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Highway Driving

Speed Limits

The maximum speed limit on most interstate and state highways in Texas is 75 miles per hour, although in some areas the speed limit may be higher because of fewer people traveling on certain roads. Speed limits on state highways can and often are set lower than the maximum and drivers should always be alert for changes in posted speed limits and driving conditions.

Observing speed limits means more than driving faster or slower than the posted speed: it means driving to conditions. When it's raining or foggy, when ice is on the road, when traffic is heavy or when road construction is ahead, adjust your speed accordingly.

Keep Right

Watch for signs on Texas multi-lane highways that read "Left Lane For Passing Only." These signs let you know that the left lane on a divided highway is not a "fast" lane; it is a passing lane.

After you pass someone, move into the right lane once you've safely cleared the vehicle. Impeding the flow of traffic by continuing to drive in the left lane is punishable by a fine of up to $200.

Sharing the Road with Trucks

Trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and may need up to 100 yards to stop. Here are some tips to help keep you safe when you drive near trucks:

  • Maintain a safe following distance. When the vehicle in front of you passes a fixed object, you should be able to count at least two seconds before you pass the same object.
  • Don't squeeze between trucks and the curb. Trucks make wide right turns, and the driver may not see you.
  • When passing a truck, don't move back into your lane until you can see both truck headlights in your rearview mirror.
  • Be aware of a truck's blind spots: up to 20 feet in front of the tractor, anywhere along the sides of the trailer and up to 200 feet behind the trailer.
  • Never cross behind a truck that is backing up.

Move Over

When you approach a stopped emergency vehicle with lights flashing, state law requires that you:

  • move a lane away from the emergency vehicle, or
  • slow down 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit.

Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to $200.

Give Yourself a Break

If your eyes close or go out of focus, you can't stop yawning, your thoughts wander or you're drifting between lanes, wake up: you're a "drowsy driver." Stay alert by doing the following:

  • Get plenty of rest before your trip.
  • Get out of your vehicle and stretch your legs every two hours. Rest for 15-20 minutes during each stop.
  • Avoid driving between midnight and 6 a.m.
  • Don't drink and drive - even small amounts of alcohol can impair your judgment and your reaction time.

Rest Areas

Take advantage of the more than 100 Safety Rest Areas and Travel Information Centers in Texas. At many stops, you can use free wifi, get current information on highway conditions, learn about local attractions and find picnic tables and other accommodations.