funeral homes Adelphi, MD

Understanding Funeral Processions

Driving in or encountering funeral processions on their way to the cemetery from funeral homes Adelphi, MD has a protocol that has been associated with funeral processions even before the invention of cars. Much of this protocol centers around showing respect for the deceased person and their family.  

If you plan to drive in a funeral procession, please arrive at the funeral home at the time they specify as part of the funeral arrangements. If you’re driving as part of a funeral procession, and you’re not immediate family, as soon as you arrive at the funeral, you will be directed to a line of cars that you will follow by the funeral home attendants. The hearse is always in front of the procession, with family members in the vehicles right behind, and then the rest of the funeral procession following.  

You need to be aware of several things when you are driving in a funeral process. The first is that the procession will be moving very slowly (between 30 and 40 mph on normal roads and never above 55 mph on highways). The next is to maintain a close distance to the car in front of you, so that a car that’s not part of the funeral procession can’t cut in.   

Third, stay in line and with the procession, even if it means going through a red light. Sometimes, law enforcement will help ensure there is no danger, but local ordinances throughout the United States give funeral processions right-of-way, which means other drivers must yield to the processions.   

Forth, the funeral home will place two funeral flags on the last car in the funeral procession. The last car will also have its hazard lights flashing as a signal to other drivers that the funeral procession has ended and they can resume driving. Fifth, once the funeral procession gets to the cemetery, the funeral attendants will direct parking at the gravesite or chapel and the funeral flags will be removed from the last car in the procession.  

For cars in the funeral procession, several may be tagged with an orange magnetic flag that reads “Funeral.” All cars in a funeral procession must have their headlights turned on. This lets other drivers be aware of the funeral procession.  

When you are driving and encounter funeral processions, you should always remember that they have right-of-way. No matter what the traffic signals indicate, all traffic stops until the entire funeral procession has passed by. In many places throughout the United States, it is customary for traffic to pull off the road on either side when funeral procession is passing through as a sign of respect and a way to show honor to the deceased and their family.  

Be alert for the last vehicle in the funeral procession, which will have two funeral flags and its hazard lights flashing. Once you see that car, then you can resume your normal travel.  

Do not cut off or cut into a funeral procession. Trying to beat a funeral procession because you’re running late or are just impatient not only signifies a lack of respect, but also presents the risk of a serious, multi-vehicle accident. Not all drivers in funeral processions know to stay close to the vehicle in front of them, so there may be gaps that open up. However, cutting in is a sign of disrespect.    

If you’d like to learn more about funeral processions at funeral homes Adelphi, MD, our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can help you. You can see us in person at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707