Ask A Trooper: Drivers should change lanes one at a time
Question: Is it not the law, when you turn left or right on to a four-lane divided highway, you should turn into the nearest lane first, then signal and proceed to the other lane? Nine of 10 times I see turns into the far lane right away.
Answer: Yes, you are correct. A driver must turn into the closest lane, initially. That is what we are taught. But as you are witnessing, many people just don't understand it for some reason. There are, of course, some exceptions to this. One exception, for example, is on some roadways, when you are turning from a one-way street or roadway onto another one-way street or roadway.
When you turn out into the far lane, you are risking a crash. You should be turning into the closest lane, then signaling and moving over into the farther lane when it is safe and clear to do so, like you indicated. Turning into the proper lane can, in some cases, also apply to turn lanes. Another part of the problem seems to be that a lot of drivers are not signaling their turns in advance (if at all).
If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws in Minnesota, please send your questions to: Trooper Jesse Grabow - Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.