Ohio Drivers, You Know the Left Lane on Michigan Highways is For Passing, Right?
Look, we Michiganders don't spend enough time in your godforsaken state to know if you do things differently on your Ohio highways but here in Michigan, we hate drivers like you.
If you happen to be the egghead I dealt with on U.S. 127 today, this one's for you buddy.
Caution: Rage Rage Rant Ahead
We can preface this by saying that we Michigan drivers are no angels ourselves. We have our faults (though we are a no-fault state). However, we also all have experienced the feeling at least once of noticing someone driving either behind or next to you is driving like a total idiot only for them to get ahead of you and there it is. An Ohio license plate.
Then, while their idiocy makes no sense, the fact it is present is understandable.
As a lifelong Michigander, I do sometimes question the generations-long vitriol between us and Ohio...then I get on the highway with someone from there and I question nothing other than the Ohio DMV's judgement in giving these people licenses.
That's exactly what happened today as I was driving down Southbound 127.
I had gotten over into the right lane after successfully passing another vehicle using the left lane (even used my blinker, look at me go). I saw another vehicle coming up pretty quickly behind me in the rear-view. They got over into the left lane to pass me...or so I assumed.
This jerk then sat in my blind spot, going the exact same speed as me. Suddenly, we were coming up behind a semi and I needed the left lane to pass again. Because of the dingus in the car next to me, I had to brake to slow down and then get in the left lane behind them.
I was frustrated, even more annoyed once I saw the Ohio license plate, but proceeded to get back in the right lane after using the left for its intended purpose.
This banana-brain then proceeded to continue to stay beside me in my blind spot. I could see there was another semi in front of me and new I would have to pass again so I proceeded to speed up in the right lane (still with plenty of room between me and the semi) and make it so I could get in front of the Ohio car.
TELL ME WHY at this moment I could see the other driver in my rear view, throwing their hands in the air as if I was the one driving like a ding-dong.
How to Properly Use the Left Lane on Michigan Highways
Now, I don't really know why it was so frustrating to me but I am my father's daughter and road rage runs deep...also I'm a petty you-know-what.
So, here I am at home, ready to give Ohio drivers a quick peek into Michigan driver's education because clearly they need the help.
According to Section 257.634 of Michigan Vehicle Code:
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 except as otherwise provided in this section. However, the driver of a vehicle may drive the vehicle in any lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the same direction of travel when the lanes are occupied by a streetcar or vehicles moving in substantially continuous lanes of traffic and in any left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the same direction of travel for a reasonable distance before making a left turn or to avoid blocking, delaying, or otherwise interfering with the movement of a streetcar on a streetcar track.
What that boils down to, as clarified by the Detroit Free Press, is the left lane of a Michigan state highway is for passing! You cannot impede traffic or it will end in a civil infraction, though, they do say this is more lenient when traffic is heavy.
What that boils down to, as clarified by me, is DON'T DRIVE LIKE A TURD and EITHER PASS OR GET OUT OF THE DAMN WAY.
Why Taking Up the Left Lane on the Highway is Bad
Am I overreacting? Maybe. Was this person impeding any other traffic besides me? Not really. Do I still think this is a valuable lesson and am doubling-down because this person was from Ohio? Absolutely.
It's common knowledge the left lane is for passing. If you are making it so other drivers cannot use it for that, you are impeding the flow of traffic and could cause an accident.
Not only that, it's become such a problem, there are actually laws in place against it and police can pull you over for traveling in the left lane and blocking other drivers from passing.
Furthermore, you could cause a traffic jam and, trust me, if someone from Ohio is the cause of a traffic jam in Michigan, you're furthering the negative positions against you.
I saw this video from Vox a few years ago and it has been nailed into my head ever since and I think it would be beneficial here:
At the end of the day, just drive in a way that is safe for yourself and others. Also, do be sure to follow traffic laws and not piss people off. It's just a good rule of thumb.
Lastly, if you are a driver from Ohio and you are driving like a buffoon in Michigan, we hate you.