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Thread: Left lane etiquette

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Left lane etiquette

    I wrote this for another forum, but it is universal, so feel free to spread it around. You donít even need to give me credit.

    This is something that really bugs me when driving. I want to state this so everybody understands.

    When on a four lane, there are only two reasons to be in the left lane.

    1. Nobody is behind you.
    2. You want to go faster.

    Lets explore these statements. If nobody is behind you, I donít care what speed you drive or how long you stay in the left lane. If you are in the left lane and someone comes up behind you, you have two choices.

    1. Go faster.
    2. Get over to the right.

    I know some people say ďif Iím doing the speed limit or faster, I donít need to get overĒ. BS, Speed has nothing to do with it. There are reasons to go faster than the limit. Some good, some not, but itís not for you to decide. Speed up or get over. If you choose to speed up and he is still behind you, repeat the choice You just made. (Faster or get over) I donít care if you are passing cars on the right, if someone is behind you, you are not passing fast enough. Go to the choices.

    There is only one exception to this rule. If you canít speed up because someone is in front of you, you donít need to get over. (Obviously, if you canít get past, the guy behind you canít either)

    There is one more thing I will add. If you come up on someone in the left lane and he is following someone else he canít get past, do not pass him on the right. It drives me crazy when Iím trying to get past a guy for five minutes and some idiot gets a chance to pass me because Iíve got more than a car length of space in front. Itís fine to pass the guy holding up the line if you can, but that is never the case or I would have already done it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Azar's Avatar
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    Very good write up. Following this rule when I am in US.
    In Germany we (usually) don't have this since we must drive in the most right lane if it is empty / there is space and overtaking on the right (highway) is prohibited by law...

  3. #3
    Custom DeLorean Builder Rich W's Avatar
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    Third Reason to Drive in Left Lane

    There is an important third reason to drive in the left lane,
    especially if you live and drive in the Rust Belt (Salt Belt).

    Moon Crater sized Pot-Holes (in Ohio, called Chuck Holes)

    March and April are prime season for huge pot-holes and
    in the Chicago area, they can ďhideĒ when it rains heavily.

    Both North Ave and Grand Ave had large stretches of these
    4-lane roads unnavigable in the right lanes this weekend.

  4. #4
    Daily Driver ssdelorean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azar View Post
    Very good write up. Following this rule when I am in US.
    In Germany we (usually) don't have this since we must drive in the most right lane if it is empty / there is space and overtaking on the right (highway) is prohibited by law...
    This is the same in the States but no one really follows theses laws and/or forget that it is the law (to stay right when not passing). It is also against the law to pass on the right when there are only 2 lanes in the same direction. If 3 or more lanes in the same direction it is legal to pass/overtake on the right.

    The people who continually drive in the left lanes who are not passing others in the right lanes are just selfish butt sprinkles. And no, driving 2 mph faster than the person in the right lane does not mean you are passing them. Passing someone does not take 10 miles to do it. You are just a lazy a--cracker.
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  5. #5
    DMC Timeless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssdelorean View Post
    The people who continually drive in the left lanes who are not passing others in the right lanes are just selfish butt sprinkles. And no, driving 2 mph faster than the person in the right lane does not mean you are passing them. Passing someone does not take 10 miles to do it. You are just a lazy a--cracker.
    Agreed. SO MANY people (US) drive in the left lane constantly and brake ever few seconds, texting, eating, etc... and the left lane ends up stacking up and backing up the flow. This is a major contributor to heavy traffic.

    Also, nobody uses cruise control or keeps their speed steady. Every day I see someone in the left lane accelerate with someone behind them then slow down again and STAY in the left lane. Want to go the posted limit? Fine, get in the right and set your CC.
    Freeway merging is another major issue. Why can't people accelerate to traffic speed and merge into the right lane?! 35mph at the top of an on-ramp is NOT ACCEPTABLE!
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  6. #6
    Gone Fishin' Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich W View Post
    There is an important third reason to drive in the left lane,
    especially if you live and drive in the Rust Belt (Salt Belt).

    Moon Crater sized Pot-Holes (in Ohio, called Chuck Holes)

    March and April are prime season for huge pot-holes and
    in the Chicago area, they can “hide” when it rains heavily.

    Both North Ave and Grand Ave had large stretches of these
    4-lane roads unnavigable in the right lanes this weekend.
    Absolutly!

    And then there is the remote possibility that you might need to make a left turn...

    If in the right lane and approaching slow traffic in my lane, I'm going to drop over into the left lane and pass. If some jackass expects me to slow down instead, so that they can blow through over the speed limit, they can pound salt.
    And I'm not going to line up behind Pokey in the left lane when the right lane is clear. I'll pass them both and continue on my way, while Speedy plays with Pokey (or someone about to make a left) behind me.


    Don't get me wrong - I hate lane hogs and slowpokes in the wrong lane. But it's all covered by most state laws, "Keep to the right except when passing or making a left turn."

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