Roadside Chat - Camp at the state fair, not in left lane

8-11 camp at the state fairLet’s talk a little about expectations. Having a common set of rules of the road makes it much easier to expect or anticipate what another driver might do, which helps you make your own decisions. Those decisions impact others on the road. This snowball effect runs pretty smoothly until someone does something unexpected, like driving slowly in the left lane.

This left-lane rule of the road, which actually is a law in Iowa (, notes that vehicles shall be driving on the right half of the roadway with a few exceptions such as when passing another vehicle or to avoid an obstruction in the road.

This law is put into place to make travel safer for everyone, but you may wonder, “What’s wrong with going slower than the flow of traffic in the left lane?”

  1. You will impact the way traffic flows, and not in a good way. Multi-lane highways are designed to be at their safest when traffic moves as expected.
  2. A slower vehicle in the left lane causes vehicles to drive closer together, increasing the likelihood of tailgating, which can increase the likelihood of a crash.
  3. It can bring out the aggressive side in some drivers. They may go a step further than just tailgating and resort to other risky behaviors like weaving in and out of traffic.

Is hanging out in the left lane really an issue?

So far this year in Iowa, 220 people have been killed in traffic crashes. That’s an increase of 11 since last Friday. In Iowa in 2022, there were 338 traffic-related deaths. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at

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