Have you ever encountered a funeral procession while driving and not sure if you should pass or pull over? Maybe you are going to drive in a procession soon and aren’t quite sure what the road rules are to follow. Perhaps you have seen a procession with the hearse leading it and wondered why we use hearses or who is responsible for driving them. Since funeral processions aren’t something we deal with every day it’s normal to have these questions and more. Keep reading as directors of funeral homes in Eugene, OR explain more about funeral processions.
Rules of the Road
It’s important to know that there are very specific driving rules when it comes to funeral processions. This is true if you are driving in them or simply a passerby. Let’s first look at the rules when participating in the procession.
When driving in the procession, you want to make sure that you follow the car in front of you very closely. You want to follow close enough so that another car would not have the chance to be able to cut in. This is also true when it comes to traffic lights and stops. If the car in front of you approaches a traffic light that is turning yellow or red, continue through the light. Funeral processions, in most states, have the right of way.
Also, know that you will be driving much more slowly. Typically, you will be going no more than about 55 mph on highways and 35mph or so on other roads.
If you are driving and see a funeral procession, it is customary to pull over on the side of the road, stop, and let the procession go by. This is true if the procession is on your side of the road or the oncoming side. It is a sign of respect for the deceased and the grieving family.
Hearses started out as horse-drawn carriages in the 17th century. If your loved one preplanned any arrangements, the funeral home may already be selected. When the invention of motorized cars came along, these carriages were replaced by cars. Today you can find hearses in several styles with the most common being the traditional style. This is typically a sedan-type body style with room behind the driver and passenger seats for the body.
To transport the deceased, you have to have a special license so you will most likely only see funeral directors and other licensed funeral drivers behind the wheel.
Order of the Procession
A funeral procession has a very specific order of vehicles. This order is typical:
- The lead car
- Limousine or another vehicle for the immediate family
- The vehicles of additional family and friends
- The end car
The lead and end cars are normally provided by the funeral home and will often have a flag or other marker on them letting other drivers on the road know that this is a funeral procession.
Driving in a procession can be intimidating if you have not done so before. If you need any further information about processions or other services from funeral homes in Eugene, OR, please give us a call or come by anytime.