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Why Road Lines Are Yellow and White

A country road is lined with trees and features yellow and white lines.
Keith Homan/Shutterstock.com

If you love travel — especially road-tripping — then you already know how many thoughts and questions pop up in your mind while on a trip. Sometimes they’re deep and philosophical… and other times they’re random bursts of curiosity. Have you ever caught yourself wondering why some road lines are white while others are yellow?

As it turns out, there’s a reason road lines are different colors.

In America today, road lines are typically painted white when both traffic lanes are traveling in the same direction. On the other hand, road lines are painted yellow when traffic lanes are traveling in opposite directions.

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It’s worth noting that the colors and exact meanings of road lines have changed throughout the years. They also differ depending on what country you’re in, so make sure you familiarize yourself with traffic rules whenever you travel outside the United States.

But why use different colors for different scenarios? It all comes down to safety. By using different colors for different types of lanes, road designers can help drivers quickly and easily understand the flow of traffic. This helps everyone stay safe on the road.

So next time you’re cruising down the highway or preparing for a road trip, take a moment to appreciate the different colors of road lines and the important role they play in keeping us all safe.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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