left lane hoggers

Just a quick follow-up to my fun drive to DC w/ GPS.

I drive rarely, but when I do it’s often more than a quick spin — usually to DC, NJ, or someplace like that. The rest of the time I take mass transit, which, like all new yorkers, makes me a green citizen:

New York City… is responsible for 1% of the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions.[2] They city’s levels are nevertheless relatively low when measured per capita, at 7.1 metric tons per person, below San Francisco, at 11.2 metric tons, and the national average, at 24.5.[2]

But I digress.

*begin rant*

When I do drive and run into traffic, it’s usually on a two or three lane highway, and without fail I see a fundamental driving error being committed by 95% of the drivers — they “hog the left lane”.

The left lane is for passing. It’s not for simply driving 5 miles above the speed limit, or slightly faster than the right lane traffic.

I did a quick google and was shocked, but not surprised, by the number of people who are outraged by this.

The leftlane.org site includes a manifesto which summarizes it really well:

Basic Driving Etiquette 101

When there are two or more lanes going in one direction on any given highway, a driver who wishes to pass a car in the right lane should (1) merge slowly and safely into the left lane (2) accelerate a safe distance past the car they wish to pass, and finally, (3) merge back into the lane from which they came.

2) lefltlaneforidiots.com takes on a bit of a stronger theme, but hits upon the big ideas.

So bottom line, it’s dangerous for people to hog the left lane. It forces faster traffic to actually pass on the right lane, which is even more dangerous.  And it causes slow downs when trucks are in the right lane, and some slightly faster car ( but still a slow one ) create a bottleneck in the left lane.

seems like a simple concept, and I must say that I’ve driven in different parts of the world — Asia, Europe, and the MiddleEast – and while those areas are probably more dangerous for other reason, the concept of the left lane for passing-only is well understood.

*end rant*

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