As someone who drives a lot in Portland and other cities in Maine with streets that have multiple lanes traveling in the same direction, I've seen some really bad drivers who don't know how to handle them. If any of them went to driving school when they were younger, they should know this common sense rule.

I've had some close calls over the years, like almost getting sideswiped because someone didn't know what to do at an intersection where I am turning right at the light and a person on the other side is turning left. We're both entering a four-lane road with two travel lanes on each side of the center line, but both headed into the same lane because the other driver doesn't know what to do.

Maine, and pretty much every state in the country, has a rule that should prevent this from happening. The State of Maine Motorist Handbook and Study Guide says:

"Turn into the lane that is closest to the lane from which you came." On a left turn, turn into the leftmost lane going in your direction, whether on a divided highway, two-way, or one-way street. On a right turn, turn into the right lane.

This rule is ignored often at the intersection of Forest Avenue with Preble and Falmouth streets. I turn right off Preble daily here on my way home, and go into the right lane as I should, but the person on the other side of the intersection is going for the right lane too.

This is how it should be done:

Google Maps
Google Maps

Once you're in the closest lane, if you want to switch lanes and can safely do so, go for it. The basic rule when turning is to cross as few lanes as possible.

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