is a free resource and guide for those who have suffered an injury caused by a traffic accident and don’t how to receive compensation.



Truck Lane Restrictions in California

Driving on a large multi-lane highway in a standard passenger vehicle can be stressful. This is especially true when driving close to large commercial trucks, including 18-wheelers and freight trucks. 

Because commercial trucks are so much heavier than other automobiles, accidents involving these vehicles often result in significant damage. If you or someone you know has suffered a traffic accident injury, make sure to contact a skilled lawyer as soon as possible. 

The potential hazards that come from commercial truck accidents have led some states to put lane regulations in place. California is one such state. 

Below, we will examine truck lane restrictions in California. These regulations are designed to promote safer roadways across the state.

Trucking Regulations in California

There are many commercial trucks that travel on California’s roadways each day. In fact, California has more of these vehicles than other states.  

The California government has placed regulations on commercial trucks across the state. These rules and guidelines are detailed in the California Vehicle Code

The California legal code regulates how the following vehicles must be driven: 

  • Big rigs
  • Semi trucks
  • 18-wheelers
  • Motor homes
  • Vehicles towing other vehicles
  • And more 

Any vehicle that is larger than a standard passenger car or truck is subject to a 55 mile-per-hour speed limit. The California Legal Code also places lane restrictions on these vehicles.

Commercial Truck Lane Restrictions in California

Larger and heavier vehicles are not permitted to drive in all lanes on California state highways. Because commercial trucks are heavier, they accelerate and decelerate slower than standard vehicles. 

As a result, they can cause a variance in the speed and flow of highway traffic. Some research has shown that speed variance on highways is a potential cause of dangerous traffic accidents.  

California’s regulations restrict large trucks from using the left-most lanes of state highways. The left lanes are typically used for passing slower vehicles.  

Allowing large trucks to use left-most lanes would put drivers at a greater risk of auto accident injury. The specific lane restrictions on commercial trucks will vary depending on the size of the particular highway. 

When a highway has three or fewer lanes, commercial trucks are required to drive on the far right side of the roadway. The size of a highway excludes carpool lanes. 

For California highways with four or more lanes in each direction, commercial trucks are permitted to drive in the two rightmost lanes. In general, commercial trucks and larger vehicles are required to keep right when traveling on the highway. 

Some California roadways, including Interstate 5, feature lanes that are only intended for trucks. These designated lanes are intended to regulate the flow of traffic and decrease the likelihood of accidents. 

If you have suffered a motor vehicle accident injury in a collision with a large truck, do not wait. Reach out to a skilled legal professional as soon as possible.

How Are California’s Truck Laws Enforced?

The traffic regulations in California are enforced by the state’s Highway Patrol officers. When driving down the highways in the state, there are many law enforcement vehicles that are specifically designated to enforce commercial trucking regulations.

If a commercial truck driver violates the lane regulations in California, they may face fines and ticketing.

What Are the Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents?

When a commercial vehicle operator violates lane restriction regulations, the chances of a truck accident injury increase. However, this is not the only possible cause of a commercial truck accident. 

Some of the other typical causes of commercial truck collisions include:

Distracted Driving

When a driver is not paying full attention to the road in front of them, they put others in danger. Common examples of distracted driving include: 

  • Texting
  • Talking on the phone
  • Eating
  • Using a tablet or other electronic device
  • And more 

Distracted driving leads to a significant number of commercial trucking accidents on California highways each year. If you were injured by a distracted commercial vehicle driver, you may be owed significant financial compensation.

Inadequate Training 

In some cases, the commercial trucking company may be legally responsible for an accident. Some motor carriers do not provide their employees with adequate training or licensing. 

When this happens, drivers may fail to respond appropriately and cause a collision. Negligent trucking companies should be held accountable for the damage they cause.

Driving Under the Influence

When a commercial truck driver operates a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, accidents become very likely. If you have been injured by an intoxicated driver, you have the legal right to pursue financial compensation for the harm you suffered.

Manufacturing Errors

Not every commercial truck collision is the fault of the driver or company. Some accidents are the result of faulty or defective truck components. 

For example, suppose that a commercial truck’s steering system is faulty. If the driver loses control and an accident occurs, those responsible for the faulty steering system may be at fault. 

If you are injured in an accident resulting from faulty truck parts, you may be owed compensation from the following parties: 

  • Manufacturers
  • Retailers
  • Suppliers
  • Other vendors 

A skilled truck accident attorney will review the facts of your case and help you determine legal liability. 

How Can an Attorney Help You?

If you have been hurt because a commercial truck operator violated California’s lane restriction laws, contact a skilled tort lawyer immediately. A legal professional will ensure that you pursue the full amount of compensation that is rightfully yours. 

When you need to find an attorney in your area, use the free guide and resources on We will match you with an accomplished commercial truck accident attorney in your area. 

A tort lawyer will review the evidence, determine liability, calculate the value of your claim, and guide you through every step of the legal process. You should not have to bear the costs of a traffic collision that another person’s negligence caused. 

Fill out the contact form or call the number on to arrange a free legal consultation today!

Trucking Laws

Trucking Laws All automobile collisions are highly dangerous. But crashes involving commercial trucks carry even more risks for those involved.  Commercial trucks are much larger

Read More »

Truck Only Lanes

Truck Only Lanes Large commercial tractor-trailers also referred to as semis and 18-wheelers, are a staple of American roadways. They can be quite dangerous and

Read More »
Truck Accident Claim Review
Complete the form to have an attorney review your trucking accident claim

Were you severely injured by a commercial or semi-truck?

What is the date of the accident?

Did you receive medical treatment?

What kind of injuries were sustained?

Was a police report filed?

Was the accident your fault or were you issued a ticket for the accident?

Is an attorney helping you with your claim or has an attorney already rejected your claim?

First Name*

Last Name*

Phone Number*

Email Address*

State where the injury occurred

Zip Code where the injury occurred

By clicking "Submit" you agree that you will be contacted by a legal representative, participating attorney, or affiliate via phone, email or SMS (Msg & Data rates may apply) about your interest in finding an attorney. Consent is not a requirement of purchase.