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What Do the Lines on the Road Mean?

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When we’ve been driving for a while, we can often take for granted our knowledge of road indicators. For example, do you know what all of the lines on the road really mean? Maybe you do, or think you do. If you’re unsure, we’ve put together a list to help you out.


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What Do the Lines on the Road Mean?

Dashed Yellow Line

The first thing you need to know is what the color yellow indicates. Yellow lines are meant to separate two lanes of traffic moving in opposite directions. If the yellow line is dashed, this means that you are free to pass a slower car if the coast is clear. When there are two yellow lines, you should follow the laws regarding the line closest to you; the line on your side of the road needs to be dashed for you to be allowed to pass.

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Solid Yellow Line

Because this is a yellow line, it still separates you from oncoming traffic. However, if the line is solid, this means you are not allowed to pass the car in front of you. If the line on your side of the road is solid, you should not pass, even if the other side is dashed. A double yellow line indicates that passing is not allowed from either side of the road.

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Dashed White Line

A white line is there to separate lanes of traffic moving in the same direction. The dashed lines indicate that you are free to change lanes. These are most commonly seen on the highway, but can also be seen in city streets.

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Single White Road Line

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Solid White Line

Solid white lines still separate two lanes going the same way. However, if the line is solid, this indicates that you should not change lanes. These are often used in construction areas to discourage drivers from moving around too much or to separate carpool lanes from the regular flow of traffic.

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Sources: U.S. Department of Transportation