As an injury lawyer in the Paterson area, people who have had an accident on Route 80 contact me. Sometimes the accident involves illegal passing by the other driver. (Route 80 in Paterson has 10 lanes at points. Therefore, improper passing can be a real problem there.)
If a driver violates the laws that outlaw improper passing, it generally means that he or she is legally at fault for any resulting traffic accident. In this post, I will review some of the basics of proper passing. At least one of the rules will probably surprise you.
Rule 1: Pass on the Left.
The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle must pass at a safe distance to the left. Passing on the right is usually illegal.
Rule 2: Don’t Cut in Front.
The passing driver may not proceed back to the right until safely clear of the vehicle that was overtaken.
Rule 3. You Can Pass on Right If Traffic Dictates.
If traffic is moving in two or more continuous lines, vehicles in the right lane may pass vehicles to the left, if that is how the traffic is flowing.
Rule 4. You Can Pass Cars Turning Left.
If another car which is making a left turn, you can pass it on the right.
Rule 5. Don’t Ever Pass Right If It’s Not Safe.
When the law allows passing on the right, it only allows passing that is otherwise safe and legal. For example, one may not drive on the “shoulder” of the road to pass.
Now for the part of the law of passing that may surprise you:
Rule 6. On the Highway, You Must Sound Your Horn.
The driver of an overtaking car must give an audible warning with his horn or other warning device before attempting to pass. However, within business or residential areas, you should not sound your horn.
The above rules are not the only ones that govern passing on the highway. If you ever have any questions about this topic, or any other one having to do with injury lawyer issues, whether on a road in Paterson, or anywhere else in New Jersey, feel free to contact me.