Left Lane Lingerers
A word for Left Lane Lingerers….
For the most part there are two types of drivers: those who get worked up about people driving slowly in the left lane, and those who do it all the time and are clueless that they’re upsetting everyone else and making the roads more dangerous. We call the latter group the Left Lane Lingerers and we see them all over the country.
Before Full Time RVing, we lived in Orange County, CA for around 8 years. We saw our share of traffic jams. I have always wondered how some traffic jams seem to start out of nothing. It turns out that research shows many traffic jams are the result from a small number of slow cars obstructing traffic, and it creates a ripple effect for the other cars.
We’ve been to 28 states in the past 9 months on this RV adventure. We’ve seen our share of clueless drivers, traffic jams and also learned some unwritten rules of the road. With RVs being so large and many times slow moving vehicles, it’s important we are conscious about not being left lane lingerers.
Every state has some law to discourage left lane usage. In 29 states, the law says any car that’s moving slower than the “normal speed of traffic” should be in the right lane. So even if you are going the speed limit, if you aren’t moving as fast as everyone else you should be in the right lane. In 11 states, the law specifically says that the left lane is ONLY for turning or passing.
It’s not that you’re never allowed in the left lane, just that you should only use it to pass, then get back over.
Even if you are going fast, there is almost always someone moving faster. We were recently in Arizona and the speed of traffic was over 85 miles an hour! The speed limit was 70 mph which means that if you were in the left lane people are either slowing down or going around you because they are traveling over 15 mph faster than you!
One of the things I’ve noticed is that many truckers heading up a mountain will not hesitate to jump in front of you in the left lane to pass another truck, even if they are traveling way below the speed limit. I’ve learned to anticipate when the situation is going to arise and make sure to beat the semi in passing the other truck.
Moving over is courteous, safe and keeps the roads clear of congestion. Please share this to get the message out to help eliminate Left Lane Lingerers.