Washington Drivers Are Required By Law To Stay Right Unless Passing

One of the most frustrating entrances onto Highway 395 doesn't have to be if drivers would just follow the rules of the road.


Washington State Drivers Don't Have The Right Of Way When Merging Left

I'm continually blown away by how many Washington State drivers don't know how to merge from the left onto Highway 395 near the Lewis Street exit in Pasco. It's an ugly engineering nightmare but if drivers followed the law, it would be much easier for Washington drivers to navigate.

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I've seen it time and time again as I've tried to merge out of Pasco from the left onto Highway 395. There are two factors you have to deal with when merging at the on-ramp.

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Washington Drivers Need To Match The Highway Speed When Entering The Roadway

Even though Washington State law requires drivers to stay in the right lane except passing, drivers will stay in the left lane on Highway 395 making the merge from the left difficult.

Blue Bridge Merge Lane Off Lewis
credit: google street view

What's interesting is that if you are behind another car, I'm always dismayed at how slow the car in front of me is traveling. The vehicles in the left lane are going 60 and the vehicles trying to enter are barely going 45 sometimes.

Vehicles Need To Match Highway Speed When Merging Onto An Expressway

According to law, your vehicle should be matching the highway speed as you merge onto the highway. I've seen so many drivers try and merge at a slow rate of speed and if you are behind them, you are stuck in their wake and you yourself will struggle to get over in time.

Besides breaking the law on the merge, drivers don't realize that you don't have the right of way when merging from the left in the State of Washington so if someone is camped in the left lane, they are under no obligation to move over for you.

It creates quite a dangerous situation and I've avoided many and seen many accidents because drivers don't know the rules of the road.

RCW.46.16.100 breaks down the law and you can click here to learn more about Washington State driving laws.

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