why do drivers actually continually drive slow in the left lane?

This is not a pit thread, but more of a "what are they actually thinking/not thinking question.

It happens all the time - the guy in the left land is doing just the speed limit, or proportionally 10 or more miles under the speed limit. 5-10 cars pile up behind him, as right lane traffic speeds by. Eventually, this whole line of cars must dangerously pass the slow-poke on the right to get around.

What’s actually going through that guy’s head? Is he thinking “i’m doing the speed limit, so to hell with all of you?” Is he actually, truly unaware that he’s going slower than everyone else and causing a problem? He has to notice the cars lining up, tailgating him, then zooming around him on the right.

What’s going on there? Does anyone know? Have there ever been studies/surveys on this?

In my area, some people will ride in the left lane of a highway because they need to turn left when the freeway portion ends. The fact that the highway’s in rural Napa County, and the intersection in question doesn’t come up for TEN FREAKIN’ MILES leaves them unimpressed. (Yes, I’m speeding. So is everyone else. That is none of your concern, Mossbrain.)

Having spoken with some of these folk, they are indeed righteously aware that they are interfering with the progress of faster drivers; that’s not their intention, but they do feel pretty good about it.

I’m related by marriage to one of these people. Luckily, I’m not the one married so I’m leaving the guilty party a little nameless…
The thought process explained to me while I was in the back seat complaining about this was as follows: “The speed limit is 55 MPH for this stretch of road. I don’t have to deal with traffic merging in and out if I’m in the left lane and I’m not breaking the law. If they want to break the law, they’ll just have to wait for me to leave.”

:wally :rolleyes: :mad:

Well, it could be an unmarked police car, or it could be a car that’s trapped there because people keep undertaking so it can’t move over…

Or perhaps he’s spotted the second one down here.

It is frequently a feeling that the LLD (LeftLane Driver) is right and speeders are wrong, and the LLD is enforcing the norms. But it has to be unwise.
IMHO the LLD should be discouraged, not necessarily by head-to-head argument, but non-supportive statements take away some of the ‘social norm’ satisfaction.

“You don’t want to expose yourself to road rage, some drivers are nuts.”

“The taxpayers pay police professionals to take care of that. And they’ll get a big fine sooner or later.” “We don’t have to put ourselves on the line.”

“They could have an emergency, a wife in labor or something.” (LLD argues about it.) “Not everyone can afford an ambulance on top of everything.”

Well, I’ve been known to slow down to the speed limit through the area with the rep for having an excessive number of issued speeding tickets.

These people infuriate me. You are ALWAYS supposed to drive in the right lane unless passing, so the “I’m not breaking the law” ploy holds no water.

There is a special place in Hell for these people.

What amuses me is when these people ask “why are there so many tailgaters in the world?”

Yep, that’s been my experience, also. Ironically, of course, they are the one violating the social norm, by driving slower than everyone else wants to. Here’s a quick rebuttal you can use to the “They are breaking the law. I am holier than them.” argument: point out (or lie; who the hell would know) that it is against the law to TRAVEL in the PASSING lane, and that the fine/points for that are greater than those for speeding. Lay on a couple comments about how it happened to your brother, and you hear they’re going to start cracking down on it, and see what happens.

I find it sad that some people have nothing better to do with their lives, except getting excited about enforcing the law of the people on the road. Grow the fuck up.

Reminded of the old George Carlin line:

People on the highway who are driving slower than you are jerks.
The ones who speed past you are idiots.

Everyone else on the highway is a jerk or an idiot!!!

This should be a pit thread…definitely a pit thread. It’s very difficult for me to talk about LLDs without beginning a rant. As to what they’re thinking? I just assume their brains are inadequate, and therefore cannot form coherent thoughts. Otherwise, they’d get out of the way, right?

LLDs infuriate me. It screws up the flow of traffic to the point of clusterf*ck.

But, I’ve also noticed that when there are three lanes, the middle seems to always be the slowest and busiest lane of the three. No one wants to travel in the right lane because it’s known as the “slow lane” (“Well, I’m not slow. That lane is for slow drivers!”). Then you have people needing to pass the LLDs on the right, but the middle lane is slow and packed with cars! Meanwhile, the “slow” lane is nearly empty. Then when people are fed up with the LLDs and can’t even travel at their desired speed in the middle (now the slowest) lane, they start using the right lane.

It creates more chaos and driving becomes more like a videogame. :mad:

Nutty Bunny, that’s the Westbound 401 from Toronto to London to a tee.

Middle lane is dead slow, and invariably some LLD is holding up the left lane. Me? I’m in the deserted right lane, merrily waving at the drivers as I pass by.

I think part of the reason is that they don’t like changing lanes. If they drive in the right lane, every now and then they’ll find a car driving slower than them, and they’ll need to move to the left to pass it. But if they drive in the left lane, they almost never have to change lanes, and soi they can drive without worrying about other cars on the road.

Sounds perfectly sensible to me. Avoiding merging in and out of traffic of idiots and thier death machines by sticking to the lane I need to be on is more important to me than yeilding to self-important jerks who are just too precious to heed the law.

There are many many exits that take place on the left side here in Kansas City.

What I find irritating is when there is a slow person in each lane, and nobody else can pass them.

They’re not thinking. I’ve got a *lot/i] of motorcycle miles under my bottom, and it’s a good idea on a motorcycle to pay attention to your surroundings. Not only that, but most of my jobs have been a long way from home. I’ve probably driven half a million miles. When I was learning to fly, the instructor would shout, “Look outside of the airplane!” (We didn’t wear headsets back then, so he had to shout.) Years of dirt bike riding taught me to pay attention, and flying reinforced the habit. I can’t not perform scans while I’m on the road.

All that is to say that I notice other drivers. Most of them are what I call Left Seat Zombies because of the glazed expressions they tend to have. I also call them Left Seat Passengers, which is more accurate but doesn’t sound as good. LSPs are not actually driving their cars. They are merely passengers who happen to have a steering wheel in front of them. To these drivers, it’s much more important to read the newspaper, go over documents, put on makeup, shave, eat, talk on the mobile phone, talk to their passengers, change the CD or radio station, sing, and/or do other things that have nothing to do with driving. And much of the time they are just plain zombiefied.

In other words, they are so wrapped up in their own little worlds, that they don’t have the time or inclination to pay attention to their surroundings, traffic, and other drivers.

Except it forces people to pass you on the right, through your blind spot. The left lane is rarely an exit lane, so eventually you will probably need to change lanes to the right which means you have a chance of trying to occupy the same space as a frustrated driver that is trying to get around you.

In Australia it is illegal to travel in the right hand lane unless passing. Frequent signs along the freeways say “Keep Left Unless Overtaking” some even notify the penalty (exceeds $185 from memory), but it doesn’t help. People blithely drive for miles in the right hand lane passing sign after sign. My favourites are the ones who do this until just before their exit when they expect the traffic to part like the Red Seas as they rocket across weaving lanes of cars.