When You Hit the Road this Thanksgiving, “Do the Right Thing” and Let Faster Traffic Pass

November 2014

The National Motorists Association (NMA) in conjunction with the nonprofit NMA Foundation is kicking off an ongoing Lane Courtesy awareness campaign in time for Thanksgiving, one of the major driving holidays of the year.

“Lane courtesy is the act of keeping or moving right to allow overtaking traffic to pass on the left,” said NMA President Gary Biller. “It is one of the most important driving principles, both from a safety and a traffic flow efficiency standpoint. Those are interrelated, of course, and yet most American drivers have difficulty yielding the right of way.”

He added, “We highlighted the keep-right conundrum between motorists and law enforcement officers in a NMA e-newsletter, ‘Lane Courtesy Redux.’  The goal of our ‘Do the Right Thing’ campaign is to have all drivers recognize the value of practicing lane courtesy, making it an integral part of our driving culture.”

The NMA first promoted keeping right for faster traffic over a decade ago when it designated June as Lane Courtesy Month. The membership-based drivers’ rights organization lists several benefits to keeping right on multi-lane highways:

  • Drivers are less likely to be in accidents

Letting faster traffic pass creates smoother traffic flow, minimizing stress and aggressive tactics like tailgating;

  • Fuel economy will increase

Efficient traffic flow results in less braking and accelerating as well as fewer forced lane changes;

  • Yielding to faster traffic reduces congestion

Motorists get to their destinations on schedule more consistently;

  • Keeping right is the law in most states

The driver who camps in the left lane and holds up traffic, regardless of speed, frequently is violating the law.

The campaign’s “Do the Right Thing, Yield to Faster Traffic” theme, shown in the graphic below, is being utilized in public service announcements and conveyed through promotional items such as laminated posters and display magnets. The NMA and NMA Foundation hope to raise enough funds to produce a lane courtesy educational video that can become part of the curriculum in driver education classes across the country.


Biller noted, “Our ongoing campaign will help educate drivers, young and old, about the many benefits of lane courtesy. If we can instill a ‘keep right’ mindset among motorists, our highways will be safer to travel and more pleasant to drive.”