Updated: Jan 27
So what, or who, is an LLH driver? This is my acronym for a Left Lane Hugger driver. You’ve seen them, this is the person who moves into the left (fast) lane on a multi-lane roadway and plants their butt in that lane and ain’t nothing going to move them until they are good and ready to move. They are not necessarily the fastest driver on the road, as noted by the hard-charging drivers who ride the LLH’s bumper, honking or flashing their headlights, until they give up on these tactics and bolt to the next lane over, hit the gas pedal speeding past the LLH and whip their vehicle into the left lane just in front of the LLH. Message sent….although not necessarily received by the LLH, as they continue on their way, hugging the left lane.
Myself, I tend to like staying in the middle of the roadway, as I take comfort in knowing that if something happens which requires me to take some evasive action, I know I have room to maneuver on either side of me.
Is it against the law to spend more time in the left lane than other lanes? Thinking back to the drivers education class and driving manual I got acquainted with in High School, I recall that the left lane was the designated ‘passing lane’. OK, so if you are inclined to be one of the faster drivers on the road, using the left lane to continually pass everyone else on the road must be alright since you are celebrating the spirit of the law in using the passing lane. That is until you acquire the LLH driver.
So what is it with an LLH? Is there some gravitational pull you experience that draws you into the left lane and holds you there until your exit arrives? Do you not have some situational awareness that tells you there are vehicles behind you wanting to go faster or vehicles in the other lanes that are passing you? Do you see yourselves as mavericks or patriots who are upholding the freedom of the road for all of us or maybe feeling that you have a right (constitutional, god given, or otherwise) to spend as much time in the left lane as you choose? Or, maybe your mind is just on other matters of life when you are driving and the left lane is simply where you find comfort. I sometimes wonder if my wife is a charter member of the LLH Club.
Back to the question of legality, the answer is - it depends. It depends on the State you are driving in. The issue of road rage is apparently the primary catalyst for laws being passed restricting travel in the left lane. A few States still allow the left lane to be used as a normal driving lane providing you yield the lane to overtaking traffic, while most other States restrict use of the left lane for passing only, where a citation can be issued by a State Trooper if they are so inclined. So watch out you LLH’s, Smokey may have eyes on you. If you put yourself into the category of an LLH, rest assured, you might be able to find refuge in South Dakota.