Driving on the right

General information

As a general rule, drivers driving in Austria should drive as far to the right of the carriageway as possible to the extent this is reasonable and practicable. Whether it is reasonable to move any further to the right of the carriageway depends on how heavy the traffic is, and how well it is flowing. Motorists must not move any further to the right if this would cause danger to, or hinder the progress of, other road users. In addition, all drivers have a responsibility not to put themselves in danger, or to pose a risk to any property.

Driving in the right-hand lane

The requirement to drive on the right, and by extension to drive in the right-hand lane applies in principle to motorways and all multi-lane roads outside built-up areas. In built-up areas, on the other hand, drivers are free to choose their lane as appropriate if there are at least two lanes for the relevant direction of travel and they are demarcated by road markings to guide drivers into the correct lane..


Motorists can only choose their lane in built-up areas subject to the conditions described above. The rules do not apply to other categories of road users (such as cyclists).

When to use both lanes

If the traffic situation is causing a tailback, the requirement to drive on the right ceases to apply for as long as the tailback persists and drivers can use both lanes. In this situation, traffic in both lanes does not necessarily have to be moving at the same speed. A tailback for these purposes is a queue of at least three vehicles travelling in the same lane.

This provision is not included in the Austrian Highway Code (Straßenverkehrsordnung). This is because the rules regarding the requirement to drive on the right have been set as a result of rulings by Austria's highest courts.

Further links

Driving on the right (→ ASFINAG)German text

Legal basis

sections 2 paragraph 1 (29) and 7 of the Straßenverkehrsordnung (StVO)

Certified Translation
Last update: 22 May 2024

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