Funeral Procession Etiquette: Are We Showing Enough Respect Today?

July 20, 2017 | | Comments 0

This summer, a solder’s actions during a funeral procession quickly went viral.  A photo of the soldier standing at attention and saluting as a funeral procession drove by was shared on social media and quickly spread like wildfire.  People from all over the country took a moment to applaud the soldier’s actions and engage in a discussion about funeral procession etiquette.

Funeral Car Processions – The Etiquette You Should Know

Most people know that funeral processions have the right of way when traveling through city streets.  The line does not have to stop for red lights and longer procession often feature police escorts in order to keep everyone together.  But other than giving these processions a wide berth and not cutting in, what are the official rules when it comes to funeral procession etiquette?

The truth is that, aside from giving the procession plenty of room, driver’s don’t really need to do anything else legally speaking.  As a form of respect, most people agree that fellow drivers should lower their radios and refrain from honking or causing a disturbance while the procession is passing through.

Back in My Day …

As more and more people are discussing the best way to show respect, several people have brought up the old tradition of pulling over and stopping your car when a funeral procession was going by.  This was a common practice primarily in small towns.  As time went on, cars got faster and roads became busier, pulling over became less common partly because it wasn’t as easy to do.

Today, very few people stop or pull over for a funeral procession.  This has nothing to do with how much respect people are showing – or not showing – but it’s simply the reality of living in a busier world.  Considering funeral processions often have to drive through a city or go on the highway in order to go from the service to the burial site, it simply isn’t realistic to expect everyone on the road to pull over.

Still, when someone makes it a point to express their respect, it does create a powerful statement.  While some people may mourn the fact that we’ve moved past being able to bring the world to a stop in order to pay our respects, we have seen that respect for the dead is alive and well in our society.

So you think we should be doing more to show our respect and sympathy for a funeral procession?  Or do you think simply giving them room and not cutting in is respect enough?  Weigh in on the discussion in our comments section.

Filed Under: Funeral HearsesFuneral TraditionsFuneral Trends


About the Author: Kelly lives near Columbus, Ohio with her wife and two children. She enjoys urban exploration, hiking and is an avid reader.

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