Move Over! It’s Lane Courtesy Month!
Lane courtesy month is the time of year we set aside at least a little of our driving frustration…as long as everyone’s willing to cooperate.
The National Motorists Association, an organization you’ve likely never heard of, has designated June as Lane Courtesy Month.
The idea behind lane courtesy month is to ask drivers to do (at least in June) what they’re supposed to be doing all year long: to keep the left lane of major highways and interstates as the passing lane, not the regular driving lane.
We’ve all seen it happen. Sometimes, we’re the one in the left lane trying to wave off a slowpoke ahead of us who is being passed by drivers on his right. Sometimes we’re the ones in the left lane trying to pass a vehicle on the right when we’re suddenly being tailgated by a driver angrily blinking his headlights as a not-so-subtle signal that we should get out of his way.
In a press release, the National Motorists Association states the following:
Ignoring the principle of lane courtesy increases congestion and frustration. The instances of tailgating, weaving in-and-out of traffic, and speed fluctuations increase — all of which reduce safety and waste fuel. When motorists yield the left lane, these situations diminish and accidents are avoided. Everyone benefits when driving is more efficient and enjoyable.
It’s worth noting, however, that there’s another important benefit to keeping to the right unless you’re passing: in some states, staying in that left lane is actually against the law. In my home state of South Carolina, for example, you can be ticketed if you are driving in the left lane and not passing slower-moving vehicles in the right lane.
You might want to check your state’s laws governing the left lane; either way, you might just want to move to the right side of the road so you don’t end up looking like a jerk!