Last week, I brought up my driving habits and caught a bit of flak from a few folks. (I also implied that the political metaphor was quite possibly a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, but nobody seemed to pick up on that.) That got me to thinking a bit about how I act on the road, and if those who criticized me might have a point.
When I learned how to drive, I spent a bit of time on the local interstate highways. And both my father and my driver’s ed teacher told me the exact same thing, which corresponded with the state-issued driver’s manual: when there are two lanes to drive in, the right lane is the “travel lane” and the left lane is the “passing lane.” If that rule is followed, then how fast other drivers are going is utterly irrelevant. If you’re not actively passing someone, then stay right. The only people who stay in the left lane are the highway vigilantes who think that they are going as fast as anyone should want to go, and that nobody should be allowed to go any faster.
With the near-omnipresence of cell phones these days, if you see someone driving dangerously fast (or dangerously period), call the cops and let the pros handle it. I’ve done it several times — once a guy must’ve been doing well over 90 and cutting back and forth between lanes, once for a guy who was drifting all over the road. Don’t take the law into your own hands, unless you’re ready to possibly trigger a road rage incident.
(Typo in second paragraph corrected)