that jeopardizes either's safety? My guess is something like where it's illegal to enter an intersection if it's not safe to do so, and turns like this are clearly "entering an intersection."
          Generally I would cite for "passing on right when unsafe" - 21755 CVC (because the most common car vs truck scenario is when a car driver will try and make a right turn on the inside of a truck's right turn). Section 21750 CVC will work for failing to pass safely to the left. Hope this helps!
          LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO DRINK CHEAP BEER!

          Comment

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