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 FuneralWise.com 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
This post contained affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase. Thanks!