Let's make the road a safer place to be.
Let’s face it – we are living in the 21th century and cars are no longer requiring 200 feet (61 meters) or more to stop from 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) to a full standstill. That means we are basically able to drive at faster speeds than before, without having troubles with emergency braking.
So, why the road is still not a safe place – literally, anywhere on the planet? Yes, speeding is still a major factor, but slowing down and changing lanes could be even more dangerous, according to some researches. Specialists even say that the strongest predictor of an accident is the variance from the speed of traffic.
To put it in context, a car going 5 mph (8 kph) slower than the average traffic has a greater chance of causing an accident than one going 5 mph faster (8 kph). That’s why some regions in the world have laws that restrict the use of the left lane. Some states in the U.S., for example, advice to keep right if going slower than the surrounding traffic, while some go even stricter, saying the left lane is used only for turning or passing.
Some people argue that as long as they are respecting the speed limits, they don’t have to move over, but recently police officers have started issuing tickets to people driving slower than the traffic in the left lane.
One good example is the German Autobahn, where drivers use the right lane for traveling most of the time and the left lane only for passing or driving faster than the traffic. Despite the areas with no speed limits, the accident rates are surprisingly low there.
Can we all agree that the left lane is for passing? If more people understand how this works, we will have much fewer traffic jams and, most importantly, fewer road accidents.