A driver must use caution when passing another vehicle. Here are some important reminders that you should always keep in mind when you do:
- On a two-lane highway, the left lane should be seen and free of oncoming traffic for a distance great enough to permit passing.
- Do not turn back into the right-hand lane until you can see the entire vehicle you have just passed in your rearview mirror.
- You must return to your lane before you get within 200 feet of an oncoming vehicle.
- The driver you are passing must not increase speed until you have completed your passing.
- Driving off the pavement or main traveled part of the road is not allowed when passing another vehicle on the right or the left.
- When passing a bicyclist or pedestrian who is riding or walking on the road or shoulder of the roadway, you must keep a minimum of three feet between your vehicle and the bicyclist or pedestrian.
- You may pass on the right (but not on the shoulder except for authorized vehicles):
- When you have enough room on a two-lane roadway, and when the vehicle you are
- passing is making or is about to make a left turn.
- On a one-way street or a roadway with two or more clear lanes in each direction.
- At an intersection widened for this purpose.
- Passing on a two-lane, two-way roadway is not allowed:
- In an area marked for no passing by a solid yellow line on your side of the center of the roadway or a DO NOT PASS or NO PASSING ZONE sign.
- On a hill or curve where it is not possible to see oncoming vehicles.
- Within 100 feet of an intersection or railroad crossing.
- When the view is blocked within 100 feet of any bridge, viaduct, or tunnel.
- When a vehicle has stopped at a crosswalk or intersection to allow a pedestrian to cross.
- In a construction zone. All construction zones in Illinois are no passing zones.
- In any school zone located in an unincorporated area.
- In any posted school zone in an incorporated area.
- When a school bus has stopped to load or discharge passengers.
Proper Lane Usage
You must drive on the right half of the roadway except:
- When passing another vehicle moving in the same direction on a two-lane highway,
interstate highway or controlled freeway.
- When a blockage makes it necessary to drive to the left of the center line. You may
drive on the left after yielding to oncoming traffic.
- On a roadway divided into three marked lanes for traffic.
- On a one-way street with two or more lanes of traffic.
- When directed to drive in a left lane by traffic control signs and signals on a multi –
lane, two-way highway.
- When crossing the center line to make a left turn into or from an alley, private road
- When approaching a stationary emergency vehicle (when it is safe to do so).
- When roadway construction is located in or in close proximity to the right lane or
When driving on an interstate highway or full access controlled freeway, a person may not drive in the left lane(s), except when passing another vehicle. Exceptions include when:
- No other vehicle is directly behind the vehicle being driven in the left lane.
- Traffic conditions/congestion make it impractical to drive in the right lane.
- Weather conditions make it necessary to use the left lane(s).
- There is an obstruction or hazard in the right lane.
The driver is changing lanes to yield to emergency or construction vehicles.
Additional rules apply in certain situations:
- Slow vehicles must use the right-hand lane except when passing or making a left turn.
- Weaving from lane to lane to move faster than the traffic flow is unlawful.
- Traffic must travel in the direction of posted one-way streets or roadways. This rule
does not apply to police and emergency vehicles using sirens or flashing lights.
- It is unlawful to drive across median strips such as unpaved strips or median barriers. A driver may turn left across a paved dividing-space unless it is not permitted
by a traffic control sign or signal.
- A driver must not enter or leave any controlled-access roadway except at a posted
entrance or exit.
Many roads will have two or more lanes going in your direction. Here are some tips for choosing lanes for the smoothest driving:
- Choose the lane that is less congested and has the smoothest flow of traffic.
- Pick the right lane if only two lanes are going in your direction. You should not weave in.
- If you have the option to choose between three lanes on your side of the road:
- Pick the middle lane for the smoothest driving
- Use the left lane to go faster, pass, or turn left
- Use the right lane to drive slowly, enter, or turn off the road
- You should always position your car to keep up with the traffic flow.
- If other drivers are going faster than the speed limit, slow down and move to the right. You should never exceed the legal speed limit.
- Don’t drive in bunches or drive in the blind spot of other drivers. If you can, keep other vehicles out of your blind spots as well.
You’ll need a sufficient gap with other cars any time you merge. This will allow a safe following distance from the ones in front of you. Here are some tips:
- Always filter through traffic slowly. This is because if you wait for all lanes to clear, you’ll just inconvenience other drivers, tie up traffic, or even cause an accident.
- Don’t squeeze into a gap if it’s too small. Again, you should always leave space for a cushion.
- You should always watch out for vehicles around you. Check your rearview mirror before you change lanes and don’t forget to use your turn signals – they are not just there for decorations.
- Lastly, if you have to cross several lanes, don’t rush! Take them one at a time.