Monday, October 19, 2009

Texas Road Courtesy

Two lane rural roads in Texas are very fast. Surprisingly, the speed limit of 70 miles per hour on two lane rural roads in Texas is common. This is faster than the Interstate speed limit in many states.

Drivers coming from other parts of the country, where rural two lane road speed limits are 50 or 55 miles per hour, may find it a bit shocking and uncomfortable when an unrecognizable distant image in the rear-view mirror suddenly becomes the grille of a truck or car just behind you.

Now, if this happens, in most cases, if you look to your right, you will notice an unusually large paved shoulder. I’m not sure of the legality of it all, and I’m not necessarily recommending it, but traditional Texas road courtesy would suggest that you pull over on to the wide shoulder and let the faster vehicle by without it having to cross the center line.

But, that’s not the end of it. Texas road courtesy is just a tad bit more complex than just pulling over and letting the other vehicle pass by.

Things being as they are, it would be rude and discourteous for the passing driver not to wave to acknowledge the driver pulling onto the shoulder, but, also equally rude and discourteous for the driver pulling onto the shoulder to not wave back acknowledging the passing driver.

It’s a Texas thing I guess. What can I say? If you participate in this Texas road "courtesy," including the passing, pulling over, and waving, it is at your own risk and liability. Texans would expect nothing less.


  1. Rather than the wave, it would be my preference to provide the passing driver with the "Ohio Salute"

  2. This habit is one of the best parts of traveling in Texas and reflects a simpler common sense time. Unfortunately, it wouldn't work in most other states that don't share Texas miles of straight barren roads and self reliant citizens.

  3. It's just like in PL. Except we do not wave to each other, just use blinkers to say thx.