Road Striping - it means something
Some people aren't familiar with road striping and what it means, and some don't seem to care at all. I know it's only paint on the road, but it's every bit as important as paint on the stop sign, the yield sign and the do not enter sign.
It's put there as an important advisory, guide and warning to help us drive safely. Therefore, it's crucial that we know the meaning of all the white and yellow paint.
Like we say in Wyoming, "It's not just for pretty."
There are variations in laws between states, but generally the basics are the same across the country. I'll stick with the very basics so I'm not telling you something that is contrary to what your state rules say.
White lines generally mean traffic in the same direction as you're traveling, assuming of course that you're going the right way. Notice on the expressway that lines on the pavement between lanes are white. That's your indication of traffic next to you traveling in the same direction.
A broken white line means that you can cross it. A solid white line means you shouldn't cross it, or know that if you do, it could be hazardous.
This is why road striping on straight portions of the expressway are broken, and severe lane changes or sharp curves generally have solid white lines. The solid white lines mean "stay in your lane" while traveling in sections marked with a solid white line.
Exit only lanes and freeway entrance lanes also have solid white lines because once you decide to exit, your fellow drivers should be able to count on you staying there and not re-entering the lanes of traffic.
On freeway entrance lanes, you should be able to count fellow drivers entering traffic at the end of the solid white line and not before. The road striping doesn't provide this assurance, but that's the idea.
Solid white lines are also used on the right hand side of the road to show where the road ends and the shoulder begins. Again, the white indicates traffic traveling in the same direction as you. In this case they're not traveling but merely facing in the same direction on the shoulder.
Yellow lines on the pavement generally mean traffic traveling in the opposing direction. A divided highway will have a single or double yellow line in the middle of the road to show you where the lane begins for traffic traveling in the opposing direction.
Broken yellow road striping means you can cross it to pass, whereas a solid yellow line means you shouldn't cross it. When a double yellow line appears in the middle of the road, you need to stay mindful of what the yellow line nearest you indicates is allowed.
Such "pass" and "don't pass" markings correspond with your ability to see oncoming traffic on the road. You'll notice a solid yellow line nearest you as you ascend a rise because you won't be able to see traffic over the top of the rise coming at you. The same is true for winding roads with thick trees or hillsides that block your ability to see oncoming traffic that is near to you.
A solid yellow line will also indicate the left had side of the road where all lanes travel in the same direction and crossing over into oncoming traffic is not possible to do because of a grass median, a boulevard, a guardrail or concrete barriers.
Done with Road Striping, take me back to Safe Driving