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Replying to Move Over Or Slow Down! And Other Traffic Rules Nobody Understands! One or the other please, but not both

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 05:41 AM

In the United States, most states have a driving law that requires drivers to move one lane over from an emergency vehicle on the side of the road. For example, if you are on a multi-lane road, two or more lanes in each direction, and there is a police car with it's lights on on the side of the road; the driver is supposed to move out of the lane nearest the location of the stopped police car. If you cannot move over due to traffic or you are on a single lane road, one lane each direction, you must slow down. Some states specify the speed at which you must slow down. This is to prevent police officers from being hit while writing traffic violations or tending to an emergency. The law specifies emergency vehicles as police, fire, ambulance, or tow trucks.

Most people don't realize that tow trucks are included!

Additionally, many people don't seem to understand the concept of "move over or slow down" so they do both!!!!!!
This is a very dangerous situation. Not only does traffic have an emergency vehicle they need to be aware of, now they have a vehicle that merges into their lane AND slows down. On the modern freeway where traffic could be moving a 70 miles per hour or more, having a car unexpectedly pull in front of you and slow to 45 miles per hour can cause a major collision!

So, just remember, the rule is "move over OR slow down" not both!

On to other laws that people don't understand it seems.
The inside lane is for passing! In the U.S. this is the left lane on a multi-lane road. If you want to drive slower than everyone else then please move to the right (outside) lane! Some places actually have signs that state "slower traffic keep right" or "keep right except to pass"! This is particularly true on roads with more than two lanes in each direction. The right (outside) lane should be for turning, slower traffic, or merging on and off the limited access highway. The second (usually middle) lane is for normal driving at a speed in which the majority of vehicles are traveling. The left (inside) lane is for traffic moving faster than the majority of vehicles or for the passing of slower vehicles in the middle lane. If you are not passing, then you shouldn't be in the inside lane. Most vehicles should spend the majority of their trip in the middle lane! If you are in the inside lane and their is a line of traffic backed up behind you, you are obstructing traffic and need to move to the center lane as soon as possible. If you are in the center lane and all other vehicles are either having to pass you on the inside lane or are backed up behind you, you need to move to the outside lane. In city driving, a left turn requires that the vehicle be in the left (inside) lane, do not enter the left (inside) lane until you are nearly ready for the turn and be sure to signal your intentions.

Don't pass on the right (outside). The inside or left lane is for passing and you should only pass another vehicle on their left side (in the U.S.). This is particularly true of large vehicles such as trucks as they have a much larger blind spot.

Traffic on a limited access highway has the right-of-way! If you want to merge onto the highway, you must yield to the traffic already on the highway! If this requires you to slow down or stop, then you are required to do so. The existing traffic is not required by law to slow down, move over, or any other maneuver to allow incoming traffic to enter the highway. You may have to use the shoulder but do not expect the regular flow of traffic to "let" you on. It isn't their responsibility!

There is a reason that you have a turn indicator! Use it every time please. Not only is it the law, it is th polite and considerate thing to do. Many collisions could be avoided if the indicator was used.

Do not block intersections. Wait outside of the intersection until you are sure that you have room on the other side even if you have a green light. Otherwise, your actions will cause gridlock. This is when vehicles with a green light cannot go because the traffic moving across the intersection was stopped be for the intersection was cleared. If the traffic on the other side of your intersection isn't moving or is moving slowly, just wait behind the while line until you have room on the other side to move into under your normal green light. Additionally, do not block cross streets, drives, and entrances that do not have a stoplight while you are waiting for your light to turn green. Not only does this allow other to "get out" it may work in your favor...
Near my home that is a corner gas station. Many cars turn off the main road and the want to turn across traffic into the gas station. If the gas station entrance is blocked, the cars can't turn and get stuck in the intersection in front of the cars blocking the entrance. It takes some maneuvering of the cars behind the person wanting to turn to unblock the intersect. Of course everyone is irritated! If the drive wasn't blocked, then the traffic jam would never have occurred. So in this case letting a car or two through actually gets you through the intersection more quickly.

I think that if everyone or at least most people would be more considerate of other drivers, we would all get to our destinations more quickly and safely.


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