View Poll Results: If you were overtaking a slower moving vehicle traveling in the left-most lane, would you...
... pass the vehicle to the right, if the rightmost lanes were clear and open with no other traffic in them? 23 88.46%
... pull in behind the slow moving vehicle in the leftmost lane, and wait for it to move to the right, before passing it on the left? 3 11.54%
... pull in behind the slower moving vehicle in the leftmost lane, and try to "encourage" it to move over by tailgating or other means, so that you can then pass it on the left? 0 0%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-02-2013, 07:31 PM   #1
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Default Passing slow moving vehicles in the left lane on the right?

Over the years we have driven it on some widely varied roads in terms of their state of repair. We've been on some really nice freeways, smooth as glass, and some pretty nasty stuff, more like washboards than roadways. We've also found that the left lane on most divided highways is usually smoother than the right, because it gets less heavy vehicle traffic, making it a better choice to drive in if there isn't very much other traffic on the highway at the time.

This poll is about passing slower moving vehicles traveling in the left, or "passing" lane, on a multi-lane divided highway in very light traffic conditions with the right lane wide open.
Assume there are at least 2 lanes traveling in the same direction on either side of the median.
Also assume that traffic moving in the same direction is extremely light.

Without thinking about it too much while driving, what would you do more often than not in this situation?
I'm asking about this, because I recently noticed some interesting driving behavior while out on our last road trip.
Thanks all.
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Passing slow moving vehicles in the left lane on the rig

I voted to pass on the right, but it wouldn't happen often. We are usually among the slower travelers, but we stay in the right lane if at all possible.
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Old 12-03-2013, 01:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: Passing slow moving vehicles in the left lane on the rig

If you ever see my rig in the left lane it is because I am drunk and think I can do it, or it is hooked up to a tow truck! I also voted to move over and pass.
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Passing slow moving vehicles in the left lane on the rig

People need to know what lane is for what, think most people nowadays DO NOT. Left is for passing or faster moving traffic, right is for slower moving traffic or for people getting on and off. Should not pass on the right really. Some states like CT and RI have signs, left lane for slow moving traffic, middle for traveling, right for passing or faster moving traffic. And with that being said, you should not block the left lane if you're not moving faster than the rest of the traffic. If there are only 2 lanes, and a person is moving very slowly then yes we have, but it should not be the norm or the regular thing to do and do not like doing it. We've been driving the Garden State Parkway a lot over the past few months and it goes into several lanes. People fly pass you on the right and all over the place. There is almost always heavy traffic. We drive mostly in the second lane moving along at the speed limit leaving the first lane for people getting on and off. No one is obeying this rule in any way. People cutting everyone off weaving in and out of all 4 or I think there may be 5 lanes. Crazy crazy driving. It's dangerous and makes the drive miserable especially in an RV where I think people just have to pass you on whatever side they feel. Again I honestly have to slow my husband down most of the time as he drifts over the speed limit, so we are not going slowly. Did anyone ever remember when they got their license, I had it on my written test. I wish states like NY and NJ would get the signs up like they do in CT and RI, right is for cruising or slower traffic, left for passing or faster traffic. People need to learn what lane is for what, and we would all have a lot more peace, less road rage, and a less dangerous drive.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Passing slow moving vehicles in the left lane on the rig

If I need to get by slower vehicles in any lane, I use which ever lane isn't occupied, without regard for left, right, or center position. As long as it can be done safely, of course.
I also know there are folks out there who were taught that passing to the left was the only acceptable way to do it. I just wondered why they don't use an empty lane to the right when they are faced with a left lane which is temporarily blocked for any reason.
Booster rightly suggested that some freeways have rules that prohibit using the left lane as a driving lane, that it is strictly for passing. That situation would certainly explain why some folks appear to insist on only passing on the left. Sort of. It also doesn't seem to apply in rush hour bumper to bumper traffic. I doubt that it's enforced then. But no one is passing then, either.

I have driven in the left lane on occasions when the right lane is in such bad shape that it feels dangerous to use. It has surprised me several times when overtaking traffic would catch up, pull into the left lane behind me, and wait there for miles for me to move over, before finally pulling into the right lane which is empty, to pass. Usually with appropriately colorful language and hand signals. That said, the overwhelming majority of drivers faced with a slow mowing vehicle in the left lane will simply pass to the right in a safe manner. Based on my experience, anyway.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Passing slow moving vehicles in the left lane on the rig

It's the law in some states that you should keep to the right if traveling slower. You can even get a ticket going the speed limit if you are forcing cars to pass you on the right. In Texas and Alaska, two I am sure about, you better pull over to the shoulder on a two lane road and let cars by even if you are going the speed limit. If I am in the left lane for whatever reason and someone comes up fast behind me or even slowly catches up to me, I signal and pull over to the right lane to let them pass properly on my left. Overall it is safer that way. There is nothing worse than someone in the left lane playing speed limit police on purpose.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Passing slow moving vehicles in the left lane on the rig

I actually do try to pull over to let traffic through when there's a safe place to do it if I've created a conga line behind me. It's just courteous. I believe Washington and/or Oregon post signs for areas where you have to let traffic through when you're holding up 5 or more vehicles, by law. Since we're rarely over the speed limit, it's nice to drive 2 lane roads in jurisdictions that had the foresight to add truck/passing lanes at reasonable intervals.
Do you ever pull to the left lane to let 18 wheelers through, so they don't have to change lanes? I've read and heard truckers say that they prefer not to change lanes to pass if possible. If it's safe to move left to let them through, I do. I almost always get the flashing lights thanking me for simplifying their drive.
I think passing left is just born of the legacy of 2 lane roads and the fact that we drive on the right side of the roads. The advent of multi-lane roadways just complicated a historically obvious situation.
The reason for this thread was to see how far outside the lines some people's crayons will roam. Do we follow the rules without question, no matter the situation, or can we adapt and apply common sense and creative thought within reasonable limits.
I think the forum is a really good place to learn and gain consensus on stuff like this because it is so diverse by it's very nature. It holds a multitude of experience and opinions. As always, thanks to all for your input.
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