When people think about dangerous driving habits, the first thing that comes to mind is speeding and reckless driving, however, driving too slow under the speed limit can be just as dangerous. Traffic officials consider driving too slowly as a traffic hazard as it can confuse other drivers, especially if the vehicle in question is in the wrong lane. Slow drivers can even interrupt the flow of traffic and may even create more problems for everyone else on the road. While driving at a reasonable speed and with the flow of traffic without breaking the speed limits is fine, here is how driving too slow could make you a potential road hazard.
Why slow driving can be dangerous
Driving slower than the surrounding traffic is just as likely to cause an accident as speeding. The reason behind this is because driving too slowly can make other drivers constantly hit the brakes and speed up in an erratic manner. This, in turn, forces other drivers to adjust to the slower speed of the vehicle which slows down the flow of the traffic causing a backlog of cars behind it. This then will make the other drivers want to pass the impending vehicle causing them to overtake or merge onto a different lane causing more traffic to occur. Aside from this, slower drivers can also affect how others react in certain situations such as where the slow driver takes too long to make a turn or in the event that a faster driver will make an effort to “push” to the slower car along. With that in mind, this “push” to make the slower go faster and adapt to the regular flow of traffic can lead to accidents happening.
Why do people drive too slowy under the speed limit?
Driving too slowly can be accredited to multiple things, one of these is that the driver is still new or the driver of the vehicle is a senior citizen. While avoiding an incident with these two types of drivers is easy to do as it requires being proactive and patient with them, there is a third kind of driver that drives under the speed limit and is far more dangerous. This third type is the distracted driver.
A distracted driver will have their attention spread out in doing multiple tasks. This means that less focus will be spent paying attention to the road. When this happens it leads to unsafe situations that could potentially lead to an accident happening.
When is it safe to drive slow?
While driving slow is generally a potential hazard, there are instances where it is safer to do this. These instances include bad weather, when the traffic flow slows down, near railroad tracks, near animals, or when an obstacle is present on the road. Ultimately is still best to consider the road conditions to help you determine when driving slow is appropriate. If you see other people slowing down, then it’s likely advisable to do the same thing. Bing an alert and adaptive driver in these situations is always the best way to protect yourself from an accident occurring.
As a little known fact, you can be ticketed for driving too slowly. With that in mind, it can affect your driving history thus affecting what amount you pay for your car insurance. A slow-driving violation will affect your rate.
Slow drivers and accidents
A slow driver who insists on driving below the speed limit will incite other motorists to want to overtake them especially if they are driving on a two-lane road. While the driver passing the slower vehicle will be blamed if a collision occurs because of their actions, the slower vehicle will also be partially liable as they have a part in the accident.
When driving on the road, drivers should consider how their actions including the speed at which they travel will affect the safety of the other motorists around them. If you are worried about being a slow driver, then one of the best things you can do is to pay attention to the other vehicles around you. If you feel like they want to pass you then let them do so by giving them as much room as possible and slowing down to help them pass you faster. Optionally you can even pull over to allow the car to pass as it creates a safer environment for them and for you. For slow drivers who are traveling on a multi-lane road, it is best to stick to the rightmost lane as this is the designated lane for slower vehicles.
How to safely pass a slow driver
If you find yourself in a situation where you are behind a slower driver, make sure to approach the situation with caution. If you are traveling on the multi-lane road make sure to always pass on the left side of the slower car, optionally you can also pass on the right but do so only when it is safe. Make sure to take note of the following as well to ensure that you can safely pass the slower car.
Know your vehicle’s capabilities. If you do not have enough power to quickly merge into traffic in an open lane, then maintain a safe distance from the slower vehicle until a safer opening occurs.
Check if possible reasons why the vehicle in front is slow. Before you start blaring your horn at the slower vehicle, check to see why it’s driving so slowly. There might be a hazard in front of the slower vehicle or it could be potentially setting up to make a turn.
Check for other vehicles. Before you consider passing a slower vehicle on the right side on a multiple lane-road make sure that there are no vehicles on the lane you are planning to make your pass. The same can be said if you plan to overtake on the left side as well.
With that in mind, make sure that you maintain a proper speed, drive safely, and be patient with others.