If I could do any job I want, I’d get in a police car and spend the days pulling people over who are driving slowly in the left lane of the highway.
Growing up, we were all taught to drive in the right-hand lanes unless we were passing. The left lane was for faster cars to pass slower cars.
One of my kids just finished driver’s ed, and I asked her to let me know if they still teach this. Turns out they do. But no one does it.
If you drive for any length of time in the Pacific Northwest, you will quickly realize (if you’re paying attention) that the fastest lane on the highway is the farthest right lane.
For some reason, drivers in this area of the country seem to all think they’re going fast and need to be in the left lane. But there’s always someone in the left lane going exactly the speed limit or 5 mph under it. This is one of the many causes of traffic problems.
We’re just not all on the same page. You have people moving to the left to pass all the slow Pacific Northwest drivers (which is nearly all of them), and some PNW drivers just camped in the left slowing things down.
Then you have the people following directions, driving slower in the right lane. And what you’re left with are people who want to get by all of them but have no clear, organized path.
This leaves those people darting in and out of lanes trying to get past the mess.
Keeping slower drivers in the right lane isn’t just good advice. It would make traffic far more predictable and organized, and the flow would be that much better for everyone.
Unfortunately, I can’t help but think, knowing the PNW, that there are also the handful of drivers getting in the way on purpose because they think some people drive too fast.
But that’s a subject for another post.
Until then, we can still get this right. If you’re driving slower, be honest with yourself and move to the right. If you’re going faster and need to pass, go on and get in the left… until you’re done passing. And if someone comes up behind you going even faster than you, please move to the right.