Left-Lane Misuse Causes Traffic Congestion, Accidents

busy highwayOn California highways, it is not uncommon to experience slow drivers in the left lane, aggressive drivers and congested highways. These problem areas lead to countless accidents every year.

While drivers view the left lane as an opportunity to pass slower moving vehicles and reach their destination more quickly, there are certain restrictions for when it is actually supposed to be used.

Each state has its own laws concerning left lane travel. California’s “keep right” law dictates the left lane be reserved for drivers trying to pass slower vehicles, but they must still follow the posted speed limit.

Most drivers follow this method and yield the lane to faster incoming traffic. However, not doing so and driving slowly in carpool or left lanes can actually be dangerous and may be the cause of common highway problems, such as traffic congestion and aggressive driving.

A study conducted at Temple University focused on left-lane travel and traffic jams and determined that slower moving vehicles occupying the left lane can be a problem. Small-scaled congestion caused by drivers traveling slower than the speed limit can cause larger traffic jams miles behind them.

Aggressive driving is also an issue caused by vehicles traveling slowly in the left-lane. A driver attempting to pass a vehicle by using the left lane may engage in erratic, zig-zagging driving patterns when they encounter a slower moving driver occupying the left lane, increasing his or her chances for causing an accident.

California Highway Patrol officials have stated that most traffic accidents occur when a vehicle is changing lanes and that aggressive, erratic behavior creates a higher risk for causing an accident. For these reasons, it plans to increase its presence in places where aggressive driving occurs frequently.

According to a recent poll, unfriendly driver behavior most often occurs in congested merge areas, specifically:

  • The section of I-5 between the airport and downtown
  • The westbound split on I-80 at the Capital City Freeway
  • I-80 between Davis and Vacaville

California drivers were recently voted as being the second-worst in the country because of the erratic behavior they exhibit on the road. California was ranked highly in the national driving poll based on the percentage of accident involving speeding, traffic citations and impaired driving.

Left lane travel can be dangerous if drivers are being aggressive or traveling at slow speeds. If you have been injured in an accident caused by another driver, the car accident attorneys at the Arnold Law Firm may be able to help you to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us to learn more in a free consultation.

Call (916) 777-7777 to get started.