As a driver in Texas, it’s important to be aware of the various laws and regulations that govern driving in the state. However, some of these laws are often misunderstood or misinterpreted, which can lead to confusion and even traffic violations. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most commonly misunderstood Texas driving laws and provide clarity on what drivers need to know to stay safe and avoid legal issues on the road.

Texas “Move Over” Law

One of the most commonly misunderstood Texas driving laws is the “Move Over” law. This law requires drivers to move to the next available lane when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle, tow truck, or Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) vehicle with its lights activated. If it is not possible to move over safely, drivers are required to slow down to 20 mph below the posted speed limit.

The purpose of this law is to provide a safer working environment for emergency responders and highway workers. Unfortunately, many drivers do not understand the importance of this law and fail to move over or slow down when approaching these vehicles. This can put emergency responders and highway workers at risk, as well as result in traffic violations and fines for drivers who do not comply with the law.

Right-of-Way Laws

Another area where Texas drivers may be confused is right-of-way laws. In Texas, the driver who arrives at an intersection first has the right-of-way and can proceed through the intersection before other drivers. If two or more vehicles arrive at the same time, the driver on the right has the right-of-way. However, many drivers are unaware of these rules and may try to “beat” other drivers through the intersection or fail to yield when required, which can lead to accidents and legal issues.

In addition, there are some specific right-of-way laws in Texas that may be misunderstood. For example, when approaching a yield sign, drivers must slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary, and yield to any pedestrians or vehicles already in the intersection. Failure to yield at a yield sign can result in a traffic violation and fine.

Speed Limits in Texas

While most drivers are aware of the posted speed limits on Texas roads and highways, there are some misconceptions about how these speed limits apply. In Texas, the posted speed limit is the maximum speed that drivers are allowed to travel, but it may not always be safe or appropriate to drive at that speed. Drivers must adjust their speed based on weather and road conditions, traffic volume, and other factors that may affect safety.

Additionally, some drivers may not be aware that certain areas, such as school zones, construction zones, and residential areas, may have lower speed limits than other areas. It’s important for drivers to pay attention to posted signs and adjust their speed accordingly to avoid traffic violations and accidents.

Passing Laws in Texas

Passing other vehicles on Texas roads and highways is a common occurrence, but many drivers may not fully understand the laws surrounding passing. In Texas, drivers are required to pass on the left, and may only pass on the right if the vehicle being passed is making a left turn or if there are two or more lanes of traffic in the same direction.

In addition, passing is only allowed when it is safe and legal to do so. Drivers should not pass on a two-lane road with a solid yellow line, in a no-passing zone, or when approaching a hill, curve, or intersection. Failure to follow these passing laws can result in traffic violations and accidents.

Cell Phone and Texting Laws

Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents in Texas, and as a result, the state has implemented laws to address the issue. However, some drivers may not fully understand these laws and may continue to engage in distracted driving behaviors.

In Texas, it is illegal to use a handheld cell phone while driving in a school zone. In addition, all drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using cell phones while driving, regardless of whether they are using a hands-free device or not. However, for adult drivers, the laws surrounding cell phone use while driving can be confusing.

While there is no statewide ban on handheld cell phone use while driving for adult drivers, some cities and counties in Texas have implemented their own bans. In addition, all drivers in Texas are prohibited from texting while driving. This means that drivers may not read, write, or send text messages while operating a vehicle. Violations of these laws can result in fines and other penalties.

Failure to Stop and Yield Laws

Failure to stop and yield can be a serious issue on Texas roads and highways. Drivers may not fully understand when they are required to stop or yield, which can lead to accidents and legal issues.

In Texas, drivers are required to stop at all stop signs, red lights, and flashing red lights. Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign can result in a traffic violation and fine, as well as put other drivers and pedestrians at risk.

Yielding is also an important part of safe driving in Texas. Drivers must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, as well as to other vehicles when entering a highway or making a left turn. Failure to yield can result in a traffic violation and fine and can also lead to accidents and injuries.

Seat Belt Laws

Seat belt laws are in place to protect drivers and passengers in the event of an accident. In Texas, all drivers and passengers in the front seat of a vehicle are required to wear seat belts at all times. In addition, all passengers under the age of 17 are required to wear seat belts, regardless of where they are seated in the vehicle.

Failure to comply with these seat belt laws can result in fines and other penalties. It’s important for drivers and passengers to understand the importance of wearing seat belts, and to always buckle up when riding in a vehicle.


Misunderstanding Texas driving laws can have serious consequences, including traffic violations, fines, and even accidents. By understanding and following the laws and regulations that govern driving in Texas, drivers can stay safe on the road and avoid legal issues. It’s important for drivers to stay up-to-date on any changes to these laws, and to always exercise caution and good judgment when behind the wheel.