We’ve all had to deal with it at one time or another – being stuck behind a slow-moving vehicle in the fast lane whose driver thinks he’s the only one on the road. In some cases, they’re on the phone, dozing off, or simply don’t care how many people they inconvenience. Is driver courtesy overrated – or becoming extinct?
Courtesy aside, impeding the flow of traffic by refusing to yield contributes to accidents and higher car insurance rates. It’s no longer just a matter of courtesy – it’s a matter of safety. A frustrated and impatient, tailgating driver can become a careless and potentially dangerous driver. And, as a result, your car insurance rates are in jeopardy of going up.
The National Motorists Association (NMA) opposed the 1974 implementation of the national 55 mph maximum speed limit to encourage greater fuel economy. Back then, most of the cars on the road were gas guzzlers. Today, cars are much more fuel efficient, and driving slower, especially in the fast lane, does little to conserve gas. While some drivers may not be aware they’re blocking traffic, others may do it deliberately. Problem is – they don’t realize they’re not only putting their lives in a hazardous situation, but other drivers as well.
Where highway courtesy is lacking, anger isn’t far behind. If you make it a habit of driving in the fast lane slower than the traffic flow, you could be setting yourself up for an incident of road rage. And, those rarely end well.
Most states have laws that prohibit motorists from driving at slow speeds that prevent the normal and reasonable flow of traffic, but, sadly, there’s never a cop around when you need one…unless you’re the one breaking a traffic law or two to get around the guy.
Next time you get stuck behind a discourteous, slow-moving driver, remember this:
- Keep your cool – It’s to your advantage. It’ll keep you from doing something stupid that might raise your car insurance rates or get you into an accident.
- Back off his rear bumper – Give yourself a little extra room. It’ll allow you to hold a more steady speed without unnecessary braking and accelerating. In some cases, drivers of slower cars feel compelled to hit their brakes unexpectedly to send you a message. Accept the fact you may be there for a while and deal with it. What‘s more, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, you‘ll be saving fuel,
- Don’t contribute to road rage – Don’t awaken a sleeping monster by continuously flashing your headlights at night. Some slow drivers have an axe to grind, and if you pass them up and cut them off a little too close…they’ll suddenly find the speed they didn’t have earlier and begin tailgating you…and, the dangerous game of road rage has begun.
- You’ll reach your destination when you get there – In most cases, getting to your destination isn’t a matter of life and death. Can you be 5, 10, 15 minutes late without it being the end of the world? If the answer is yes…then, put on some quiet music or chew a stick of gum…anything to help calm you down.
Courtesy might seem to be extinct, but if you make a point to practice it yourself, you may be surprised to find it’s still out there.
Courtesy is important, but so is knowing you’re getting the best rates on your car insurance. Why not get a free car insurance quote today?
Have you ever felt the frustration of being stuck behind a slow moving vehicle? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.