Driving Etiquette: The Left Lane

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Driving EtiquetteYour driving etiquette reveals a lot about you. It demonstrates your level of patience, or lack thereof. How you drive tells the world whether you are extremely vigilant, somewhat careful or completely reckless. And it shows whether you’re a habitual rule follower, rule breaker or somewhere in between.

How you carry yourself on the road also demonstrates how considerate you are. But you don’t have to break the legal rules of the road to show a lack consideration for your fellow motorists.

There’s one place on the public roadways where we see the most breaches of driving etiquette: the left lane of the highway. For example:

Allowing other drivers to merge onto the highway. Proper driving etiquette dictates that if you are in the far right lane and one or more cars are attempting to merge onto a highway, you should move over if the next lane is clear. Many drivers fail to do this. Some don’t pay attention to cars trying to merge. Others have the attitude that it’s not their job to let others on the road. Be considerate and give drivers extra room to merge onto the highway.

Stopping to allow others to merge. I understand why people think this is good driving etiquette and a nice thing to do. But unless you are in heavy stop-and-go traffic, it’s dangerous. It slows the flow of traffic and the driver behind you isn’t expecting you to stop. If you can’t move over to the left, try to create room between cars by either accelerating or easing off the accelerator.

Hogging the passing lane.  Other than moving out of the way of mergers, the only reason to be in the far left lane is to pass slower traffic. Unfortunately, too many drivers block this lane and force faster cars to pass on the right. Some people camp out in the left lane because they’re afraid of deer running across the road and think it’s safer on the left side. Proper driving etiquette says you should move over for mergers or pass quickly, then return to the right lane.

Passing in cruise control. You have the cruise control set at 65 and you come up behind a car doing 62. As you get closer, you start to pass but leave the car in cruise. So instead of quickly getting past the slower car, you end up blocking the left lane for several minutes. Next think you know, a car driving at 67 is stuck behind both of you.

Using good driving etiquette not only shows consideration for other drivers, but also reduces accidents. So be respectful of others on the road, and stay safe!

photo credit: Rupert Ganzer via Flickr cc by-nd 2.0

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Brian Schneider

Brian Schneider

Brian Schneider is a top sales professional with 10 years of fast track experience and visible achievements in competitive business environments. But more importantly knows how to share the best car purchase experience for every customer.
Brian Schneider

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