View Poll Results: Do you Keep Right Except to Pass?
Yes, I keep right except when overtaking. 83 90.22%
No, I like the left lane and think it's safer. Plus it's my right. 0 0%
Yes, I drive in the left lane but only when it's clear. If a faster driver comes up behind me, I'll pull over to let them through. But then I'm back in the left. 7 7.61%
Lanes? I don't need no stinkin' lanes... 2 2.17%
Voters: 92. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-03-2010, 10:03 AM   #1
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Keep Right Except To Pass??

I'm interested in forum members' driving habits, when driving on a multi-lane highway.

Do you treat the left lane as a passing lane, then pull back into the right lane after overtaking as soon as it is safe to do so?

I do. And I am continually amazed by how many drivers just hang out in the left lane, oftentimes doing the exact speed as the driver in the right lane, impeding traffic. Are they completely unaware? If that's the case, they shouldn't really be driving. Are they aware but don't care? Do they think it's their right to be blocking up the traffic behind them? Is it their right to be considered a rude sob?

Even though many states and provinces have laws regarding this, I doubt it's effectively enforced. I also find that certain states have more offenders than others.

This topic has been in the back of my mind ever since I last drove to Florida, when a UPS driver (big rig) blocked up the left lane with no one in front of him for well over 50 miles. I almost lost my mind - I really should have called UPS, but if anyone has ever called their 800 number with their blasted automated system, they'd know it would be a futile call.

I'd like to get the message out. Please keep right except to pass.

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Old 02-03-2010, 10:08 AM   #2
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I keep right unless on a three lane and the right lane is full of semis, then I might ride it out in the middle lane for a while.


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Old 02-03-2010, 10:09 AM   #3
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It's a major peeve of mine that it isn't enforced. Too many people sit in the left lane and slow down traffic. Most of them don't even know what to do when a car is behind them and flashing their lights (it's a request to pull to the right so that the car may pass). Too many people think that they should just sit there, regardless of the line of cars behind them wanting to overtake. I wish the police would start enforcing this law (and it is law here in BC).
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:17 AM   #4
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I make it a point to move to the right whenever I'm on a multi-lane highway unless it's clearly marked as exit only. Driving a single vehicle is not too bad - I can usually move left, make the pass then get back over to the right. Pulling a trailer it's a little more cumbersome - moving back to the right can be trying. Moving to the right is not always easy particularly with so many people that seem to drive as if they are playing the computer game Tetrus. In Tetrus the point is to fill the next available open spot regardless of where it's located.

So the highway signs that indicate slower traffic keep right are meaningless to most drivers. I suspect they don't want to be considered "slow" so they drive in the "fast" lane regardless of their speed.

One of my sisters drives one lane over from the right so she has less to worry about merging. I can see her point but you can take her idea to the extreme.

I wrote a letter to my state representative requesting a thorough drivers exam for everyone (regardless of age) on a regular basis. I also suggested a drivers license is a priveledge (not a right) and the fee should be much higher than it currenty is. One of my thoughts is drivers become too familiar with what they think are the rules and everyone (we, me, they, etc.) needs a refresher once in a while.

Okay, I'm getting down from the box so others can speak.

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Old 02-03-2010, 10:17 AM   #5
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Here in CA, many of the RH Lanes on our freeways are torn up badly due to heavy truck usage - travel in the RH lane will tear up one's vehicles!

In CA, when towing another vehicle, you are limited to the two, RH lanes, unless otherwise 'signed' - not everyone follows this rule, of course, but it helps to keep LH lanes clear of towed regs...

We have a 4x4 TV with a solid front axle that rides on the rough side, so I like to stay out of the extreme RH (torn up) lane whenever the law allows - when there's only two lanes in our direction, I always move over to allow passing traffic an open lane...
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:19 AM   #6
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We here have experience with large rigs...most of us know what courtesy is. Its a generalization, but more often than not its the smaller cars and trucks doing it....and it bugs me to no end.

My solution? back off the accelerator a little bit and let the clump pass.....its a lot easier to hang out at a slower speed and stay that way except for a little passing than to try to compete with the rude ones.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:21 AM   #7
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I was told by a California Highway Patrol officer that when towing, you are to follow the same rules as trucks with regard to the right lane.

I am at the Hobo Rally in Blythe, and going to attend a "Driver Safety" Program in a couple of hours, put on by a CHP officer. I'll double check on the "truck" thing and post back.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:23 AM   #8
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I remember following this one woman in a small little hatchback type of car on the I-95. She sat in the left lane for miles and miles and miles - and to boot she hung out juuuuust slightly ahead of a big rig's back bumper. Now, I don't drive a big truck, but I can imagine that's a blind spot for the trucker? So not only was she doing the dumba$$ left lane thing, she was also flouting death by sitting in a trucker's blind spot.

We flashed after 20 or so miles (we're really polite I guess, at least outwardly - you should have heard the cursing in the truck - ummm.. the kids were asleep mind you ) and she eventually hung back, got in the right lane. Immediately after the jam behind her was cleared, out she popped again and hung out beside the truck's back bumper.

some people...
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:33 AM   #9
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Many times I see folks towing trailers in the left lane of three lane highways and most of them are speeding.

The last one was a pick up towing a flat bed trailer with 2 snow mobiles on it. The trailer had those dinky ST boat trailer tires. I commented to the bh that that was an accident waiting to happen.

5 klm's up the road the guy was off to the side with a flat trailer tire. Wonder how it felt trying to cross three lanes of busy traffic with a smoking, blown trailer tire.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:48 AM   #10
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I drive in the right lane except to pass. Now that I said that, there is an exception. If the traffic is light and the right lane is all beat up by trucks, I will drive in the left lane until a I see a car approaching from behind.
My pet peeve is drivers in the right lane, who wake up while you are passing them, decide they are going to slow, and accelerate while you are trying to pass them. Come to think of it I have another pet peeve.It is people who, after passing me, pull over so close it front of me that I have to slow down to be a safe distance behind them.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:00 AM   #11
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If there are three or more lanes, I find myself using the center more and more.
In some states the right lane is so tore up that the AS and TV rattle. But, the major reason is that I have found that most drivers will not bend their neck to look when merging. It's all done with the mirror. Too often I have to emergently move, brake, or simply not let the offender on to the highway.
It's survival mode much of the time.

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Old 02-03-2010, 11:06 AM   #12
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Laws vary. Minnesota law is "slower traffic keep right," and efforts to change this to "keep right except to pass" have failed in the legislature. As such, there is no obligation, under the law of the land here, to use the right lane unless moving at a speed slower than the rest of the traffic. Also, in Minnesota, it is lawful (and fairly common) to pass on the right side.

In sparse traffic I remain in the right lane except when necessary to pass or to make room for merging traffic.

As traffic becomes heavier, I will generally use the rightmost lane that allows me to maintain my chosen speed without excessive lane changes. I try to make room for people to pass whenever reasonable, unless I'm already running as fast as traffic will permit.

I think this is one of several areas where some clear communication from the DOT and state patrol would reduce conflict among drivers by leading to more of a shared understanding of what the expectations actually are.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:07 AM   #13
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I drive at interstate speeds with the cruise control on when on the interstate. I stay in the lane one to the left of the far right lane because most of the right hand lanes on GA interstates are pretty well beat up by trucks. On four lane interstate sections I still travel in the left lane as long as no one is behind me. My wife doesn't think it's necessary for me to move over to let other vehicles pass since they are more maneuverable than we are and it usually slows me down and then I have trouble getting back over but I try to be as considerate as possible.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:37 AM   #14
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When on a freeway in any big city where's there's many on ramps it's always safer to stay in the next to right lane to allow oncoming traffic to enter without having to constantly try and change lanes in the MH. Other than that we always stay to the right.

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