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Cok Kinzler PLLP

Passing in the left- and right-hand lanes

For many in Bozeman, the prevailing thought may be that car accidents only happen due to another’s carelessness. While that may the cause of many of the accidents whose victims we here at Cok Kinzler PLLP assist, oftentimes collisions can also be the result of drivers making rushed or panicked decisions behind the wheel. This often occurs when vehicles traveling in the same direction attempt to pass each other on the road. If you have been involved in an accident in these circumstances (regardless of whether you were passing or being passed), you may need to understand the law regarding overtaking vehicles on the road should the issue of legal action later arise.

Montana law states that, in general, any attempts to pass another vehicle traveling the same direction on a two-lane highway should be done using the left lane. Passing on the right is permitted on roadways with more than two lanes, or if the vehicle you are passing is about to make a left turn. If you are passing another vehicle on the left, you must remain in the left-hand lane until you are safely clear of the overtaken vehicle. If you are coming upon a vehicle traveling at a decreased speed in the left-hand lane, you are permitted to flash your lights or honk your car horn, at which point the driver is required to give way to the right.

If you are being overtaken on the left and the right-hand lane is impeded or not in a condition that allows for safe travel, you can drive on the shoulder of the road at a safe speed provided that the shoulder is wide enough to accommodate your vehicle.

You can learn more about Montana’s rules of the road by continuing to explore our site. 

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