A Simple Driving Courtesy Could Prevent Dangerous Driving
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Every time we get into our car and drive, we rely on other drivers taking road safety as seriously as we do. However, at one time or another, every driver finds themselves in a dangerous driving situation. It may be an inattentive driver accidentally drifting into your lane, running a red light, or going the wrong way.
Another dangerous driving scenario is receiving a lot of attention lately. An increasing number of states are passing traffic laws to make our highways safer by enforcing what should be common courtesy.
Unfortunately, many of us may find ourselves guilty of breaking this law without ever thinking about it. Driving slow in the passing lane could lead to dangerous car accidents that increase your car insurance rates.
Why is driving slowly in the passing lane dangerous?
When driving on a busy highway, you’re likely to encounter a wide variety of vehicles ranging from cars and motorcycles to pickup trucks pulling large trailers. Some of these larger vehicles will often find it difficult to maintain the posted speed limit, while others are simply not in any hurry and drive slower by choice.
Slower traffic should stay in the right-hand lane, sometimes called the "slow lane," to allow faster drivers to use the left-hand passing lane. If you drive slowly in the left lane, it impedes the flow of traffic from faster drivers behind you.
This often leads to a long line of frustrated drivers stuck behind a slow car in the passing lane. This frustration is typically expressed by honking and hand signals. It can also lead to reckless driving, speeding, and road rage.
What is being done to curb this driving habit?
Drive-the-Right is a non-profit campaign that hopes to raise awareness on lane courtesy. PR Web recently interviewed Jhan Dolphin, the creator of Drive-the-Right.
Dolphin said that money raised for the campaign "will fund highway billboards, a press tour to news outlets across the country, educational materials for driver's education professionals, and appearances at live events to bring attention to the problem."
In addition to Drive-the-Right's push for public awareness, PR Web reported that many states are passing Lane Courtesy laws. These laws designate the far-left lane for "passing only" and make it illegal to drive in the left lane except to pass.
Typical signage cautioning motorists to keep to the right can include wording such as "State Law: Slower Traffic Keep Right," "Left Lane for Passing Only," and "Do Not Impede the Left Lane." Larger highway information signs often take a more lighthearted approach, such as "Keep to the right, if a car behind is in sight," or "Camp in the mountains, not in the left lane."
What can you do to make highways safer?
When it comes to keeping yourself safe, the best thing to do is maintain a steady speed at or below the posted speed limit, depending on road conditions.
You should try to stay in the right lane whenever you drive unless you’re passing slower traffic. But, be sure to look ahead to see if there’s a reason that drivers may be slowing down. For example, upcoming road construction or vehicles pulled to the side is an indication that everyone should slow down.
When you want to change lanes, check behind you to look for fast-approaching cars in the left lane, so they don’t have to brake to avoid you. Remember to use your signal, check your blind spots and your mirrors before you pass a vehicle. If another vehicle is trying to pass, don’t speed up; this can be especially dangerous on a highway.
Driving in the right lane seems like a simple task, but it can prevent serious car accidents and dangerous driving maneuvers. Sometimes car accidents can be unexpected, and it’s important to make sure you’re protected ahead of time.
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