Left lane hogging is a frustration and causes people to do irrational things and make bad decisions while driving. Left lane hogging and not pulling over for faster traffic is one of the most annoying things we see while driving. So why do people do it?

The most popular law follows the Uniform Vehicle Code, which says a car driving below the “normal speed of traffic” should be driven in the right-hand lane. The Code specifically indicates “normal speed” instead of saying “speed limit” meaning a driver going above the speed limit but slower than most traffic is still in the wrong.

I have had plenty of time to ponder this first-world frustration during regular trips on Interstate 8 in San Diego. I am constantly stuck behind someone in the left lane, usually with AZ plates, while no other vehicles are in the right lane. Having never driven anywhere in the US except CA and NV a recent road trip was profoundly eye opening in the differences in driver behavior.

I flew to Kentucky and drove back to San Diego, a distance of some 2,200 miles on mostly 4 lane highways and encountered completely different attitudes as I traveled West. In Kentucky, for example, although sometimes slow to move, drivers moved over when they saw me in the mirror, prompting a quick wave of thanks. The same thing happened in Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. The problems started in Arizona as I came up behind drivers sitting in the left lane and simply not moving over when the right lane was clear. I was forced to pass on the right, legal but not as safe. Interestingly the left lane hogging became worse as I arrived in Phoenix and continued all the way back home to San Diego.

When joining a freeway I have often seen people drive across all lanes in a desperate attempt to get to the fast lane (despite there being no traffic in the other lanes) then sit in that lane driving at 65mph. They are usually driving a Toyota Corolla S because they think the S means Sport and no car is faster than theirs. Wrong! This then causes frustration for other drivers who then pass on the right.

Some States have passed laws making hogging the fast lane illegal which is a great idea if the cops are there to hand out tickets. Most of the time they are not. We complain about congestion and too much traffic yet we continue to drive in a way that holds up others who want to get to their destination faster. We are all guilty of being in the wrong lane at some time, it just seems that some for some people it is their destiny. A recent AZ man admitted he loves to sit in the left lane at exactly the speed limit and never move over. I have a tendency to think that many drivers follow this practice.

In conclusion, the impact of holding up the passing lane, means you are endangering vehicles around you when a driver must use a right lane to pass you. When all vehicles expect passing to occur to the left, a pass to the right can disturb the flow of traffic and cause an otherwise avoidable accident.

Here’s some interesting statistics of road deaths comparing the United States and European Countries where speed limits are typically higher. Rant Over……

Country Road traffic death rate (per 100 000 population)
Sweden 2.8
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 2.9
Switzerland 3.3
Netherlands 3.4
Denmark 3.5
Spain 3.7
Norway 3.8
Ireland 4.1
Germany 4.3
Iceland 4.6
Finland 4.8
France 5.1
Italy 6.1
Belgium 6.7
Portugal 7.8
United States of America 10.6