Penny's Passion: Thinking Out Loud Thursday - February 4, 2016

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - February 4, 2016

A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine passed away.  I wrote a post about it HERE.  There were three of us in my car during the funeral procession and none of us were completely sure of the etiquette while traveling to the cemetery ~ which brings me to what I'm thinking out loud about today.

I grew up in a very small town and when someone passed away, the entire town showed up at the funeral out of respect to the deceased and their family.  Many people drove in the funeral procession to the cemetery and it seemed everyone just knew what to do.  The distance between the funeral home and final resting spot wasn't that far and no major highways were involved in the trek.  

The funeral a few weeks ago was different.  We journeyed a few miles and crossed very busy intersections.  Since the three of us in the car were unsure of exactly what to do, it also brought to light that as a parent I probably had not taught my child the proper etiquette for this type of situation either.  (So, Ian, listen up!)  

As much as we don't like to think about death and dying, let's face it - at some point we're all going to be in this situation.  When you're mourning the death of someone close to you, the last thing you will probably think to do is look up the how to's for driving in the funeral procession.  Same is true if we happen upon a procession while out and about.  So here's my attempt to plant the seed so you will somewhere in the back of your mind have a clue what you should and should not be doing.  By the way, I retrieved this information from and a few other sources online.

What To Do While Driving in a Funeral Procession
~          Get ready and put on your patient pants because you will be driving very slowly.  The speed is typically 30-40 miles per hour on roads and no more than 55 on the highway. 
~          Many times the funeral home will pass out signs to be displayed in your car signifying you are part of the procession.  Display these in the upper left hand corner of your windshield.  Also, turn on your headlights and make sure your radio is not blasting. 
~          Follow close to the car in front of you in the procession.  Do not allow room for a vehicle not in the procession to cut in.
~          Stay in line and with the procession at all times – even if that means you go through a red light at an intersection.  Local traffic ordinances give a funeral procession the right-of-way, and other motorists must yield until the procession has passed. 
~          The last car in the procession should have 2 funeral flags displayed and will also have hazards light flashing to signify to other motorists that the procession has ended and that traffic may resume.
~          When you arrive at the cemetery, a cemetery attendant should lead the procession to the grave site or chapel, and the funeral attendant will collect any signage given to you.
What To Do When You Encounter a Funeral Procession
~          Remember, funeral processions have the right-of-way.  Please be respectful!
~          Use caution.  If you are at a stop light, the ENTIRE funeral procession will be going through even if the light has turned red.  The last car in the procession should have 2 flags and their hazard lights flashing.  Once that car has passed, regular traffic rules can resume.
~          Do not cut into or cut off a procession! 
~          Do not honk at a car in a funeral procession.
~          Do not pass a funeral procession on the right side of the highway, unless the procession is in the far left lane. 
Something else to keep in mind, if you see a funeral procession while travelling in the same or opposite direction on a two-way road, it is considered courteous to pull over and wait until the procession has passed.  Be respectful - pull over!

So that's what I'm thinking out loud about today.  Hopefully the next time I'm in this situation I'll remember what to do and hopefully so will you.  My friend Jane was taken way too soon.  Even in her absence, she's still teaching me things.

Join me and Vanessa from X-tremely V in our Thinking Out Loud link up.  Feel free to link your favorite post(s) and share what you're up to.  We'd love to hear from you!


Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at
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  1. Tips we all should adhere to when the time comes. Especially nowadays when people are such in a hurry. So being patient is the best tip Penny. I hope each day brings you a little more joy and peace as you grieve for your friend. Thinking of you.

  2. Growing up in a tiny town, this was definitely how things worked.
    We have a cemetery at the end of our dirt road here in Colorado and they shut down the road when there's a funeral.
    Again, so sorry for your loss :/

  3. So sorry for the loss of your friend. I also grew up in a small town and was taught the same rules! We once came up on a procession on the interstate and people were driving crazy! We tried to be respectful but no one else was. So sad.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing! Sadly, this is something many people don't know/don't care about. Pulling over is the ultimate sign of respect in someone's darkest time. It's truly the least we can do.

  5. I've never actually been in the procession as a guest, only as the person in the limo because of the family having the funeral but out of respect. all those above are great tips. Its sad that people don't do that, as well as the respect people should have with emergency vehicles. I hate hate hate it when drivers don't pull over for them!

  6. This really is good information to share. I, too, grew up in a small town where everything you mention was observed. It does not always work that way in a huge metropolitan area, though, and it can be confusing. I have been surprised how many times I've seen people try to cut in and out of a funeral procession, or honk if the procession continues through a red traffic light.

  7. My grandpa died when I was learning to drive and my mom told me how you should never cut into the procession! That has always stuck with me!

  8. Firstly, I love the idea behind this link up! I will def be back!

    And- Ya know, I never knew any of this, except the lights on when you drive in the procession part. I'm grateful for knowing now, as we live in a much bigger city than the one I grew up in!

  9. This is such important information. I never really know what to do in a procession or when I see one. This is very helpful. Thank you.

  10. Sympathy for the loss of your friend. Those are all good tips on what to do. I think it's extremely rude when cars don't pull over when a funeral procession is going through.

  11. Totally not something anyone wants to think about, but good info to know. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Sorry for your loss, thanks for the very important information. And thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop. Hope to see you again on Thursday.