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Lanes – placement & changing lanes

Different types of lanes

Lanes can take two different forms:

  • Marked: The lanes are separated by lines. This is the most common type.
  • Unmarked: If there is enough room to drive a four-wheeled vehicle, this is also considered to be a lane.

Positioning of the car inside the lane

Car A has the best positioning for driving in dark conditions.

Car A has the best positioning for driving in dark conditions.

The basic rule is that you should be in the middle of your lane. However, there are situations in which another position is more appropriate.

Daylight with good visibility to the sides

If you have a good line of sight to the sides (no forest or deep ditches), you may position your car slightly further to the right in the lane. This gives you a good margin for oncoming vehicles.

In the dark

Drive closer to the middle of the road (left side of the lane). This gives you a greater margin in the event that an elk steps out on to the road, for example. However, when there is oncoming traffic, it is appropriate to move a little to the right to create a wider safety margin to the other vehicle.

When turning

  • Left turn: As close to the left edge of your lane as possible. You must not hinder oncoming traffic.
  • Right turn: As close to the right edge of the lane as possible.

When turning on a one-way road

On one-way roads you do not have to take oncoming traffic into consideration. The correct placement is therefore the following:

  • Left turn: As close to the left edge of the lane as possible.
  • Right turn: As close to the right edge of the lane as possible.

You are driving on a one-way street and want to turn left. Position your car to the left of the carriageway, as oncoming traffic is not allowed. Please note that the road you are about to enter is a regular road with two-way traffic (see the warning sign).

Which lane to choose

The basic rule is that you must choose the lane that is furthest to the right. However, in the following situations, you may choose the lane that is most suitable for your continued journey:

  • There are at least two marked lanes for traffic travelling in your direction, and the speed limit is 70 km/h or lower.
  • There are lane assignment signs.

You are driving towards Göteborg and have just overtaken another car. Unless you want to overtake more cars, you must change lanes to D. This is because the speed limit is 80 km/h and all lanes lead to the same destination. There will be an exit in 500 metres, but lane D continues straight ahead just like A, B and C.

Changing lanes

How to change lanes, step by step

  1. Check the traffic situation in front of you.
  2. If the distance to the vehicle in front of you is good, check:
    1. Rear-view mirror.
    2. Side mirror.
    3. Blind spot (turn your head).
  3. If everything looks good, turn on your indicator.
  4. Wait a few seconds. Keep your eyes moving and gauge the reactions of other road users.
  5. Check your blind spot one last time.
  6. Calmly turn into the new lane. A small speed increase is appropriate when changing lanes if there are vehicles close behind you in the new lane.

Prohibition on changing lanes

In dense traffic on roads with multiple lanes in your direction, there will sometimes be gaps in the other lanes. It may then be tempting to change lanes in order to move further ahead. However, you are not allowed to slalom between cars.

Example of unlawful slaloming.
Example of unlawful slaloming.

You are not permitted to pass over into another lane if the line on your side is solid.

Solid line.
A is not permitted to pass over into B’s lane, as there is a solid centre line on A’s side. B, on the other hand, is allowed to move into A’s lane (for example when overtaking) as the line is not solid on B’s side.

Special lanes

Public transport lane (bus lane)

The purpose of public transport lanes is to ensure that buses do not get stuck in queues, which would delay them. In addition to regular bus services, the following vehicles may use the public transport lane:

  • Bicycles.
  • Class II mopeds (not EU mopeds class I).

If any other vehicles are permitted to use the public transport lane, this is specified on an additional panel. There are places, for example, where the public transport lane is only reserved during rush hour in the morning and afternoon.

The public transport lane is indicated by the Reserved lane or carriageway for vehicles operating a regular service, etc. sign. Road markings with the word ‘BUSS may also occur.

Reversible lane

The direction of traffic flow in a reversible lane can be changed as needed. In the afternoon, many road users will be travelling home from work, and it is then practical to have an extra lane for traffic leaving the town centre in order to reduce the risk of queues forming. The direction of traffic is controlled by traffic signals.

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