This is a great question that may seem obvious to most drivers, and when answered correctly, could be a huge relief to a lot more. What is the proper lane to drive your car in most of the time?
The immediate, most basic answer is, choose the RIGHT LANE for most city driving. There are several reasons. Out of due consideration to other drivers the right lane is most often the lane of choice for stop and go traffic. We unload passengers at curb side. Parallel parking is attempted from the inside lane. Slower drivers who are looking for addresses and businesses can see better from the closer lane. There are a lot of reasons why the RIGHT LANE is a multi purpose lane, and most well suited for what we might call "browsing". For that reason, it is also safer because most everyone expects hesitant, slower progress in that lane.
The LEFT LANE is the lane for "through traffic" and left turning vehicles. This traffic is moving faster, and other drivers do not expect to encounter the "browsers" here. Many people have to get to work, or meet an important schedule deadline, or may even be involved in an emergency. Good driving manners should tell us to move over to the right lane if you are not going to stay with the flow of traffic. I't's certainly okay to drive as slow as you feel safe, but if you are going to be moving slower than the posted speed limit, courtesy and safety say move to the right lane. Drivers who enter the left lane, and proceed to drive like a "slow bird", will cause conflict in traffic, arouse impatience and anger in other drivers who are necessarily using that lane, and the disruption may even cause an accident. The reason? No one is expecting a slow moving vehicle in the left lane. Those cars are entitled to go the speed limit.
Freeway or highway driving has some exceptions. Traffic overall is traveling at much higher speeds. On the freeway the FAR RIGHT LANE is usually posted for slower moving traffic. Most states now have a "minimum speed limit" of 40 m.p.h. The right lane is also used for exiting the freeway. You should always try to change to the right lane at least 1 mile before your exit. Signal your lane changes, check your mirrors, even take a quick glance over your shoulder to see if any cars are in your "blind spot". If clear, then move smoothly over into the lane. Now you are positioned to make your exit.
The MIDDLE LANE is for moderate speeds. Traffic in this lane is usually traveling at least the posted speed limit. If you do not wish to drive that fast, the better choice for you is the right lane. But if you are traveling 5, 10 or more miles, the middle lane is the best selection for steady progress.
The LEFT LANE on the freeway is usually regarded as the "fast lane", or the "high speed" lane. Unless restricted, this is where trucks and commercial vehicles travel, along with cars who need to make good travel time. You should avoid the fast lane if you are not well aware of the customary use, or if you are not a very experienced driver. The freeway, especially the left lane, is no place for the timid, and certainly no place for the "stubborn attitude" driver who wants to slow everyone down to their pace. If you drive "too slow for conditions" you can be cited for "impeding traffic". A better action would simply be to move over as far to the right as you feel safe and comfortable, and adjust your speed accordingly.
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