Q: What are the Texas laws regarding driving on the wrong side of the road?
Though there are a few exceptions, the law in Texas generally requires vehicles to stay on the right-hand side of the road. If a driver fails to keep right, he's guilty of negligence per se.
Driving on the Wrong Side
Vehicles are allowed to occupy the wrong side of the road only under limited circumstances, which are specified by section 545.051 of the Texas transportation code. These exceptions include:
- Passing another vehicle
- Avoiding an obstruction in the road
- Traveling on a roadway that has more than two lanes of traffic
- Traveling on a one-way road
Since the law in Texas requires drivers to stay in the proper lane, a motorist who causes a collision by traveling in the wrong lane is guilty of negligence per se. These accidents occur due to:
- Drifting across the center lane due to drowsiness. Fatigued drivers create an extreme hazard when they doze off and cross into oncoming traffic.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drugged or intoxicated drivers frequently cross into the wrong lane of traffic when they swerve or lose control of their vehicles.
- Distracted driving. Smartphones and other electronic devices may take a driver’s attention off the road, causing him to unknowingly swerve into the wrong lane.
- Reckless driving. Aggressive drivers can cause a collision by attempting to pass when there isn’t enough room, or when visibility is poor.
Negligence Per Se
Vehicle accident injury victims must typically prove negligence on the part of the at-fault driver in order to receive compensation. However, when a driver causes an accident while traveling on the wrong side of the road, he's guilty of causing injury while violating the law. This is known as negligence per se, and it can be sufficient to prove wrongdoing.
If you’ve been injured by a driver traveling on the wrong side of the road, an experienced vehicle accident attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.