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Driving in the Fast Lane — How You Are Doing it Wrong

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There  is nothing more stressful for some than driving down Texas’ major highways. The high speeds and unpredictable drivers around you can cause your hands to sweat. But, there is hope for an easier and safer drive across Texas. What is the one thing everyone could do differently?

Driving on Texas’ highways could be a stress free activity. There would not be as many wrecks and frustration if we changed one choice while going down the road. The left lane of the highway is not for you to bogart.

The left lane of the highway is for passing only. The lane is to be sparingly used and only for going around someone traveling slower than you. This does not mean that you plan on going fast enough to pass everyone at one time. You are suppose to pass other vehicles as they come. If you stay in the left lane you are in someone else’s way.

You know that feeling of frustration when you are in the passing lane and are going so slow in a long line of cars? That is because there is a car riding steady in that lane, not planning to move. So you must begin passing people using the right lane. This is where the dangerous situations come.

As people become aggravated they will make bad decisions. With people in front of the line refusing to merge to the right lane and those from the right lane are ready to pass, the left lane becomes a cluster of mayhem. These angry drivers caught in the mind of this chaos will tail gate and swerve. This is when a wreck will happen and it will be a scary accident at those speeds and with that many cars too close together.

If everyone used the left lane properly, the roads around this great state would be safer and help prevent the epidemic of road rage drivers.

No matter what you think your right is to the left lane, you are probably wrong. Common misconceptions of the left lane driver are:

1. “I am the fastest person on the road.” No, there are plenty of people that will be faster than you. When your conscious tells you to slow down to just ten mph above the speed limit, there will be someone that wants to go five more than you. Your speed will not slow if you correctly pass the slower drivers. If everyone left the lane clear for passing, you wouldn’t have to worry about slowing down as much. Having the left open prevents from the cluster of frustration I mentioned earlier.

2. “If I am going to pass all of these people, why can’t I just stay over here? Why do I have to weave between the lanes?” By law, that is what you are suppose to do. That is a fact that I do not believe people have let sink in. There are signs lining the road telling you this fact. I guess, as much as people ignore the speed limit signs they ignore the passing policy signs. The state has even tried to put this simple idea in two different warnings signs to better reach the public. If you see, “Left Lane for Passing Only” or “Slower Traffic Keep Right,” this always means you. Yes, you. Slower traffic keep right does not mean only grandma owns that lane. This is just another way of saying, keep right and let others pass if they need to.

Another important part of this left lane policy is to be kind to those that are passing a little slower than you. If an eighteen wheeler signals they want over, let them over. You will not die if you go five below the limit for a few minutes. Riding their butt will do nothing. Eighteen wheelers cannot see you if you tail gate them, the only person you are showing off to is you. Whether it be an eighteen wheeler or a civilian just like you, have courtesy to those around you.

Being kind and minding your manners is an important lesson to be learned before driving.

Why is it that we act differently behind the wheel? This extreme almost hatred for those around us just because we are driving is ridiculous. When you are maneuvering around your workplace, do you cut people off or walk right behind them if they aren’t going fast enough? The cars around you on the road are still people. Why are you treating them differently because you are surrounded by moving metal?

Keep this in mind as well, if you drive like a jerk car karma is headed your way. This is normally realized through a police officer, but it could be a wreck. The lessons of your bad behavior can cost you loads of money or possibly a life. Is getting where you are going more important than another’s or your own life?

Use the left lane for passing only, and in intervals, for the prevention of left lane clogging. Be kind and courteous to those around you. Have fun and enjoy the gorgeous scenery around you. Remember, drive clean across Texas.

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