Many California motorists may not be aware that state law puts some restrictions on driving in the left-hand lane on a multiple lane road or a highway. In fact, as Vox points out, every state restricts the use of the left lane in some fashion, though these laws are not meant to be overly intrusive. In fact, they are intended to keep traffic flowing and prevent traffic jams, as well as cut down on the risk of vehicular accidents.
California law is actually quite lenient when it comes to traveling in the left lane. Eleven states mark the left lane only for people who need to turn or pass up traffic. However, 29 states, including California, only specify that vehicles traveling slower than the speed of normal traffic need to drive in the right lane. Basically, a car that is not keeping pace with nearby vehicles should not be in the left lane.
The problem with slow drivers in the left lane is that, aside from impeding the flow of traffic, they can increase the risk of accidents. Too much variation in the speed of vehicles can lead to an auto collision. Some research has even shown, according to Vox, that a car riding five miles per hour less than nearby traffic is more likely to cause an accident than a car going five miles per hour faster. Too many slow drivers in both the left and right lanes can motivate drivers to change lanes repeatedly, which boosts the chance of collisions.
The idea behind left lane restrictions is that the slower drivers are gathered in the right hand lane, which enables a person riding in the left lane to pass up a number of slow drivers in quick succession. Instead of several lane changes, a motorist may only need two, one to pull into the left lane to avoid slow traffic and a second change to pull back into the right lane when the slow drivers are bypassed.
Since motor vehicle accidents have many different causes, do not consider this article as legal advice. It is only intended to provide general information on the topic of auto accidents.