How many of you have ever heard of the term, “Hammer Lane”? This is truck driver lingo for the passing lane, (inside lane). How many times, while driving down the interstate, do we get stuck behind someone driving in the passing lane and holding up traffic? It happens all of the time. For purposes of clarification, the inside lane, or passing lane, is the left side lane. The outside lane is the right side lane.

Over 15 years ago, a law was passed to help ease congestion on the Texas Highway System. The signs posted along the interstate here in Texas read “Left lane for passing only.”

This is not a suggestion – this is the law. A driver can be issued a citation for driving in the passing lane and not passing.

This law does not give someone the right to get behind another vehicle who is driving in the passing lane illegally, and begin to flash their lights at the vehicle to move over. This act itself is illegal.

Drivers who change from the outside lane to the passing lane need to pay special attention to the speed of any approaching traffic before they change into the passing lane so they do not cause an accident. Sometimes, it is hard to judge the speed when a vehicle is approaching from behind or in front of you.

Safety is another good reason to drive in the outside lane. If you are traveling in the passing lane and a vehicle traveling in the oncoming traffic lane begins to cross over, you could get boxed in from another vehicle in your outside lane.

The passing lane is not the Autobahn and the speed limit is the same in both lanes. Drivers still need to obey the maximum speed limit no matter what lane they are driving in. Drive friendly, and always drive safely!