A few months ago I took a road trip from Chicago
down to New Orleans. And on the way back up (we were somewhere
either in Tennessee or Missouri), I got pulled over — it was my first time getting pulled over. And it wasn’t for speeding. it was because I was driving in the left lane. So there are basically two types of drivers
in the world. There are people who get really upset about
all the people driving slowly in the left lane. That’s Joey. He fits into that first group. And then there are a lot of drivers who had
no idea that this is even a problem. Yeah, that was me. Sorry about that. I don’t drive much. The truth is, when drivers hang out in the
left lane, it makes traffic worse and more dangerous for everybody involved. Here’s what that looks like. If you have relatively slow drivers scattered
amongst the right and left lanes, faster drivers have to repeatedly slow down and weave back
and forth, changing lanes many times to pass all of them. So if you’re going five miles slower than
everyone else and you’re traveling in the left lane, it forces them to make dangerous moves
trying to pass you on the right which is more likely to cause an accident. But there’s a better way for traffic to
flow — and that’s if we only use the left lane for passing. If all the slower drivers are in the right
lane, a faster driver can pass several at once, and get back over to the right, which
cuts down the total number of lane changes and eliminates the slowdowns. Move over, or get a ticket. That’s the message from state troopers to people driving too slowly in the left lane. Some people argue that as long as they’re
going the speed limit, they shouldn’t have to move over. But there’s evidence that that slowing down
and changing lanes is actually more dangerous than speeding. Research has shown that the strongest predictor
of an accident is variance from the average speed of traffic. And a car going five miles per hour slower
than the surrounding traffic has a greater chance of causing an accident than one going
five miles per hour faster. That’s why every state has some law on on
record that restricts the use of the left lane. In 29 states, any car that’s moving slower
than the surrounding speed of traffic should be in the right lane. And in 11 states, the laws are stricter —, they
say that the left lane is only for turning or passing. Historically police didn’t really pay that
much attention to slow left lane drivers, but more recently there have been campaigns
in places like Washington, Texas, and Ohio where police are actually issuing tickets
to people they spot traveling slowly in the left lane. “The reason why I stopped you is the law in the state of Washington is keep right except to pass.” “This is something that has always been illegal and against the law here in Michigan, But now officers are rolling out this new education effort to help the public understand just what they can and they cannot do when it comes to this type of driving. Now, it doesn’t have to be this way. A good example of this is the German Autobahn
— so this is Germany’s highway network, which has long stretches of road with no speed
limits and it has surprisingly low accident rates. One reason for this, some researchers think,
is that German drivers are more likely to stay in the right lane for traveling and only
use the left for passing. That shared norm helps keep them safe. So fellow drivers I am sorry — I didn’t
know the rules. But I’m not alone, and if more people understand
how this works, we will have much fewer traffic jams. And our roads will be a lot safer, too.

Why you shouldn’t drive slowly in the left lane
Tagged on:                                                                                                                         

100 thoughts on “Why you shouldn’t drive slowly in the left lane

  • August 12, 2019 at 4:30 pm
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    honestly it really bothers me when people do this…

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  • August 13, 2019 at 3:45 am
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    Ok umm YouTube recommendations?

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  • August 13, 2019 at 7:16 pm
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    Well, that's how you drive in europe.

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  • August 14, 2019 at 8:56 am
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    it's the opposite in indonesia

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  • August 14, 2019 at 1:50 pm
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    welcome to Ashland, Oregon where every car goes 10-15mph under the speed limit and the left lane is not used to pass

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  • August 15, 2019 at 12:04 am
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    I do it to troll 😏😂

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  • August 15, 2019 at 11:46 pm
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    I just won't learn to drive. I prefer piloting the A321 LR/XLR (to be released)

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  • August 16, 2019 at 1:35 pm
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    2:35 – The UK has the lowest of the three: is this because you can only pass in the outside lane (left lane in the US)? With no passing allowed in the inside lane (R lane in the US), everything is much more predictable: you do not have to worry about anyone coming up on your inside. In theory, anyway.

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  • August 17, 2019 at 8:32 am
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    This should be common sense. Smh

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  • August 18, 2019 at 12:36 am
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    Now I'll know that i will pass my License exam or whatever you call it

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  • August 18, 2019 at 4:00 am
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    Once again society is entitling people who break the law over those people who obey the law. If the right lane is congested and and bumper to bumper, one should by law be able to cruse the left lane at the speed maximum limit. No but, the law would rather people push 5-10 mph faster in the left lane or faster to satisfy their impatience, which now days leads to Road Rage of bumper bullies. Nobody gets a ticket for tailgating, yet this is the very source of the whole problem.

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  • August 18, 2019 at 4:11 pm
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    So it is legal to overtake on the right lane in US?

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  • August 18, 2019 at 11:03 pm
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    My greatest stress is not knowing if a slowpoke in the left is suddenly going to move back to the right or not

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  • August 19, 2019 at 12:00 am
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    In saudi arabia, the left lane is used for over taking or drivers who drive faster. The middle lane is for normal cars and right lane is trucks.

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  • August 19, 2019 at 7:42 am
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    In Greece we use the Autobahn. here is how we call the lines. The right line is called "emergency line" witch is only for emergency, the middle line which is your typical one and the left line otherwise called "fast speed line" or "passing line" it can be used either for passing or to go faster but those who do the second one are breaking the speed limit so I don't suggest 😂

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  • August 19, 2019 at 12:19 pm
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    US is weird

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  • August 20, 2019 at 4:54 am
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    lol im driving on the left lanes in nj (one of the strict no left lane driving state) for miles and miles all the time

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  • August 20, 2019 at 2:54 pm
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    Fr move out my way

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  • August 20, 2019 at 3:16 pm
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    The one thing people don't seem to understand, though, is that by law you shouldn't be going over the speed limit whatsoever in the passing lane. Passing a bunch of people because you're going 5-10 over or more is not reason to get mad at someone that's actually going the speed limit passing someone who is legitimately going slower than them. They're using it correctly, just because they're not going fast enough for you (over the speed limit) is no reason to get angry at them.

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  • August 20, 2019 at 7:53 pm
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    IM 14 AND I KNOW THIS

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  • August 20, 2019 at 11:36 pm
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    Spokane is getting worse every year

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  • August 21, 2019 at 1:50 am
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    My mom complains about this every five second

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  • August 21, 2019 at 2:18 am
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    You must pay for your sins, choose wisely.

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  • August 21, 2019 at 4:28 am
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    even if it’s not the law it’s like 2 guys peeing next to eachother, u just don’t do it period

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  • August 21, 2019 at 11:24 am
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    Just ride on the left if you don't know where your gas pedal is

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  • August 21, 2019 at 4:29 pm
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    this is standard in tests when I started driving in Ontario Canada…

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  • August 23, 2019 at 9:15 pm
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    I agree

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  • August 24, 2019 at 3:42 pm
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    leave it to vox writers to not know how things work.

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  • August 24, 2019 at 3:46 pm
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    The police need an unmarkerd car with a bull bar to go around nudging people out of the way. Then you could at least tell ahead of time by the marks who is likely to do this.

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  • August 25, 2019 at 7:04 am
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    2:32 This RHD ?
    German Driving on Right

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  • August 25, 2019 at 12:10 pm
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    Next Vox Video: “Why “Keep Right Except When Passing” Laws Are Sexist Because It Effects Women Disproportionately.”

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  • August 25, 2019 at 3:30 pm
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    But what if there is traffic? (In both lanes)

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  • August 26, 2019 at 10:54 pm
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    Happy 3-year anniversary of this video!

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  • August 27, 2019 at 12:34 am
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    I live in NC, there's no laws on the left lane…. I hate it

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  • August 27, 2019 at 7:54 am
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    I don’t get how Americans don’t know this, in Britain you need to know this to pass your theory test and to be allowed to drive. In Britain the road is the other way round so it’ll be the right lane.

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  • August 27, 2019 at 10:27 am
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    Americans : what if i do, anyway?

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  • August 27, 2019 at 10:52 am
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    Indians be like – Ah! It's opposite !

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  • August 27, 2019 at 9:18 pm
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    Americans…

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  • August 27, 2019 at 10:21 pm
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    I knew this at age 14

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  • August 28, 2019 at 4:30 am
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    To all the people in CA driving actually 65mph, be prepared to be either tailgated or driven around. Thank you 🙂

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  • August 28, 2019 at 5:54 am
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    The problem is that the right lane consists of people literally going 10 miles below the speed limit and in the left lane there’s people doing 90 tailgating- I can’t switch lanes every couple minutes so

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  • August 28, 2019 at 6:48 pm
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    The Germans have been doing this (successfully) for decades. Murikans have too many "rights"…

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  • August 28, 2019 at 7:46 pm
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    Americans are too full of themselves to ever understand this. If you flash you brights or try to explain it to someone at a stop light, they'll just flip you off or ignore you. Their ego's are too fragile.

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  • August 29, 2019 at 5:58 am
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    We need no speed limits on the highways in the u.s as well. It'll scare the people that like to drive slow or they'll move along with the fast pace traffic

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  • August 29, 2019 at 6:43 am
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    Wow, finally a legit video from vox

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  • August 30, 2019 at 2:02 am
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    If you didn’t know: there’s a reason there’s a sign that says “slower traffic keep right”

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  • August 30, 2019 at 3:43 am
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    I knew this and I am 14

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  • August 30, 2019 at 5:44 pm
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    i thought everyone should already know this

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  • August 30, 2019 at 10:46 pm
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    Too many rules!

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  • August 31, 2019 at 4:39 pm
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    In my country the left lane is the slow lane

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  • August 31, 2019 at 5:50 pm
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    This is a constant frustration for me. I end up dodging and weaving to get somewhere because sitting behind someone in the left lane and flashing my lights at them just doesn’t work. It gets even worse when they sit in the fast lane next to a car in the middle lane going the same speed.

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  • August 31, 2019 at 7:36 pm
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    Can I go 170mph on the left lane?

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  • August 31, 2019 at 10:28 pm
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    Because the left lane is ONLY for PASSING and/or *FAST DRIVERS*. Period. There, saved you 3 minutes.

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  • August 31, 2019 at 11:22 pm
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    minnesota now has the “left lane is only for passing” law

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  • September 1, 2019 at 12:12 am
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    They need signs on the left side of the left lane reminding people it's a passing lane only.

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  • September 1, 2019 at 3:29 am
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    Left lane are for people who think they are in a race track. Here in San Diego i have seen them go 90 to 100. I like driving 70.

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  • September 1, 2019 at 7:27 am
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    Britain:Am I a joke to you!

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  • September 1, 2019 at 4:13 pm
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    Using the left lane only to pass is natural and completely normal in Europe.

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  • September 2, 2019 at 12:24 am
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    You didn’t know that the left lane was for passing? Can’t imagine!

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  • September 2, 2019 at 9:14 am
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    Here in Nevada it’s only illegal to use the left lane if your driving lower than the posted speed limit.

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  • September 2, 2019 at 11:20 am
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    Normal here in Germany

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  • September 2, 2019 at 3:40 pm
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    Assume it’s way easier getting a license in America than it is in the UK, still learning and I know this.

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  • September 2, 2019 at 5:29 pm
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    pretty simple. its a way too easy to get driver license in USA. You can’t get so fast in Germany

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  • September 2, 2019 at 8:46 pm
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    Maybe this guy didn’t have driver license

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  • September 2, 2019 at 11:42 pm
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    Was so confused watching this in the uk…?

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  • September 3, 2019 at 7:30 am
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    Laughs in Australian

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  • September 3, 2019 at 11:55 pm
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    That’s what Australia does only overtake in the right lane

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  • September 4, 2019 at 1:58 am
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    i didnt realize people didnt know this

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  • September 4, 2019 at 2:25 am
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    Right lane nation citizens: Oh
    Left lane nation citizens driving in a school zone: Welp gotta go 80

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  • September 4, 2019 at 9:06 am
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    Ha my driving instructor legit just told me about this yesterday, although it was about driving slowly in the right lane (due to left hand drive in the uk)

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  • September 4, 2019 at 1:22 pm
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    sry but "I don't drive that much" is a pretty bad argument. Who cares about how much you drive. If you are driving a vehicle you have to know the rules. Thats how traffic works.

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  • September 4, 2019 at 6:47 pm
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    Don't do that in Germany 😂

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  • September 5, 2019 at 3:53 am
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    the US got some of the dumbest drivers.. on god..

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  • September 5, 2019 at 10:27 am
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    Say sorry and get over with? Common man its road sense. You cant get this over with awareness. Its just that right people need to be driving.
    The best way to make people learn is to make the roads 2 ways. Stay in left and have a headon collision.

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  • September 5, 2019 at 9:22 pm
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    Everyone in New Jersey is screaming

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  • September 7, 2019 at 6:10 pm
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    Attention California DMV show this to all new drivers and old drivers as well. Thank you.

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  • September 8, 2019 at 9:22 pm
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    I thought that was common sense,..they need to enforce this in SC

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  • September 8, 2019 at 10:17 pm
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    In the UK it is law, and we call the lanes the slow lane, middle lane and fast lane.
    If somebody is on the middle lane when they could be in the slow lane, they get a ticket 🙌🏻 –
    Depending how many lanes there are, the speeds should (and normally do) increase in every lane as you move across. There cannot be any undertaking, this is also against the law, so this literally creates a faster flow – hence the names ‘slow lane’ and ‘fast lane’

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  • September 8, 2019 at 10:36 pm
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    I would love Vox to do a piece on roundabouts vs intersections. Saw a little from Mythbusters showing how much more efficient and safe they are…blows my mind hearing the misconceptions Americans have about them

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  • September 8, 2019 at 10:39 pm
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    It is very annoying

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  • September 12, 2019 at 8:43 pm
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    Me a teenager without a license: ah yes

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  • September 13, 2019 at 11:37 am
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    i’m from italy, i thought for sure you had to know this in order to even get your driving license

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  • September 14, 2019 at 5:21 am
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    Texas been doin this …

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  • September 14, 2019 at 2:59 pm
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    You didnt know the rules?? Its common sense and shouldnt have to be a rule

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  • September 14, 2019 at 10:05 pm
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    Does this apply to surface streets as well?

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  • September 15, 2019 at 10:14 am
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    I was confused at first as an Australian, but I realised you drive on the opposite side of the road

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  • September 15, 2019 at 1:16 pm
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    I feel like if it's a 70 MPH highway the right lane should be 65-70 MPH, the middle lane should be strictly cruising at 70 MPH, and the left lane should be 75-80 miles per hour.

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  • September 16, 2019 at 6:54 pm
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    keep pulling over those that clog up the left lane.

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  • September 16, 2019 at 7:31 pm
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    The opposite is true. Faster vehicles shouldn't pass on right. Therefore, this is null. Dont pass. Find average speed and maintain it. Particularly during rush hour.

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  • September 17, 2019 at 3:39 am
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    That what New Zealand does

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  • September 17, 2019 at 11:09 am
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    Assuming all drivers think the same. They dont. Its common sense, but since when do we have that on the roads. It would be nice.

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  • September 17, 2019 at 12:10 pm
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    So this was why ross got a ticket for driving too slow on that one episode on friends

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  • September 17, 2019 at 5:35 pm
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    Yeah in Europe, at least in France, you have to drive in the right lane unless you're overtaking or there is no space for you in the right lane.

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  • September 17, 2019 at 10:32 pm
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    Most people think that if they drive in left lane they can violate speed limit. If I am riding speed limit in left lane it is illegal for you to drive faster than me No matter what lane.

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  • September 17, 2019 at 11:34 pm
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    In Spain it is illegal and the police takes it very seriously.

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  • September 18, 2019 at 1:49 pm
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    i was confused until i realized that they're talking about america

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  • September 18, 2019 at 4:20 pm
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    I always kinda thought of the left lane as the fast lane but it makes more sense as a pass lane

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  • September 19, 2019 at 7:09 am
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    That’s it I’m moving to Washington

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  • September 19, 2019 at 11:31 am
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    Laughs in european

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  • September 19, 2019 at 8:03 pm
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    Laughs in swiss!😂

    Reply

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