High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, commonly referred to as the "diamond lane", "express lane" or "carpool lane" can be extremely dangerous to use or drive next to in the adjacent lane.
The double solid yellow lines that define these lanes create a false sense of security. While traffic may be crawling on the highway, HOV lanes may still have an average speed of 50 mph or higher without any congestion. This is where many drivers develop the false sense of security as they travel at high speeds believing that no one will cross a double yellow line to enter the lane at a place not designed to enter. Plan for this.
Likewise, the adjacent lane is not safe either as inattentive drivers realize their off-ramp is coming up and simply jump the double solid yellow line to catch their offramp. Be ready to take evasive action and remember that the lane next to you may be occupied and odds are high someone is behind you so these split second incidents need to be expected.
— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor
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