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Frequently on two-lane freeways, at least in the US, people drive in the left lane at exactly the same speed next to a car in the right lane, thus blocking the road.

Cars tend to back up behind these oblivious people. Is there a word or phrase for hogging the left lane?

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I usually call these people "assholes"... but I'm sure there's a better word for it :) –  Ryan Bigg Aug 15 '11 at 22:16
    
@Ryan Bigg - No, that word seems perfect. –  Shawn D. Aug 15 '11 at 23:58
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@Ryan Bigg - Actually, there are two types of drivers who do this: Assholes and Idiots. It is important to know which is which because an idiot can sometimes be clued in (eg: with your horn), whereas an asshole will just be happier when you honk because they now know they've ticked you off. –  T.E.D. Aug 16 '11 at 13:14
    
Should we call them "law-abiding"? At least if they are going at the speed limit? –  GEdgar Aug 16 '11 at 14:56
    
@GEdgar - As I mentioned in the comments below, in many areas driving for extended periods of time in a "passing lane" is actually against the law. –  T.E.D. Aug 16 '11 at 22:30

5 Answers 5

The term I heard most as a kid was Sunday drivers.

Sunday driver: A slow and leisurely driver who appears to be sightseeing and enjoying the view, holding up traffic in the process.

While it's not explicitly about hogging the "fast" lane, I think it gets the point across as far as blocking traffic.

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+1 for Sunday driver. I think it sums it up perfectly. –  simchona Aug 15 '11 at 23:38
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Disagree. A Sunday Driver will typically be found in the slow lane, but going egregiously slow. It has no implication whatsoever of specifically being in the passing lane. –  T.E.D. Aug 16 '11 at 12:54

I think that the simplest (and most polite) phrase is that the person is a road hog:

Fig. someone who drives carelessly and selfishly.

Look at that road hog driving in the middle of the road and stopping other drivers from passing him. That road hog nearly knocked the children over. He was driving too fast.

To capture that the driver is oblivious, another option is absent-minded:

so lost in thought that one does not realize what one is doing, what is happening, etc.; preoccupied to the extent of being unaware of one's immediate surroundings.

So you could say,

That driver in the left lane is so absent-minded! He doesn't realize that there are 5 cars behind him trying to get past.

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That works, but to me connotes a Mr Toad sort of aggressive driving. Forcing people off the road sort of thing... A perfect phrase would hit on- slow; oblivious; clueless. –  John P. Fisher Aug 15 '11 at 22:23
    
A road hog to me seems like someone who is driving on the violeng side e.g. fast and furious. It doesn't give me a picture of leisure and slowness –  Thursagen Aug 15 '11 at 23:07
    
+1 for road hog. –  msh210 Aug 15 '11 at 23:37
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How about lane hog? –  Benjol Aug 16 '11 at 8:06
    
A "road hog" is generally not driving very slowly at all. This is more a term for the person who cuts off other people when they zip around cars in traffic. Kinda the opposite type of jerk, really. –  T.E.D. Aug 16 '11 at 12:56

Here's one I think you might be looking for:

Left-Lane Camper: slow driver in passing lane

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I asked Dr Google and indeed that is in widespread use. –  John P. Fisher Aug 16 '11 at 0:03
    
-1 for leaving out the Brits! :) –  FumbleFingers Aug 16 '11 at 1:54
    
How so? Oh, is it cause Camper is American? –  Thursagen Aug 16 '11 at 2:22
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@FumbleFingers - You should be -1'ing the question then, not this answer. He was just answering the (non-Brit) question as asked. –  T.E.D. Aug 16 '11 at 13:00
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@FumbleFingers - No sweat. As for your "righteous citizens"... if you are referring to folk doing this intentionally in order to force a whole highway full of people to stay under their personal favorite speed limit (no matter the other drivers' opinion in the matter), then I think Ryan Bigg had the proper word for them. :-) –  T.E.D. Aug 16 '11 at 22:33

The group is referred to as a "rolling roadblock".

Of course that implicitly distributes the blame, where some would rather direct their ire to the schmuck in the left lane who isn't bothering to pass.

However, it should be noted that sometimes this is done on purpose. For instance, trucks (who are often in communications with each other via citizen band radios) will occasionally do this when approaching a speed trap, so that no poor unsuspecting soul will get caught.

Also note that in some states (I know Kansas used to be this way) you can get a ticket for doing this. "Traveling in the passing lane" or somesuch. A cynic might postulate this is more so that they have a reason to ticket folks who are preventing their speed traps from working than it is for public safety. But where would we find a cynic on the internet?

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Road Boulder is a term I've read for a car which impedes the traffic flow (although traffic boulder might be a bit more accurate). A couple of road boulders clumped together can pretty much block traffic.

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