The Problem with Driving Slow in the Left Lane

LifeStyle, Safety on October 30, 2018

There are two types of drivers on the highway: Those who really hate it when people are driving slow in the left lane, and those who drive in the left lane all the time regardless of speed.

Many people consider it just a general rule of thumb that they should drive slower in the right lane and faster in the left lane, but don’t realize that there are actually laws in place and solid reasons behind the way traffic flows in the way it does.

Every state, including Arizona, has laws that restrict the use of the left-lane on highways and multi-lane roads. There is nothing wrong with using the left lane – as long as you use it only to pass vehicles in the right lane.

To pass vehicles in the right lane, you have to drive faster than them. The problem occurs when someone drives slowly in the left lane – this can really mess up the flow traffic for everyone.

When driving on the left lane, you should drive faster than the cars in the right lane, and get back over to the right lane quickly after passing.

When you drive too slowly here, the vehicles coming from behind will have to slow down as well, leading to a sudden traffic buildup which makes everyone lose their cool. Not just that – it’s a question of road safety as well and can definitely cause an accident.

That’s why…

As many as 29 states, including Arizona, can fine drivers for driving too slowly in the left lane on the interstate.

In Arizona, the traffic rules are clear: You must move aside if driving slower than the normal traffic.  Click here for a detailed look at Arizona’s Laws on Driving in the Right Lane and Left Lane from the official Arizona State Legislature website.

The state authorities have increased penalties on slowpoke drivers or on anyone caught left-lane camping. As a driver, you must get off the left lane after overtaking another vehicle.

Real Implications of Driving Slow in the Left Lane

Traffic fatalities have been going up every year, not just in Arizona, but across the United States. Distracted driving and fast, reckless driving are the two biggest causes of traffic deaths.

While there is no specific research on the implications of slowpoke driving in the left-lane, it is certainly not helping matters when the flow of traffic is disrupted abruptly.

Left-lane slowpoke drivers are often oblivious to other drivers and have no clue about all the trouble they’re causing. Hogging the left lane causes frustration and even road rage in other drivers. Worse, it could lead to dangerous actions such as tailgating and passing on the right by other drivers.


It’s important to note here that lane changing can be a dangerous if you’re driving too fast. You should be in a state of high focus when changing lanes, always drive at normal speeds, slightly faster than the vehicle you’re trying to overtake, and as always, be sure not to drive at an unsafe or illegal speed.