Vox recently published a great piece on Why You Shouldn’t Drive Slowly in the Left Lane, demonstrating why people who do that cause a lot of accidents.
People who are unaware of the rules of the road (like the fact that the left lane is for passing) fall into two camps: the willfully ignorant and the indefensibly self-centered. Studies show that slow left-lane drivers are a leading cause of traffic, which is bad for reasons beyond the fact that it makes everyone angry. Like: the fact that sitting idle in traffic causes 29 times more pollution than cruising.
Are we being harsh? Is our collective ire for inattentive drivers just a tendency we have to behave badly once we enter our little four-wheeled bubbles, where each of us is the center of a high-stakes universe?
Maybe. But we still think that what makes us angry — a lack of consideration for those around you — is entirely justifiable because it’s completely avoidable. So, seeing that Labor Day weekend is around the corner, here are 12 more ways that people cause accidents, gum up the works and just generally make themselves look like barbarians on the highway.
You might be an a**hole driver if ...
You’re taking a left at an unlighted intersection and blocking traffic
You’re double-parked on a busy street
You don’t use a turn signal, especially if you’re going left
You’re pacing to prevent passing
You’re looking at your phone
You’re not moving through an intersection with purpose
You’re straddling the lane or encroaching into another lane (know how big your car is; if you cannot manage its size, get a new one)
You’re driving with your high beams on and other cars are in front of you
You’re not letting cars merge onto/off of the freeway
You’re not changing lanes fast enough
You’re a motorcyclist who’s lane-splitting at high speeds
You’re tailgating; however, if you’re being tailgated for going too slow in the left lane, technically you’re both a**holes
If you are doing any of the above things, please, for the love of god, stop. Despite what advertisers, Facebook or your mother have been telling you, you’re not the center of the universe. Be aware of your surroundings and be nice.
And if you find others doing these things, follow this three-step cheat sheet for reprimanding the offender: