In the early to mid 20th century, major highways were often built with three lanes. The middle lane was used as a passing lane for both directions, and was commonly known as a suicide lane, due to games of chicken that would arise when people going opposite directions both wanted to pass.

Nowadays, there are two types of three lane roadway that resemble this setup. The first is the center left turn lane, which is often referred to as a suicide lane. In this setup, passing is forbidden in the center lane, which is for left turns from the highway only (and sometimes for left turns onto the highway as well, which is usually illegal). The other configuration is a standard three lane setup with two in one direction and one in the other. However, passing is allowed, via a half-dashed/half-solid line, from the one lane direction via the center lane. Thus the middle lane can still be used by either direction for passing, but one direction has clear right-of-way.

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