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California Motor Vehicle Code 21660

Approaching Vehicles

California Vehicle Code 21660 states that cars must pass oncoming vehicles on the right side of the roadway and allow the other car at least half of the road for safe passage. According to the Guiness Book of Records Book of Answers, 58 countries drive on the left side of the roads, and 163 drive on the right. Tradition seems to play a key factor in which side of the roads countries choose for travel.

Do not confuse this rule with passing cars that are traveling in the same direction as you. When you pass cars traveling in the same direction, you should pass them on the left. Meaning, their car will be on your passenger side. Passing cars on the right that are traveling in the same direction is illegal in almost every state.

When you are passing approaching vehicles, you pass to the right of the road. This means that the oncoming cars will pass the driver's side of your car or truck. This allows you to see them better, since drivers in the United States are situated on the left side of their cars.

You should remember to follow this rule when driving lanes are not clearly marked on the roads. You will most likely use this rule when traveling on rural roads and traveling in the mountains.

If you fail to pass to the right or yield half the roadway to oncoming cars, you could receive a traffic ticket and face fines up to $250. You could also be liable for civil damages if you cause an accident.

Although this law may seem self-explanatory, there are many accidents each year because one driver failed to yield enough traveling space to the other driver. You must give at least one-half the roadway to the other car so they may pass safely. If you fail to do this, and the other driver has an accident, you could be at fault for not yielding the right-of-way.

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