Slow left lane drivers who use the left lane for general travel rather than for the limited purpose of overtaking and passing slower vehicles in the right lane may be violating the Michigan Vehicle Code Law. These so-called “left lane squatters” are required to drive in the right lane unless they are passing.
Enforcing these Michigan left lane laws – and educating drivers about them – is important because drivers who “park” themselves by driving way too slow in the left lane create a dangerous situation for themselves and all the irritated drivers around them. This causes traffic backups and lots of car accidents when drivers try to maneuver to get around these left-lane slow poke drivers.
The blog post is intended to serve as a reminder for all Michigan drivers that the left lane of the highway is reserved for passing motorists – it’s not the lane where you can driver slow, set the “cruise control” and just relax.
What is the Michigan left lane law?
The Michigan Vehicle Code has very specific laws for drivers’ use of the left lane on Michigan highways and freeways:
- The “driver of a vehicle shall drive [his or her] vehicle upon the right half of the roadway except … when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same directions …” (MCL 257.634(1)(a))
- “Upon a roadway having 2 or more lanes for travel in 1 direction, the driver of a vehicle shall drive the vehicle in the extreme right-hand lane available for travel …” (MCL 257.634(2))
- “When a roadway has been divided into 2 or more clearly marked lanes for traffic … [a] vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from the lane until the operator has first ascertained that the movement can be made with safety. Upon a roadway with 4 or more lanes that provides for 2-way movement of traffic, a vehicle shall be operated within the extreme right-hand lane except when overtaking and passing, but shall not cross the center line of the roadway except where making a left turn.” (MCL 257.642(1)(a))
Michigan State Police – ‘Driving in the left lane when not passing’
On its “Traffic Laws FAQs” page, the Michigan State Police states the following:
Q. Is it against the law to drive in the left lane when not passing another vehicle?”
A. Here’s what MCL 257.634 has to say about lane driving. If the road has two or more lanes in one direction, vehicles shall be driven in the extreme right-hand lane. If all lanes are occupied by vehicles moving in substantially continuous lanes of traffic then a driver can use any lane available. A driver may also use the left lane for a reasonable distance when preparing for a left turn. On a freeway having 3 or more lanes, a driver may use any lane lawfully available. MCL 257.642 gives further direction and states in part, “…Upon a roadway with 4 or more lanes which provides for 2-way movement of traffic, a vehicle shall be driven within the extreme right-hand lane except when overtaking and passing, but shall not cross the center line of the roadway except where making a left turn.”
Injured in a car accident due to a person driving to slow? Call now
Slow left lane drivers on Michigan highways are dangerous and can cause accidents. If you were injured in a car accident due to someone driving too slow in the left lane , call now (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer. There is no cost or obligation. You can also visit our contact page or use the chat feature on our website.
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