In some states, it apparently is illegal to make multi-lane changes. For example, a Florida state trooper said that changing multiple lanes at once is against the law:

"So, if you are in the far right lane and you’re attempting to get all the way to the far left travel lane, you must activate your turn signal and then move slowly and safely, one lane at a time," he said. "Crossing multiple lanes in one movement is considered an illegal lane change and, honestly, no driver can read your mind and expect you to fly across the road."

Assuming this accurately reflects Florida law, does this apply in other states as well, such as Ohio?

  • 1
    It is not legal to do so in Colorado, FWIW, and almost all U.S. state traffic codes are based on a common template.
    – ohwilleke
    May 2, 2022 at 21:21
  • 1
    @ohwilleke can you provide a reference?
    – feetwet
    May 5, 2022 at 19:27
  • Didn't provide an answer because I didn't have time to dig up the reference.
    – ohwilleke
    May 5, 2022 at 21:34

1 Answer 1


The answer depends on how you define "simultaneously," but in most cases, such a maneuver is probably legal.

Ohio Revised Code section 4511.39 requires you to signal a lane change "continuously during not less than the last one hundred feet traveled ... before turning."

I think the most natural reading would be that you need to signal your intent to move from Lane 1 to Lane 2 for at least 100 feet, and then signal your intent to move from Lane 2 to Lane 3 for at least 100 feet.

Note, though, that at some speeds, the 100-foot requirement is practically not a requirement at all. If you're traveling at 70 miles per hour, which is Ohio's default freeway speed limit, you'll cover 100 feet in less than one second. So although you probably couldn't just do a hard jerk from Lane 1 to Lane 3, you should be fine if your car spends one full second entirely in Lane 2.

FWIW: I don't believe that the Florida trooper has accurately characterized the law, either. Under F.S. 316.085, the only requirement before changing a lane is that the driver ensure:

that the vehicle is not being approached or passed by any other vehicle in the lane or on the side to which the driver desires to move and that the move can be completely made with safety and without interfering with the safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the same direction.

F.S. 316.155 requires the driver to use a turn signal for at least 100 feet before the lane change, but it doesn't require that he move "slowly" from one lane to the next, nor does it prohibit "crossing multiple lanes in one movement." It merely requires the driver to ensure the lane change "can be made with reasonable safety."

  • "100 ' before turning" is going to still require you to go straight in the lane prior to the lane change.
    – Tiger Guy
    May 3, 2022 at 2:11
  • Instead of going straight, why couldn't you use those 100 feet to drift from the extreme right side of the lane to the extreme left?
    – bdb484
    May 3, 2022 at 3:15
  • Would the 100-feet rule imply that you can't cross multiple lanes in one movement? In other words, if there are three lanes, and you're in the right lane and then make a lane change to the left after 100 feet, would you have to wait yet another 100 feet before moving into the left lane?
    – The Editor
    May 5, 2022 at 17:50
  • 1
    Again, it depends on what you mean by "one movement." The car is always moving, so I don't think that's a useful phrasing to use. But as above, I think you could drift from Lane 1 to Leave 3 in 200 feet, as long as you spend the second 100 feet in Lane 2.
    – bdb484
    May 5, 2022 at 19:00

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