Wednesday, February 24, 2020

Is driving slow in the left lane your pet peeve, AAA’s research has found it is also very dangerous. Their research shows that many traffic jams result from a surprisingly small number of slow cars obstructing traffic, with their effects rippling outward. Lane changes account for about 4 percent of all car accidents in the US, and perhaps as much as 10 percent of accidents on highways.

Meanwhile, research has generally shown that the strongest predictor of an accident isn’t speeding, but variance from the average speed of traffic — and a car going 5 miles per hour slower than the surrounding traffic has a greater chance of causing an accident than one going 5 miles per hour faster than it. If relatively slow drivers are scattered among 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. If the slower drivers are all driving in the right lane, a faster driver can pass several at a time, then get back into the right, cutting down on the total number of lane changes and eliminating the slowdowns.

AAA’s research also identified that left lane crawlers are often the leading cause of aggressive driving. For the fourth straight year, the AAA also found that aggressive driving was identified as the leading threat to highway safety. Please help keep the Causeway and Huey P. Lang bridges safe by keeping slower traffic in the right lane.