Rules of the Road For Texas Drivers

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Driving in Texas is a lot like driving anywhere else in the United States, but there are a few key differences. Whether you’re new to the state or you’ve lived here for years, if it’s been awhile since you read through Texas traffic laws, you should read this guide to get familiar with the rules of the road here in Texas.

Rules for general safety on the road in Texas

  • If seat-belt anchorages were part of the original design of your vehicle, then seatbelts are required for the driver and all passengers. The exceptions to this rule are generally antique vehicles.

  • Children who are under 4’9” tall and/or under eight years old must be secured in an appropriate child seat. Children between eight and seventeen must wear safety belts whenever they’re in a moving vehicle.

  • If you see an emergency vehicle with its flashing lights and siren on, you must yield to it. If it is overtaking you, you should pull over until it is safely passed, and if it is approaching an intersection, do not enter the intersection or otherwise obstruct the way.

  • If you see a school bus with yellow flashing lights, you should slow down to 20 miles per hour or less. When you see the red flashing lights come on, you should stop, whether you are behind the bus or you are approaching it from the front. Do not pass the bus in either direction until the bus resumes motion, the driver signals you to move, or the driver turns off the red lights and “STOP” signal.

  • Pedestrians always have the right of way at uncontrolled intersections, (where there are no traffic signals) and when a “WALK” signal is active. If the light changes, pedestrians in the intersection will still have the right of way, so look out for them when entering intersections and making turns.

  • When you see red flashing traffic lights, you should come to a complete stop and make sure that the way is clear before you continue through the intersection. If the flashing lights are yellow, slow down and proceed with caution.

  • If you come to an intersection with out of order traffic lights that aren’t flashing at all, treat the intersection as a four-way stop.

  • Texas motorcyclists under the age of 20 must wear a helmet when riding. Adult motorcyclists seeking a license in Texas must first hold a Texas driver’s license or pass an Adult Driver Education course. Getting a motorcycle license in Texas involves a written test on traffic laws for motorcycles and a skills course. The road test may or may not be waived.

  • Bicyclists in Texas have the same rights as motorists and must follow the same rules. Drivers should give bicyclists three to five feet of space when passing, and should never drive or park in a bicycle lane.

Important laws for safe driving

  • HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes are reserved for passenger cars, trucks, vans, and buses with two or more occupants. Motorcycles may also travel in these lanes, but single-occupancy hybrid vehicles may not.

  • Passing on the left is legal in Texas when there is a dashed white or yellow line marking the boundary between lanes. You should never pass across a solid line, and passing is prohibited in areas marked with “No Passing Zone” signs.

  • You may make a right on red if you have first come to a complete stop and checked for traffic. If the way is clear, you may continue.

  • U-turns are prohibited at intersections where a “No U-Turns” sign is posted. Otherwise, they are permitted when visibility is good enough and a U-turn can be performed safely.

  • It is illegal to block intersections in Texas. If you cannot completely clear the intersection, wait until traffic has cleared and you can move all the way through.

  • At a four-way stop in Texas, you must always come to a complete stop. The first driver to reach the intersection will have the right of way. If multiple drivers reach it at the same time, the drivers to the left will yield to the drivers to their right.

  • Texas has numerous ramp-metering signals at on-ramps on freeways. Drivers will be warned about these with a “Ramp Metered When Flashing” sign with a flashing yellow light. For each green light on the ramp meter, one vehicle will be permitted to enter the freeway.

  • If you are involved in an accident in Texas, attempt to remove the involved vehicles from the roadway to avoid obstructing traffic. Exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident and call the police to file a report. Wait for the police in a safe place.

  • For adults, driving under the influence (DUI) in Texas is defined as having a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.08 or higher. Texas also has a zero-tolerance policy for minors, and a minor who tests positive for alcohol will face serious penalties.

  • Radar detectors are permitted in Texas for personal vehicles.

  • Texas law requires that all vehicles display valid front and rear license plates.


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Bernie

50 years of experience
41 reviews
Bernie
50 years of experience
Honda Accord - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
I specifically asked for Bernie to come back, since I was so pleased with the work he did on our other car. This time I got to meet Bernie personally. He is a kind family-man who exhibited the quiet confidence of someone you would expect with the 50 years of automotive experience that he has. I felt very comfortable giving him the key to my car. Two of my kids (ages two and four) came out to greet him, since they remembered him from his first visit. Bernie is great around kids and was very kind to my two-year old son who was trying to "help" Bernie do his job. Thanks again, Bernie!
Honda Odyssey - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
I was very pleased with Bernie's work, professionalism, and courteousness. Best brake job I have ever had, and I have had many done (and several done myself, but not on this vehicle). This was a maintenance appointment -- not a repair of something broken -- so I was surprised when the brakes felt so much better after Bernie did the work. You can really see the care he took with our vehicle when I examined everything after he was finished. Thanks, Bernie!

Daniel

9 years of experience
17 reviews
Daniel
9 years of experience
Hyundai Sonata - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Sacramento, California
Awesome customer service. On time and answered my questions with patience. Listened to my concerns and made helpful suggestions. Seemed very knowledgeable and experienced. I will be glad to request him again. Thank you!!

Breck

18 years of experience
532 reviews
Breck
18 years of experience
Toyota RAV4 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Conroe, Texas
Breck was awesome! He called ahead of time and asked if he could arrive early. He was friendly and easy to talk to. He made me feel comfortable with the service he was going to provide and explained things clearly to me. He smiled and made this experience a good one. I will absolutely be booking future appointments with Breck and I will recommend him and Your Mechanic services to others I know. Thank you!

Brian

19 years of experience
101 reviews
Brian
19 years of experience
BMW Z4 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Phoenix, Arizona
Brian knows what he is doing and I am so happy yourmechanic.com suggested him for my Z4 car inspection prior to purchasing and even happier he was available to perform my 1st service on the vehicle I purchased. His knowledge on the brand gave him ability to to an in depth inspection and he communicated very well informing me what to prepare for in ownership of my BMW. When he came to perform maintenance on my vehicle he shared so many tips with me. I will absolutely be having Brian come back out when I need future servicing on my car.

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