Why you shouldn’t drive slowly in the left lane

Why you shouldn’t drive slowly in the left lane


A few months ago I took a road trip from Chicago
down to New Orleans. And on the way back up (we were somewhere
either in Tennessee or Missouri), I got pulled over — it was my first time getting pulled over. And it wasn’t for speeding. it was because I was driving in the left lane. So there are basically two types of drivers
in the world. There are people who get really upset about
all the people driving slowly in the left lane. That’s Joey. He fits into that first group. And then there are a lot of drivers who had
no idea that this is even a problem. Yeah, that was me. Sorry about that. I don’t drive much. The truth is, when drivers hang out in the
left lane, it makes traffic worse and more dangerous for everybody involved. Here’s what that looks like. If you have relatively slow drivers scattered
amongst the right and left lanes, faster drivers have to repeatedly slow down and weave back
and forth, changing lanes many times to pass all of them. So if you’re going five miles slower than
everyone else and you’re traveling in the left lane, it forces them to make dangerous moves
trying to pass you on the right which is more likely to cause an accident. But there’s a better way for traffic to
flow — and that’s if we only use the left lane for passing. If all the slower drivers are in the right
lane, a faster driver can pass several at once, and get back over to the right, which
cuts down the total number of lane changes and eliminates the slowdowns. Move over, or get a ticket. That’s the message from state troopers to people driving too slowly in the left lane. Some people argue that as long as they’re
going the speed limit, they shouldn’t have to move over. But there’s evidence that that slowing down
and changing lanes is actually more dangerous than speeding. Research has shown that the strongest predictor
of an accident is variance from the average speed of traffic. And a car going five miles per hour slower
than the surrounding traffic has a greater chance of causing an accident than one going
five miles per hour faster. That’s why every state has some law on on
record that restricts the use of the left lane. In 29 states, any car that’s moving slower
than the surrounding speed of traffic should be in the right lane. And in 11 states, the laws are stricter —, they
say that the left lane is only for turning or passing. Historically police didn’t really pay that
much attention to slow left lane drivers, but more recently there have been campaigns
in places like Washington, Texas, and Ohio where police are actually issuing tickets
to people they spot traveling slowly in the left lane. “The reason why I stopped you is the law in the state of Washington is keep right except to pass.” “This is something that has always been illegal and against the law here in Michigan, But now officers are rolling out this new education effort to help the public understand just what they can and they cannot do when it comes to this type of driving. Now, it doesn’t have to be this way. A good example of this is the German Autobahn
— so this is Germany’s highway network, which has long stretches of road with no speed
limits and it has surprisingly low accident rates. One reason for this, some researchers think,
is that German drivers are more likely to stay in the right lane for traveling and only
use the left for passing. That shared norm helps keep them safe. So fellow drivers I am sorry — I didn’t
know the rules. But I’m not alone, and if more people understand
how this works, we will have much fewer traffic jams. And our roads will be a lot safer, too.

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Comments

  1. It's amazing how people in the US just do not understand basic concepts. This is the first thing they teach you in the UK.

  2. Are americans really this dumb that they need a video explaining that the left lane is made for overtaking slower vehicles?!? And it has 10m views ahah

  3. That's interesting. In Europe it's forbidden to overtake by the right (left in the UK) in almost every country. And I sometimes wondered what it would be like to have a US-like legislation, because I thought the USA were going "Use whatever lane pleases you"

  4. It just people in the left lane use for passing or the "fast lane" and you'll be fine. If your going 80 or below stay in the left. If your going 85 and above stay in the left. If your in the left. you better be going fast. 🤷🏽‍♂️

  5. I lived in Germany for 3 years and came back to live in California now. I get so pissed off at the people who ride for miles in the left lane. Move over! I don't like passing on the right because in Germany, that is illegal. You have to keep the right lane open to let them move back right. Here it's the wild west.

  6. What If You Did A Video On Construction Zones For example: federal speed limit is 45 MPH but then you got the inpatient drivers behind you tail gating you all the way out of the construction zone.

  7. The video is a bit skewed. The examples of why driving slow in the left lane is bad are of people driving wreckless. It doesn't matter how slow someone is going, you can be patient and get around them safely if you're not an idiot like the people trying to pass in the video. You can't expect someone to just move over just because you want to go faster, because it's often not safe to switch back at a moment's notice because of people in the right lane boxing you in, not paying attention, or driving varying speeds. And you generally don't want to go more than 10-12mph over, because that's a $200 ticket and points on your license by a cop trying to fill a quota. Being a safe, efficient driver is an uphill battle sometimes. You try to do the pragmatic thing, and either the police or other cars take it out on you.

  8. another aspect that just shows how behind the US is with devlopment on several aspects. This is common Knowledge and has been implemented in Europe for decades… It cannot be that hard to learn from empirical evidience. But that seems quite though with the current oval office inhabitant….

  9. How does this contend with speed limits? Or are those just suggestions now? Perhaps make these widespread rules across the states instead of just a source of passive aggressive rape.

  10. No, slow drivers in the left lane DO NOT FORCE ANYBODY TO DO ANYTHING. You do not have the right to endanger everybody on the road and drive like a reckless maniac just because someone isn't going fast enough for YOU.

  11. Thank you for every occasion that this is true. Since is Erroneous thinking that as long you are the speed limit its ok tu be in the passing lane

  12. Speed limits were set on cars of the 60's as a auto tech i can tell you the new technologies are by very far superior, safe, stronger, maneuverable, not to mention breaking systems and super ceramics brakes etc… i would like if you make a video on this subject

  13. I was confused at first… Then i realise my country drives on the other side, so its the right lane for us.

  14. I prefer the freedom of the left lane. Just charge through. If only those guys obaying the speed limit would just get out of my way. Always someone i could say im passing and dont want the guy behind me to cut in front of me. Or worse get stuck in the right lane because guy in the left was matching my speed.

  15. This is like explaining to people that they should stop for red lights, or make sure nobody is driving along beside them before changing lanes 🙂

  16. I think this law should be imply in Malaysia. I have a common view regarding this issue in Malaysia. There is an attitude for most Malaysian driver who drives slow on the fast lane. It can lead to fatal accident due to vehicle changing lane. The risk is high compare to speeding.

  17. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
    Faster and slower are relative terms.
    Your idea works if all of the "slower" drivers are in the right lane traveling at the same speed.
    But not all "slow" drivers are equally slow.

    If one "slow" driver is doing 58 MPH and behind him is another "slow" driver doing 60, the latter is now a "fast" driver and he will want to pass.
    He might shift left to pass a long line of 58 MPH traffic to his right … until he finds an open slot on the right, pulling in behind someone in the right lane going at least 60 MPH.
    Now he is the slow-nik doing 60, while left-lane traffic passes him doing 65.
    But somewhere back there is someone doing 70. Are all the 65-ers now expected to shift to the right lane?
    And if they do, won't they catch up to the 60 MPH traffic already in the right line?
    Yes, and they will have to shift left to pass.

    There's still lots of lane shifting. And, since lane-shifting is the danger you point out … I don't see how your idea offers any benefit.
    The logical flaw comes from the notion that there are fast cars and there are slow cars.
    That is wrong. In my sample above, there are cars at 58, at 60, at 65, and at 70. There are, in fact, cars at every possible speed.

    Your idea works only if all of the "fast" cars are moving at the same fast speed (left lane) and all the "slow" cars are moving at the same slow speed (right lane).
    That would minimize the need for lane changes. (Lane changes needed only when someone must make a turn.)

    So … does anyone drive that way? NO!

    The best way is to fill up all the lanes. Fast-ER cars on the left. Slow-ER on the right. If you don't like the speed in your lane, just tough it out.

    Of course, if self-driving cars become a universal thing, this all becomes moot. (Over my dead body!)

  18. PLEASE LETS NOT OVERLOOK THE SLOW DRIVING PERSON THAT SPEEDS UP WHEN YOU CAN FINALLY PASS THEM🤬🤬

  19. At first I thought that this was a 1 April joke video. I live in the Netherlands and this is common knowledge here.

  20. I do not think this occurring because drivers are not aware (as comments suggest), they just do not care and/or are oblivious. I see people merge onto the highway and immediately jump 3 or 4 lanes over to be in the left and just stay there – for no logical reason.

  21. I mean, I don't even have a driver license and it has become a common sense to me ever since I got into cycling.

  22. I’m crying as I watch this. Why? Because I know that I could show this video to everyone here in Florida, and it would make no difference whatsoever.

  23. could VOX Design do something about the design on steering wheel positions. Left, right, why not middle, why bus driver is lower than everyone else, phase out of left hand drive etc… Thanks

  24. In Italy is forbidden to pass a car on the right, so you can do it only on the left, as consequence on the left lane you have to go faster, I get really upset when they don't respect this, expecially on a three lane road it's a mess…

  25. As an Australian I thought I would learn something that would benefit me…

    I didn't; forgot Vox is American lol. We travel slow in the left lane and use the right lane for overtaking.

  26. I’m that type of person that don’t wanna correct people so Whenever I am riding with someone and they stay on that left lane driving slow and that car behind us trying to pass us from the right, Id look at the that driver trying to pass us and say “sorry”

  27. I'm not sure if police officers are told to do their jobs differently in different parts of the USA but in my area of California you better not be going 5 miles over the speed limit (regardless of it being a passing lane) or you'll get pulled over.

  28. cough mellinials and old people in Priuses (and people from FL when they're in the mountains). Actually just Prius drivers in general. especially ones from FL.

  29. This makes sense. The part about changing lanes and driver slowly is very much true. It's a lot easier and safer just to exceed the speed limit. Would also make sense to replace speed limit with a recommended speed, so driver actually looks at the road more.

  30. You don't need to drive much to know the left lane is the passing lane and the right lane is to chill in. It's in the dmv book

  31. I don't see the point in passing somebody and all you gonna do is just be in the lane that I was in. just don't get it.

  32. Disagree with just about every point. Not utilizing all the lanes artificially reduces the traffic capacity of the road and isn't practical in most urban areas anyhow. Personally, I tend to prefer to drive in the left lane because most other people keep right, so in general the left lane has a nicer/smoother road surface – better ride and less wear on my vehicle. I would move right on a crowded road if a faster car is approaching.

  33. There was this one time I saw a dedicated left lane hogger. He tried everything he could to make sure no one over took him while he slowed everyone down in the left lane.

  34. In Poland the right lane is usually so bad that people drive on the left lane only because it's in much better shape, so you don't have to worry about your suspension.

  35. In my country, the left lane is for the cars that go like, near speed limit, and the right lane is for slower cars. This is only applied to expressways though which we have very few of.

  36. Tell me about it, especially when people here in America get into highway… oh GOD help me they become completely lost and don’t know how to drive…. driving slow on the left lane that’s a different story LOL

  37. You can’t drive slowly in the left lane because the left lane is used for passing or driving a lot faster than the people in the right lane the right lane is used for driving slow

  38. How did you not know this? This was the first thing I was taught when I got in the freeway, “only go in the left lane of your passing someone then get out just as fast.

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