No, we didn’t find any statutes that specifically prohibited changing lanes in an intersection.
That being said, you can still get in trouble if you do it.
Let us explain.
Is It Illegal To Change Lanes In An Intersection In Delaware? (EXPLAINED)
The contents of this web page are for informational purposes only, and nothing you read is intended to be legal advice. Please review our disclaimer about law/legal-related information on this website before taking action based upon anything you read or see.
Where Are The Laws That I Can Look To In Order To Confirm Whether Lane Changes In An Intersection In This State Are Legal/Illegal?
We were unable to find a law in the Delaware Code which specifically states that intersection lane changes were illegal.
We did find the following:
On a roadway with at least 2 travel lanes proceeding in the same direction and if a travel lane proceeding in the same direction exists to the left, the driver of the overtaking vehicle shall, yielding the right-of-way and proceeding with caution, move completely into the lane to the left before passing.Delaware Code section 4116
A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.Delaware Code section 4122
In the end, it seems that Delaware is more concerned that the drivers act in a safe and cautious manner.
If you want to review the Delaware traffic code yourself, you can access it for free here.
But I Thought Lane Changes In Intersections Were Illegal?
You and a lot of people, actually.
It is really common in all of the 50 states for the residents to believe that there is a specific law prohibiting the maneuver.
Instead, most states have laws prohibiting unsafe conduct.
Drivers education probably teaches new drivers many things that they shouldn’t do, such as speeding, straying outside the lines, and using cell phones.
All of these things are good things for new drivers to avoid, but not all of them are illegal.
Some of it is just common sense.
Why Are Intersections So Dangerous?
There’s a lot happening in intersections.
Cars and stopping and going.
People looking one way and not checking the other again.
It is chaos sometimes in an intersection, so it is not wonder that accidents occur, especially because people are more distracted than ever while driving.
But My Friend Got a Ticket For Changing Lanes In An Intersection.
Yes, you can 100& get a ticket for changing lanes in an intersection in Delaware.
But the ticket is usually for something like “unsafe lane change” or “unsafe passing” or “failure to maintain a line a travel.”
The circumstances of the lane change will be really relevant to whether or not a ticket gets issued by the observant traffic enforcement officer.
What Happens If I Got Into A Crash While Changing Lanes?
That sounds messy.
Depending on the crash, you could be looking at a ticket or two.
Or you could be looking at criminal charges for reckless driving or worse.
You could also be looking at a civil lawsuit for physical injuries or damages caused to the other drivers in the wreck.
If you think that the case could rise to the level of a criminal charge, most attorneys recommend that you contact an experienced Delaware criminal defense attorney.
Defense attorneys who are used to handling both criminal cases and personal injury/auto accident cases can provide the best advice to potential clients as they know both sides of how these cases proceed.
They may be able to guide you though the insurance investigation and law enforcement investigation so that you don’t make a bad situation even worse.
Want to learn more about the courts and our justice system?
Browse our free legal library guides for more information.
You might also like: