Why Slow Drivers Should Officially Not Be In The Left Lane

Driving slowly in the left lane is not only annoying to other drivers, it's actually dangerous.

We all learned it during driver’s ed: Slowpokes stay to the right.

Most of us probably (and correctly) assumed this rule was put in place to let the rest of society pass slower drivers by using the left lane.

But the reason for this rule goes above and beyond just annoyance. Turns out slow drivers, particularly those who hang out in the left lane, can cause more accidents.

This video, from Vox, explains why driving in the left lane is so dangerous and can lead to real traffic problems. When a car going slower than the speed of traffic is hanging out in the left lane, faster drivers have to slow down and weave back and forth to pass—forcing them to make more dangerous moves. And its this variance in speed, not the speeding itself, that has been shown to increase accidents.

In addition, research shows that traffic problems result from a surprisingly small number of slow cars blocking traffic. The ripple effect caused cars that can’t pass because someone is driving slowly in the left lane—right next to someone driving slow in the right lane—can lead to traffic mayhem.

Every state has some type of law regarding left-lane driving. Some states, particularly Ohio, Texas and Washington, are even cracking down on left lane “campers.” Know the law in your state, and when in doubt, get to the right.