Left Lane


#1

One of your top 10 peeves is people driving in the left lane. I have a question about that. You’re on a long stretch of interstate that has 2 lanes going in your direction. Traffic is heavy, no way all of the cars can stay in the right lane and only use the left to pass. The right lane is full of semis and travel trailers traveling 65-70 MPH. You’re in the left lane traveling 80 MPH. Some guy is riding your bumper. Why should you have to slow down 15 MPH and slide in between two semis in the right lane to let somebody pass who want to go 85 or 90? Especially when there’s a long line of cars ahead of you. And yet there he is riding your bumper like you’re the only obstacle between him and the open road. Is every car for the next 100 miles supposed to get over and let this guy fly by as though he’s the only car on the road? Are we all supposed to drive faster until nobody wants to pass? I think that with the amount of traffic on the road today it’s not practical to refer to half of the road as the “passing lane.”


#2

I think that with the amount of traffic on the road today it’s not practical to refer to half of the road as the “passing lane.” …Not every highway is that busy and not every busy highway has your example all the time so first, it is practical and second, it’s just a name so it’s not a big deal.

You’re in the left lane traveling 80 MPH. Some guy is riding your bumper. Why should you have to slow down 15 MPH and slide in between two semis in the right lane to let somebody pass who want to go 85 or 90?..Because for the sake of safety sometimes you have to take the high road and humble yourself. In the words of a Bob Dylan song “Swallow your pride, it’s not poison, it’s chicken”.


#3

I guess what you’re trying to ask is, if you are passing trucks at a slower speed than some one else, are you obligated to give way. I agree with" mean eye". You do what you have to insure the safety of yourself and your passengers. Getting into a “peeing contest” with a tail gate idiot, doesn’t serve that end.


#4

There is a certain type of driver who feels compelled to pass EVERY car ahead of him, no matter how fast that car may be going…Sooner or later, the speeding ticket points catch up and they lose their drivers license…


#5

I try to stay right but it bugs me when someone comes up behind me and expects me to immediately get over even though I’m passing, but yet they continue on in the left lane even though the right lane is open. I’ve noticed that this is a particular trait of the drivers from the state just to the south of Minnesota. I don’t know why but when they hit Minnesota, they stay in the left lane mile after mile after mile.


#6

I don’t expect people to immediately move right, however, after following someone for a couple miles, with no one else around, when should they move over? I’m perfectly happy to drive whatever speed everyone else is going, but I’d prefer to move - I typically drive 7-9 over, depending on the state, and/or my mood. Finally, after giving up the hope they’ll move, I go right, and pass. Then, as soon as my bumper has passed them, they move over. What’s up with that?


#7

I’d find a spot to pull into the right lane because I don’t want a guy on my rear bumper, I don’t feel safe. Once he passes me then I’ll pull back into the left lane when I need to pass slower traffic in the right lane. I won’t stay in the left lane forever, but I might ride in it for a long stretch in packed in traffic.


#8

Here’s when it gets me: Traffic in right lane, seemingly all going 1 MPH under the posted limit (which is fine, and in heavy traffic, maybe too fast). Guy in left lane, with the cruise control seemingly locked at exactly the speed limit. Takes him over a mile (literally, sometimes more) to pass someone. The next slower car in the right lane he won’t get to for another couple miles at least, and there’s no one in front.

I’m happy to let him finish his maneuver. I don’t own the road. BUT…that maneuver also includes moving back out of the way, not taking up residence.

I used to tell my friend all the time to move back over after passing. He just sat there in the left lane, for no reason. Not passing anyone, not even really speeding, just sitting there. Inevitably, after moving, someone would shoot by and give him a dirty look. So at least I know it’s not just me.


#9

I guess it comes down to how annoying the tailgater is. If you don’t want him to tailgate, slow down for a few seconds, pull over, and let him pass. Surely there is a stretch where you can pull over and slow down slightly until he passes you. I encounter this every day on Rte 95. 4 lanes of traffic and someone inevitably wants to ride the left-most lane going 65 or less (posted speed limit). It’s OK to pass on the right, so no legal problems here. Just do whatever it takes to get back in your comfort zone and drive on. Losing a few seconds of time (literally) seems like a small matter.


#10

So two Greyhound bus drivers are sitting in a cafe.
One says to the other "have you seen those new [high performance car]s?
The other says “yeah, just saw one earlier today, had a heck of a time passing it!”


#11

You got your joke, I’ve got mine.

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?
George Carlin


#12

“I used to tell my friend all the time to move back over after passing. He just sat there in the left lane, for no reason. Not passing anyone, not even really speeding, just sitting there. Inevitably, after moving, someone would shoot by and give him a dirty look.”

Chase–That reminds me of a woman with whom I used to be friendly. On the few occasions when I had the misfortune to ride in her '80s vintage LeSabre, I was extremely uneasy about her habit of riding well below the speed limit in the left lane. This included roads like the NJ Turnpike, where doing something like that is really risky. In fact, as soon as she merged onto a highway, she would immediately move over to the left lane in order to plod along at her snail-like speed.

When I politely asked June to move to the right lane, her reply was, “I feel safer over here in the left lane”! My reply was something along the lines of, “I feel terrrified, so please either go faster or pull over to the right lane”. She politely refused, and that ended my desire to ride in her car.

Just like with Carol, another female friend of mine who habitually tailgates drivers (typically one car length at speeds of 45 mph & up) and denies that she is too close, it is just so much easier–and safer–for me to say, “Let’s take my car”!


#13

Well, luckily for me, he’s still my “best friend”, and in fact, although we no longer live close to each other, we still chat every day. It’s sure nice to know that your real friends are always there. He’s gotten better over time. I think one main difference is I grew up driving in Europe and Great Britain, whereas most people I now know learned to drive here in the US.

Anyone who’s driven in Germany (where I started learning), knows that for them, it’s serious business. When you’re driving, that’s your only task. Not chat on the phone, work your laptop in the passenger seat, eat lunch, or whatever. I think the only reason we have drink holders in BMW’s and Mercedes’ is due to the American market.

Chase


#14

There are a certain breed or driver who just HAVE to drive in the left lane…no-matter-what…even below the speed limit…I’ve seen this breed…driving down the highway doing 55 in a 65 zone in the far left lane…and they’re the only one on the road…

Besides that group…there are people who get in the left lane and won’t let anyone pass them…They’ll drive at 90+…then when they catch up with other cars moving slower in the other lanes…they’ll slow down to about 1-2 mph more then those cars…then when they finally pass them (this could take 10+ miles)…they speed up to 90+ again…Something is definitely WRONG with this breed of driver…

Many states it’s ILLEGAL to drive in the left lane unless you’re passing someone…and rightfully so…It’s dangerous to everyone else on the road with you. NH just passed that law…but it’s rarely enforced (if ever).


#15

@MikeInNH
"Many states it’s ILLEGAL to drive in the left lane unless you’re passing someone…and rightfully so…It’s dangerous to everyone else on the road with you."

In EVERY state it’s illegal to exceed the speed limit, and very dangerous to everyone on the road. People find it so easy to shrug off the speed limit laws but then they want to get hyper-technical about the legality of driving in the left lane. The reality is that we just want to get where we’re going as fast as possible even if it’s dangerous to do so. In my experience about half of the cars on the freeway are exceeding the speed limit by 20-25%, and 33k people die each year because of it.


#16

Sorry, Bill, but speed doesn’t kill. It’s rapid deceleration that kills.

I agree with you in spirit, but automotive fatalities have decreased as speed limits, and how fast we actually drive, have both increased. Sure there are lots of ways you could explain it, but in the end, we are both merely speculating about the causes of the drop in fatalities.

Driving fast, and driving stupid are not necessarily the same thing, unless your initials are RG and you are driving 100 MPH down mountain passes.


#17

I’ll put good money on that a road where everyone moves right except to pass, but doing a reasonable speed of 15mph over the speed limit…is…FAR…FAR…FAR safer people doing different speeds and people hogging the left lane doing the speed limit while NOT passing anyone…

Drive to the right…it’s safer for everyone else on the road.


#18

Is it still true that most auto fatalities occur under 40mph?


#19

language warning


#20

Be safe
Be courteous
Obey the law…

Pick at least 2 and it’ll be a better world.

If we drove our cars like we ride our bikes
and we rode our bikes like we drive our cars
we’d all be healthy people living on a healthy planet.

-Rich