Cruising in the left lane is dangerous and annoying. It creates a bottleneck and increases the chances for traffic jams and accidents in a lane designated for passing and faster traffic. Which is why anybody who so thoughtlessly saunters in the left lane should receive a lifetime prison sentence with no bail.
Traffic is awful. Everyone hates it; it’s a frustrating waste of time, and it’s terrible for the environment. To boot, we can burn more than half a gallon (depending on your car) of fuel while in a traffic jam! So any of you Hybrid driving tree huggers that cruise idle in the passing lane? Know your actions are leading to a warmer, more critical global climate.
I’m not asserting the only cause of jams are bozos using the left lane as their personal highway. The multitasking inept morons who text and drive, the slow the bad the ugly, the losers that slam their brakes when they see another car slow down 100+ feet ahead. All these factors lead to the ever popular non rush hour traffic jam, and fury to the drivers who care about getting from point A to point B in the most efficient manner. But why cruising in the left lane is so frustrating is because it is an infraction easily fixed.
It doesn’t matter if you’re going the speed limit. Your speed preference is not authority. And you cruising in the left lane is going to cause some aggressive drive to weave in and out of lanes, which can in turn cause… that’s right… traffic.
The average American spends over 42 hours a year stuck in traffic and wastes almost $160 BILLION (billion with a *B*) while doing so. This includes lost time, burnt fuel, and vehicle wear and tear. This averages out around $960 a year per person. That’s almost a 1,000 dollars a year pissed away! 1,000 dollars that could have been better spent on family vacations, new iPad’s, or booze! If only people stuck to the right lane…
Why is it not a more common practice in the U.S.? In most of Europe, hell, most of the world, using the left lane to pass and drive fast is a community practice. But in the states, the entitled seem to think they deserve to have an entire lane to themselves. The other day I witnessed Ford F150 intentionally blocking Gold Saturn from passing because Gold Saturn was tail gating. He would inch forward, then hit his brakes to match the speed with the car next to him so Gold Saturn couldn’t pass. This cat-and-mouse game was going on for several minutes. I understand F150’s frustration… the Saturn was tailgating and lane swapping. But F150, if you weren’t cruising SIDE BY SIDE with White Nissan in the right lane, he wouldn’t have been riding your ass. Your thoughtless selfish bullshit of preventing him from passing didn’t just affect him, it affected the entire Virginia interstate, and more important it affected me! I, with many others, wanted to pass. Which is why when you left the tiniest of gaps in effort to harass Gold Saturn, I cut in front of you (like a leaf on the wind) and slammed on my brakes to teach you a lesson. This then allowed the 4 or 5 other cars wanting to get by you the opportunity. In the future I hope you’ll learn to — eh, I hope you burn in hell.
Driving is a responsibility and an art form. If you’re incapable of safe and efficient driving, then you shouldn’t be! Alas, that’s not a realistic expectation, so instead, practice courteous basics. Pay attention to the cars ahead of you! Stop rubbernecking! Don’t hit your brakes when there is a mile between you and the guy (or gal) in front of you. And for the love of god, if you’re not passing, stay in the right lane!
Reuters, The Texas Transportation Institute