Nothing can be potentially more maddening to a motoring Michigander than getting behind someone who is traveling at 1/2 a mile per hour in the LEFT-HAND LANE of the highway.

I'd like to climb into the passenger seat and ask this clueless driver: Why can't you see the enormous amount of traffic that is building up behind you? Don't you think maybe you should get into the right lane? No? You're just gonna clog up a perfectly good passing lane and match the speed of the person in the right-hand lane and wonder why people are flashing their lights behind you.

THE LEFT LANE IS FOR PASSING ONL.....what's that? Seriously?

The Left Lane Isn't Always the Passing Lane in Michigan


In most cases, the left lane of a Michigan highway is dedicated to passing only. If this is the first time you're reading this it's true. Turns out that the wide-open lane on the highway isn't your personal lane, it's empty for a reason. You should use the right lane for travel and when you need to overtake a slower-moving vehicle, you use the left lane to do so, then once you are at a safe distance, you get back over into the travel lane.

The one exception to this otherwise steadfast rule is, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation and Monroe County Lawyers:

If on a freeway that has 3 or more lanes, a driver is permitted to use ANY lane that is lawfully available. “Freeway” means “a divided arterial highway for through traffic with full control of access and with all crossroads separated in grade from pavements for through traffic (e.g. interstate highways where crossroads pass over or under bridges).


This law isn't for all Michigan vehicles, however:

MCL 257.18a. However, “[t]he driver of a truck with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds, a truck tractor, or a combination of a vehicle and trailer or semitrailer shall drive the vehicle or combination of vehicles only in either of the 2 lanes farthest to the right, except for a reasonable distance when making a left turn or where a special hazard exists that requires the use of an alternative lane for safety reasons.” MCL 257.631(3).


So there you have it. The singular exception to the rule of only passing in the furthermost left lane. That said, if you see a speeding ball of light approaching you at an incredible pace while you are in the leftmost lane, GET OVER!

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