What is more common in America:

You're driving in the wrong lane.


You're driving on the wrong side (of the road)

enter image description here

Here is the car driving in the wrong lane or on the wrong side?

And what about this one: enter image description here

So is it "wrong-lane" or "wrong" side?

Can these be used interchangeably? If yes then which one sounds more common?

1 Answer 1


"Wrong side of the road"! "Wrong lane" never refers to someone literally driving into incoming traffic, and we reserve "wrong side of the road" for the case where all the cars are going South and one is going North on the same side of the median. If clarification is needed, you could always use the more technical way to say it, "driving on the wrong side of the median". (The median is the dividing line between the two directions of traffic)

The case where one might use "wrong lane" could be something like, "I missed the exit to get to the mall because I was in the wrong lane".

Note: This is American English, where we drive on the right of the median. Other countries can differ.

  • In the second picture as well?@user45266 Apr 3, 2019 at 16:43
  • On a divided highway (i.e. a physical barrier) separating the sides, we would say this car is going the wrong way or wrong side of the highway.
    – pboss3010
    Apr 3, 2019 at 17:03
  • @It'saboutEnglish Yes, assuming that that whole road is supposed to be only one direction of traffic.
    – user45266
    Apr 3, 2019 at 17:12
  • @user45266 So in the this context if there is only for one direction of traffic can "wrong side" be used as well? Or can "wrong lane be used" if there's there's just one road but the cars move in different directions on one half of the road(like divided by a line divider?) Apr 3, 2019 at 18:14
  • @It'saboutEnglish I might be able to post an image later to clarify.
    – user45266
    Apr 3, 2019 at 20:04

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