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Slow Drivers in the Left Lane Are a Menace in Virginia

I pride myself in helping clients through their toughest times.- Bill O’Mara

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Slow Drivers in the Left Lane Are a Menace in Virginia

As you're riding along the highway on any given day in Virginia, whether it's along Interstate 64 or Interstate 95, it seems there's always somebody driving just under the speed limit in the left-hand lane. There's not a law against this, but it's certainly impolite and bad driving. You often see on busy stretches of highway the signs that say slower traffic keep right.


The idea of those signs which are the type that seem like more of a suggestion is to let people know to let folks pass on the left. However, you always seem to find folks who ignore those signs and cluelessly clog up the left-hand lane.


 One reason I think that people do this is some sense of righteousness that if they're going the speed limit, everybody else on the highway should have to.

Although that is perhaps an understandable sentiment, it ignores the reality that most drivers want to ride slightly above the speed limit most of the time. If somebody insists ongoing just barely the speed limit in the left-hand lane all they're doing is encouraging the drivers who want to ride at 5 or 10 miles an hour over the limit to try to pass then on the right.

This is a recipe for danger and car wrecks. If you're riding in the left-hand lane and you see that there's a car that wants to pass you, you should have the sense to pull over to the right and allow that car to pass. It will be better for you, them and everyone else on the highway if you let them drive at the speed that they want to drive at.

Although this may require you to change lanes, I think it's required by good driving practice. Really if there's open road on both lanes left and right then unless you are, in fact, driving faster than the other cars you should be in the right-hand lane in any event.

 Another reason that you see people driving slower than they should and slower than the speed limit in Virginia and elsewhere is that they are texting and talking on the phone. Often the people who are using electronic devices like their smart phones end up slowing down because they think it'll be safer for them to be punching their keyboard if they go slightly slower than the speed limit.

Going slightly slower than the speed limit doesn't make texting and driving any safer of course. However if you see someone creeping along on the road and look over at them often, you'll see they're on that device. On the highways, there is a minimum speed limit which is typically 45 miles an hour in a 55-mile-an-hour zone. However, if you want to be going slow then get off the highway entirely and take the slow road and let the rest of us who are trying to get their as efficiently as possible do so as was intended by the traffic engineers.

This is especially true in the most rural parts of the highway where the speed limit is 70 miles an hour. If you want to drive 55 then get off onto the more local road like 250 West and go at that slower speed. However if you don't plan to at least drive the speed limit to get out of the left-hand lane.

Drive carefully and please don't drive too slowly in the left lane. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car wreck, please call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at (757) 455-0077.

John Cooper

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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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