Warning! This is a bit of a Rant.
Personally I call it not being an idiot, but it’s more commonly known as Lane Discipline or Lane Courtesy. It’s something that Americans are really bad at. I’m sure you the reader is great at it, but join me in ranting against all those “other” drivers who aren’t.
You might however be asking yourself “What is Lane Discipline?”
It’s basically not driving in the fast lane (far left lane) except to pass. It’s also staying to the right as much as possible. Here is a pretty good website on it, though they call it Lane Courtesy. Most states (including California) have laws relating to this but they are hard to enforce and therefore never are. It doesn’t mean its not the right thing to do.
As a motorcyclist I find that the general lack of attention that US Drivers pay to the act of driving is pretty upsetting. The fact is that drivers don’t even watch for cars coming up quickly behind them, so it should be no surprise that they don’t see motorcyclists. In general drivers are pretty oblivious, despite the fact that they’re controlling over 2000 lbs of metal and plastic at speeds that will kill anything they hit. When I’m on a motorcycle I can easily maneuver though traffic and get around drivers poking along in the left lanes, so their lack of lane discipline isn’t as annoying compared to when I’m in a car. I just would be happier if drivers stayed in the right lanes (both meanings of right) so that I could pass them safely on their left where they are more likely to be looking.
Be safe out there!
TL:DR version, Stay to the right!