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Discussion Starter #1
In two, three or even four lane motorways/highways, do you have a preferred lane to ride in? I know in Europe you are supposed to stay on the outside lane and use the others for overtaking as traffic allows, always returning to the outside. Seems that any lane is game on US highways, so overtaking occurs on both side if you are in the middle lane of a three lane highway. Somewhat disconcerting if you are used to overtaking vehicles passing on one side only. Universally I believe the law "encourages" staying on the outside lane (furthest lane from traffic coming in the other direction). Makes sense to me, but interrupted by merging traffic (that has priority in the US).

Share what's your rationale for lane selection?
 

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In two, three or even four lane motorways/highways, do you have a preferred lane to ride in? I know in Europe you are supposed to stay on the outside lane and use the others for overtaking as traffic allows, always returning to the outside. Seems that any lane is game on US highways, so overtaking occurs on both side if you are in the middle lane of a three lane highway. Somewhat disconcerting if you are used to overtaking vehicles passing on one side only. Universally I believe the law "encourages" staying on the outside lane (furthest lane from traffic coming in the other direction). Makes sense to me, but interrupted by merging traffic (that has priority in the US).

Share what's your rationale for lane selection?
I'll choose the middle on a 3 lane or the second lane closest to the inside on a 4 lane. It keeps me away from merging traffic and leaves me an escape route on either side. I also intend to ride just a bit faster than the flow of traffic because if I'm passing I have more control than if I'm getting constantly passed by others. On the US highways it is courtesy to stay in the outside lane except when passing and in some states its the law. However, we have more than our fair share of idiots who think they are only ones living in the world.
 

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Don't know if it's a state thing, but here in NJ, passing on the right is frowned upon if not technically illegal. You mention riding in the middle lane of a 3 lane hwy and passing on either side. The lanes on the left are for passing. I ride in all lanes and determine which by conditions at the time. Sometimes the right hand lane is all roughed up or greasy from trucks. Sometimes all the road hogs stay in the left lane so I can make better time in the right hand lane. There is no better lane all the time.
 

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American drivers are the worst offenders of hogging the fast lane. Prius drivers should all be regaled to busses. As many times ive driven in europe ive never(and thats at least 2 trips a year) witnessed fast lane idiots. If you happen to be in the passing lane and someone comes up behind you going faster, they flash their lights and you move over, Now. i can also tell you we, Americans, forgot what the stalk on the left side of the steering wheel is for. ough, dont get me started.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've asked my colleagues here in the US what the rules are and there appears to be a lot ignorance on lane rules. Not something talked about much in drivers ed or motorcycle refresher classes. Don't think it's malice.

I've been asked in all seriousness that as long as you are doing the speed limit why does it matter?

Also supposed to be illegal to overtake on the inside in the US, not just in Europe, but regrettably it's not enforced.
 

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Most folks only know enough to not be ticketed by the fuzz. And since the fuzz aren't pulling people over for improper lane usage, then proper lane usage is a very low priority for most drivers.
 

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I agree with the above comments on lane usage. In the U.S., way too many people drive in the left hand below the average traffic flow speed on divided highways were there is no possibility of making a left hand turn. They belong in the right hand lane, thereby allowing faster traffic to pass them in the left lane.

I always try to keep right unless passing or making a left hand turn. Remember, people who constantly drive in the left hand lane are that much closer to a head on collision from an oncoming car. Just this week on the same road, I saw two drivers weaving left and right in the left hand lane while using phones, and driving slower than the flow of traffic. Sometimes road rage is justified !

I have seen it stated that some of these drivers apparently feel that it is their duty to drive at the exact speed limit in the left hand lane in an attempt to regulate the speed of faster drivers.
Wrong !! It's not up to them to enforce speed limits.

Here in New York state, many years ago, I had driver education in high school. Unfortunately, that has been eliminated in many areas. It was a valuable experience. I think many drivers are suffering the lack of that experience today.
 

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I know someone who was riding in the left hand lane on a local 2 lane highway who was pulled over by the local enforcers and given a ticket for staying in the left hand lane for more than 4 miles. He was following her. Never knew anyone who was pulled over for that before. Big trucks and semis do the same thing but never seem to get pulled over when they are not supposed to stay in the left lane other than to pass. It's usually speeding chaos.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Felony: I know someone who was riding in the left hand lane on a local 2 lane highway who was pulled over by the local enforcers and given a ticket for staying in the left hand lane for more than 4 miles. He was following her. Never knew anyone who was pulled over for that before.

Was it in this century? Give the cop a medal for doing his job!
 

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Divided highways

3 lanes - I'll ride in the middle lane and slightly faster than the right hand lane. Only use the left lane to pass cars in n front of me in the same lane. But I keep the right lane as an emergency escape.

4 lanes - typically the second from the inside. Same principle above and keeps me away from merging traffic

Non-divided highways

I'll stay in the outside lane unless I need to pass. Oncoming traffic doesnt always see motorcycles. Too many distracted drivers swerve into the oncoming lane unintentionally.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
 

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Typically I agree with statements about "lane use ignorance." For all my years of driving it would seem that there are no rules in the books. I've seen passing left or right lane, exact speed limits in the left lane, heavy speeding in merging lanes, etc.

When I'm riding on a 2 lane highway I hang out in the right lane until a merge approaches. On roads with more lanes I'm almost always towards the right side. I don't know why I do it, but that positioning makes me much more comfortable.
 

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Here in the UK open our three lane Motorways we should stay in left lane if possible we can over take using middle or third lane on right, b ut then we should drop back into nearside lane, we can be fined for staying in middle or right hand lanes,
but its really not possible to stay in left lane because all our trucks use the left lane,
we drive on the left in uk
:smile2::smile2:
 

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I basically use the lane the gives me as much space around me as possible to avoid everyone else trying to kill me.

Here in Aus its keep left left unless overtaking (left being the "slow lane"), same as the UK.
 

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For highway driving, I tend to have different behaviors. If there is not a lot of traffic I like to cruise at the speed limit in the outermost lane, moving over for on-ramp merges or to pass. If traffic is crazier, i.e. through a city, I just stay in the fast lane and pass everyone. It just feels easier/safer in that case.
 

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Depends on where I am riding. In Germany, it is pretty easy. You stay right unless overtaking. Cars will only pass on your left, You stay out of blind spots of cars on your right.

Now in the US in heavy traffic, it gets complicated. I usually select the middle lane. The left lane will mostly go faster, and I make sure I stay out of blind spots of traffic to my right, until there is enough room to pull past them. I don't like the right lane because too many crazy lane changes happen there. Car drivers in the US are not very skilled and can be very unpredictable around highway exits. If all lanes are equally fast, I might take the left lane or try to find a spot where all cars can see me.
 

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Makes sense to me, but interrupted by merging traffic (that has priority in the US).

That's a common misconception by the US motoring population. Merging traffic has NO priority and is supposed to stop if it's not possible to merge into the traffic stream. That's not what usually happens though and drivers drive as if they do have priority and if you don't slow down to open up a spot for them you get the usual middle finger and angry and dangerous passing and cutting in.

As a rule, I try very hard not to drive on any multi-lane highways but if I do I generally ride in the right (slow) lane just because I really hate being passed on both sides at the same time.
 
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