Driving Slowly in the Left Lane Is Putting Yourself in More Danger
Here’s a quick reminder of how the roads in America are supposed to work: The far right lane is for the slowest people, the middle lanes are for everybody, and the left lane is for passing. That’s how it’s supposed to work.
Instead, what usually happens is that slow people chill in the middle lanes because there are too many trucks on the right, people driving fast want to just stay in the left lane but usually can’t, and others passing in the left lane then forget to get back into the lanes from which they came. And some people simply don’t pay attention to lane-specific use or organization whatsoever. The adherence to these principles (or lack of), makes traffic immensely worse and makes driving more dangerous for everybody.
Vox recently made a friendly little reminder about the key part of this equation: “Why you shouldn’t drive slowly in the left lane,” and the video goes deeper than, “it’s the law.” Which it is. To get specific, 29 states say that any car moving slower than other traffic should be in the right lane, and in 11 states, the books explicitly designate the left lane for passing only. But when so many people don’t follow the rules, it’s a terrible trickle-down of less and less people following the designated method.
So, Vox explains it in terms that might finally make people listen, by explaining just how dangerous this can be. The automatic assumption that speeding is always the most dangerous is actually not necessarily true. It turns out that going slower than the average traffic is actually even more dangerous. Why? Because when you have slow people in the left lane, the people who still want to go fast are going to try to get through by zig-zagging all over the place. Above all, more lane changes into traffic increases the probability of an accident.
In the past, this wasn’t a huge concern for police, because it’s somewhat hard to judge and there are simply too many people doing it to try to reprimand everybody. But with ever-increasing traffic and a constant effort to try to reduce car-related deaths, there have been amped-up “campaigns” to focus more on giving tickets to those who camp in the left lane.
Just don’t do it.
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