Speeding is always a bad idea since higher speeds:
- rob drivers of reaction time
- increase stopping distance
- reduce driver’s ability to steer or control the vehicle due to the increased energy contained in the moving vehicle
- greatly increase the risk of crashes producing injuries or fatalities during inclement weather because of road conditions, poorer visibility, etc.
- violate traffic law in most cases (depending on conditions, posted limits, etc.)
A recent NHTSA study (click HERE) confirms that speeding contributes to about a third of all crashes each year.
Having said all of that (and meaning it) we wanted to take a moment to talk about driving too slowly.
Yes, too slowly.
Almost all states have laws against impeding traffic on multi-lane highways (and some restrict left lane use for only passing). This is one of the rules of the road covered in driver manuals, but often misinterpreted on the highway once we’ve forgotten everything we learned in high school driver’s ed.
Naturally, we’re NOT making a defense of drivers who speed in the left lane; however, we are suggesting that it’s not another driver’s right or obligation to block the passing lane or drive precisely at the speed limit in the left lane with the purpose or intent of impeding traffic.
While the aggressive speeder may be in the wrong, we’ve often heard the cliche that two wrongs don’t make a right! Use the left lane appropriately and when safe to move over towards the right, allow the left lane for others to pass.
A much longer article on this issue was recently posted on July 9th — http://www.vox.com/2014/6/16/5804590/why-you-shouldnt-drive-slowly-in-the-left-lane
This article includes links to tables and maps showing state-by-state rules and laws governing this particular issue:
- http://www.mit.edu/~jfc/right.html – summary of “keep right” laws by state
- Washington, Texas, and Ohio are three examples of jurisdictions who have increasingly been issuing tickets to people they spot traveling slowly in the left.
- In two Washington State counties, 2,200 tickets were issued during 2013 just for this issue alone.
- Colorado State Patrol Video – http://youtu.be/MVFuxxbVz_M
- Washington State Patrol Video – http://youtu.be/tIA2pueFMh4