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FITM-K t1_itptgu1 wrote

Reply to comment by CPgang in Left lane campers by CPgang

Do you have any evidence that's actually true?

It might be, but "letting someone speed" is dangerous too since there's a correlation between high speed and accidents.

Edit: I mean evidence that letting someone speed is safer in general. Obviously it is safer for you, the driver of the car being passed. I was asking about the overall road injury/fatality rate for both options.


CPgang OP t1_itptvc2 wrote

True, I have absolutely zero tangible evidence but humans are dangerous and unpredictable when angry, and I’d rather let a maniac get pulled over or crash than put myself and that person in danger by staying in front of them. Callous? Maybe, but that’s my opinion.


JustDubbinAround t1_itqgyrl wrote

It seems pretty much common sense. Defensive driving is all about reacting safely to all the people out there who don't follow the rules. Speeding drivers behind you? They have already decided that they don't care about the rules, or about the danger they are creating for themselves and others on the road. What's the best way to mitigate the risk to yourself and your passengers?

A. Prevent them from passing you, leading to them unsafely tailgating you and possibly slamming into the back of you if Bullwinkle decides he wants to play on the Interstate today.

B. Let them pass, leading to them speeding off and getting far away from you.

Road rage is a separate issue altogether. But in my mind, if someone is in such a hurry that they are disregarding the rules of the road, then I'd rather have them in front of me than behind me. I trust myself to avoid crashing into them more than I trust them to avoid crashing into me.

Additionally, the right-hand lane is the safest lane on an Interstate highway (unless you're near an active entrance). The middle lane has you surrounded by cars on all sides. The left lane has cars to your right and a ditch or barrier to your left. The left lane is also where you are most likely to meet a wrong-way driver (and we do get them from time to time in Maine).

The right lane, though, has cars on your left, but the break down lane to your right, and so is the best place to be in terms of leaving yourself a potential escape route if things suddenly go awry in front of you.

Really, there is no reason at all to be any further left than necessary on the Interstate in Maine. It's generally safest to keep right, and it's the law wherever the speed limit is 65 or more.


FITM-K t1_itqs5ek wrote

I was asking about which was safer in general (i.e. leads to fewer injuries/accidents overall), not which was safer specifically for the driver of the car being passed. Obviously, if the only concern is your own safety, letting speeders pass is the safer approach.

> Additionally, the right-hand lane is the safest lane on an Interstate highway (unless you're near an active entrance).

"Unless" is doing a lot of work in that sentence, lol. It doesn't look like that's true, though. Crunch the data and it turns out the right lane is actually the least safe -- it's the slowest, yes, but also the most crowded and the one people are filtering in and out of for exits and entrances every few miles.

That said, I still prefer to travel in the right lane in most cases, and it's worth mentioning that the data above was accidents, rather than only serious or fatal accidents. The left lane had WAY fewer accidents, but I would imagine if it was limited to just fatal accidents the data might look different.


JustDubbinAround t1_itr76h6 wrote

I'll look at the study a bit more later, but as far as whether letting folks go is overall safer, I think that it is. The motorway fatality rate in Germany, for example, is only 1.74 per billion vehicle-km traveled. In the UK, it is 1.16. In the US, it is 3.38 (stats pulled from Wikipedia).

In the US, lane discipline is virtually non-existent. In fact, in my experience, Mainers are better about it than the rest of the east coast. People in other states just hang out in whatever lane they want on a multi-lane highway, and pass on whatever side they want, and it gets significantly worse if there are more than two lanes. In Germany and the UK, though, they are more strict about it. You only pass on the driver's side, and you move back over when done. No passing on the passenger's side allowed.

So, while I can't claim that getting out of the way is specifically what leads to the lower crash rates overall, there does appear to be a correlation. Of course, they also have stricter licensing standards in general, and bad drivers can take the bus or the train and stay off the roads, which is not really an option in most of the USA, so there's definitely more than one factor at play.


WikiSummarizerBot t1_itr78el wrote



>In 2014, autobahns carried 31% of motorized road traffic while accounting for 11% of Germany's traffic deaths. The autobahn fatality rate of 1. 6 deaths per billion travel-kilometres compared favorably with the 4. 6 rate on urban streets and 6.

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