The state of Texas has some of the highest posted speed limits on highways in the country. With posted speed limits up to 85 miles per hour, driving safely on Texas highways requires alert and educated drivers. Many people wrongfully assume driving slower is actually safer on the highways. While all drivers should obey posted speed limits, drivers who drive too slowly are actually more dangerous than drivers who drive too fast.
A growing number of states fine slow drivers in highway fast lanes, including Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, and Tennessee. This is because the biggest predictor of a motor vehicle accident is actually a driver’s variance from the average speed around him or her, not speeding.
What To Know About The Fast Lane
The leftmost lane on the highway, commonly referred to as the fast lane, has a very special purpose as its name implies. This lane is for drivers who want to go faster than surrounding traffic or drivers who want to pass slower moving vehicles. Unfortunately, not all drivers understand and adhere to the fast lane’s uses, and this causes dangerous situations.
According to research, driving five miles slower than surrounding traffic is actually more dangerous than driving five miles faster than surrounding traffic. This fact is slightly counterintuitive, but driving slower is actually more dangerous because it forces others cars to weave in and out of different lanes to get around slow moving cars. This greatly increases the likelihood of a car accident.
In addition, just one slow vehicle in the fast lane could cause traffic congestion, which can easily be compounded by another slow moving vehicle in the next lane. Whenever traffic begins to build up on the highway, drivers can get into accidents.
Drivers should also watch out for signs on Texas multi-lane highways that read “Left Lane For Passing Only,” as this indicates the left lane is not a “fast lane” but a passing lane only.
Driving Safely On The Highway
Sometimes drivers are unaware they are driving slowly, but others do it intentionally. Vehicles might drive slowly if they are pulling a trailer, suffering some type of mechanical issue, or simply because the drivers believe driving slower is safer. If drivers are going to get onto any Texas highway, they need to operate at the same speed as the vehicles around them. Failing to do so is reckless, and could cause other innocent motorists to get hurt.