Welcome to the first edition of Left Lane Psychosis where we invite you to talk about those annoying things we witness on the road. What better way to start then with the actual real left lane psychosis, hogging that left lane!
What is Left Lane Psychosis? You Mam, Sir have left lane psychosis!
Left Lane Psychosis is a weekly snapshot of these bizarre road oddities we are exposed to daily. By now you’re probably smiling, or even feeling your adrenaline rising thinking about that bozo who cut you off this morning. With the little to no driver education we receive in our country, drivers do the strangest things and eventually slow down traffic for everyone else. Here are some topics we will visit, cars getting on highways without blinkers forcing you to either change lanes or slow down, rushing to get into the left lane only to slow down, accelerate and hit the brakes for no reason, putting your hand on top of the steering wheel, sitting crooked, so on, so forth. Not only are those things annoying, but completely against driving rules and eventually add to frustration, danger and traffic jams.
Gunning That Left Lane. I dare you to go on a busy highway and see how long it takes before someone bolts in front of you for that left lane only to slow down. Incoming highway traffic does not have the right of way. You have it, they have to manage to get in without slowing traffic down. Sounds logical doesn’t it? Normally, right lanes are reserved for normal and slower traffic. With the ever increasing left lane psychosis, you often find cars driving slowly in the far left lanes. In fact, the opposite is true these days, right lanes are often time faster than the “faster” left lane. It’s just plain silly.
Hogging The Left Lane. Is this is a Californian phenomenon or is it widespread? A friend of mine was driving in Massachusetts and was pulled over by a police officer for “hogging” the left lane. The officer said that in Massachusetts they don’t hog the left lane. Then he saw the Californian driver license, raised his eyes and said goodbye. In all fairness, my friend is European and doesn’t hog left lanes ever. He was trying to pass this slow car who found it amusing to speed up, until he was at the speed limit caught in the left lane at over the speed limit with a police officer on his tail flashing lights.
Left Lane Hoggers. Why possesses someone to directly head for the furthest left lane when entering a highway with no blinkers only to slow down to a leisurely cruising speed? Frustrated drivers don’t want to deal with cars constantly changing lanes, zooming in and out of traffic. After a while they become combative and reactive. The natural reaction is to move as far left as possible and avoid cars weaving in and out in front of you. Obviously, the logic is very flawed since traffic congestion increases in the left lanes. In Los Angeles I drive on the right lanes. It’s faster and even though I deal with incoming traffic, it’s still go faster than the left lane.
It’s a shame to be so reactive to the point of slowing down traffic which only makes peak hours worse. Staying in the right lanes and only using the left lanes to pass slower traffic helps keep traffic smooth and even flow. It makes you wonder if these people have such amazing jobs they rush to it.
So what kind of left lane psychosis do see on roads that make you cringe?