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Street Driving - Left Lane Usage POLL

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by eblue540, Jun 27, 2010.

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Which best describes YOUR approach to driving in the left-most lane:

Poll closed Jul 17, 2010.
I always drive in the left lane because it is the †0 vote(s) 0.0%
The left lane is just like any other lane 2 vote(s) 6.7%
I don’t like being 1 vote(s) 3.3%
I sometimes cruise in the left lane 4 vote(s) 13.3%
I only use the left lane to pass other cars 23 vote(s) 76.7%
    • Member

    eblue540 Fourth Gen Bimmers

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    With respect to driving on a limited access highway (multiple lanes in the direction your are travelling, no traffic lights or cross streets) which is NOT filled to its capacity with cars, please make the selection from the choices below, which best describes YOUR approach to driving in the left-most lane:


    1) I always drive in the left lane because it is the "status lane", as stated in BMW, Cadillac, Dodge and other advertizing, regardless of how fast I am going or what is going on around me on the road.

    2) The left lane is just like any other lane; if it is empty, I go there, regardless of how fast I am travelling or what is going on around me on the road.

    3) I don't like being in the left lane; too many people flashing their lights and coming around me waving their hands when I am in that lane.

    4) I sometimes cruise in the left lane, but if I notice someone behind me, I'll move over if there is room, once the cruise control gets me past the cars in the right lane.

    5) I only use the left lane for passing other cars, otherwise I keep as far right as practical. I watch my mirrors; if someone is behind me, I will speed up and as soon as there is room in the right hand lane I move over to let the cars behind pass me on the left.
    • Member

    az3579

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    I would say a combination or the 4th and 5th options. Most of the time when I'm in the left lane, I'm constantly passing people in the middle, so I just stay there until I find a large enough opening in the middle lane that I could cruise in without having to almost immediately get back in the left to pass.

    I vote 5.
    • Member

    lcjhnsn

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    I'd be surprised if anyone on the BMW CCA Forum were to give an answer other than #5. But there sure are a lot of folks who feel they can just cruise there.

    There are some who do it out of laziness, cruising along until someone else comes up behind them before they move back to the right lane.

    Then there are others who do it as an ego thing, imparting their superiority over the world by camping in the left lane no matter how many cars stack up behind them.

    Sorry, I usually try to avoid such "bitch" topics, but I kinda fell into this one [IMG]
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    You left out the possibility of sticking to the left lane (but not hanging there to block traffic) because the right lane is impossibly beat all to hell due to heavy truck wear-n-tear and virtually intolerable to cruise in for any length of time, particularly in a lowered, stiffly suspended/sprung/shocked, coil-overed car with a wheel-tire combination that's more wheel than tire or, say, a 35-45% aspect ratio, either regular tires or run flats.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    Nice sentence ... :rolleyes:

    I've seen very few roads this bad. One in particular, though, was a stretch of I-84 across New York in the early '80s. The right lane was all snowplow 'tapered' concrete blocks that dropped you about an inch at every joint. It was insufferable for the hour it took to cross it and on a number of occasions, I made a conscious effort to drive in the left lane when it didn't affect traffic. I don't think I ever made more than 10-15 minutes at it because my habit is to drive on the right. I'd pass a car and move right automatically. Then, 5 minutes later, I'd realize I was 'bumping' again, dammit! :mad:
    • Member

    Zeichen311

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    Aaargh, I remember that too well--I drove that stretch several times a year throughout my college career, between campus and home. I dreaded that part of every trip, and even circumvented it once or twice, despite all the alternate routes being at least an hour longer. ISTR there was something substandard about the roadbed under the slabs, or the slabs themselves--they had actually tilted from the relentless pounding of heavy trucks over those joints. I agree it ranks as one of the best (worst?) examples of that rare road surface that makes me cruise in the left lane.

    Sometime in the '90s NY DOT finally milled the road flat again...long after I graduated, of course. :p

    alstroberg guest

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    Another reason not to cruise on the left...

    30 years after visiting my friend, David, in the hospital I can not get this image out of my mind. He was in the #1 (California speak for the left-most) lane in average traffic. A car coming from the opposite direction had a mechanical failure resulting in its left front wheel being liberated at 70 mph. That wheel bounded over the K barrier and through David's windshield. It did not kill him but rather paralyzed from his spinal cord injury.

    I stay to the right unless passing.
    • Member

    tiFreak

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    that's what I do, but sometimes I'll cruise in the left lane, my cruise control is usually set to about 80 so I'm not really holding anyone up
    • Member

    lcjhnsn

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    aahhhhh... rationalization

    BMWtoyz guest

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    Here in Western Washington you cannot pry them out of the left lane, even when they have the "Keep right except when passing" signs! It can be very annoying.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    Do you move right for overtaking traffic before they have to brake?
    • Member

    tiFreak

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    I usually do, the only time I don't is when there are cars to the right, in that case I'll gun it to get past them and into the right lane without cutting anyone off
    • Member

    eblue540 Fourth Gen Bimmers

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    That's my mode also...

    I watch to the rear and if someone is coming up when I am passing a line of cars in the left lane, I'll speed up to get over to the right to let him by, hopefully without him breaking stride...

    Then (if I am solo), I might just jump in behind him about 300' back and let him be my radar tracer...

    Why solo? The only tickets I have ever gotten came when there was someone else in the car. In the solo "fast cruise mode", I maintain situational awareness and concentrate intently on whats's going on in the distance ahead, looking for hiding places, look over the oncoming cars, flashes of brake lights, etc; and the action behind me too. This mode of driving keeps me wide awake, alert, makes the trip pass quickly and let's me enjoy the car. I stay off the cruise control, slowing down to keep the speed differentlial down between me and the cars I am passing, but I'll use clear road ahead to its fullest advantage.

    When someone else is in the car, they usually don't appreciate me ignoring them to concentrate exclusively on the driving, so I stay with my usual "5-over" and keep right... unless they fall asleep!
    • Member

    Brian A

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    A couple of months ago I went on a 4 hour "Smith System" driver refresher course (http://www.smith-system.com).

    I was surprised to learn that Smith System seems to advocate moving to and staying in the left lane as the "lane of least resistance" when given a choice of a left or right lane. Their rationale seems to be that, unlike the right lane, there are no exiting or merging cars from the left so the left lane is the safest lane.

    I also learned that they seem to advocate to big rig drivers to stay out of the right lane on freeways for the same reason. Many fleet & big rig drivers use the Smith System and it shows how now the second from right lane is the most beaten up rather than the rightmost. It also explains why the right lane is becoming "the new fast lane".

    Their belief, obviously, is that driving is not and should not be an invigorating emotional activity but solely the act of operating a transportation machine. It also shows that they make no distinction in the notional speed of the lanes right to left, unlike the European philosophy. When I took High School Driver's Ed, I was taught the adage, "keep right, except to pass," and I wonder if it is taught anymore.

    Me? I try to keep right except to pass. There are many times however when tight traffic is flowing at the same speed in every lane; then I don't care anymore and become part of the problem.
    • Member

    az3579

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    My belief, which is correct, is that they're idiots.
    The fact that they put a picture of someone holding the steering wheel on the BOTTOM (top of their home page) doesn't help their case.
    • Member

    Pyewacket1

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    Thank's for the info on the "Smith System - The system of incorrect driving techniques".

    But, to be fair, many motorcycle driving instructors tell their students the very same thing, calling the right lane "the killing zone". As in the Smith System, they have attempted to take what I was always taught to be an "interactive experience" into a "passive experience".

    Or, in other words, attempted to take something that is dynamic by its very nature, and convert it into as passive an act as possible, requiring the least amount of attention from the driver.

    I don't know if its taught any more in driver's ed, but I do know a few states have passed laws allowing tickets to be issues to "consistent left lane riders".

    What I was taught in driver's ed was that driving was a "privilidge", but most today see it as a "right".

    At the end of the day, though, I do as you. When I am in a high-volume traffic situation, I do my best to avoid the hand-held cell-phone talking, iPod playing, make-up applying, etc.... inattentive drivers and simply attempt to get to my destination as best as I can.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    You mean, "when it's not illegal"? Because, in many states, as well as in Europe, it is. In Ohio, for example, you must be "overtaking traffic" to be in the left lane. On the Autobahnen, you have to be going faster than traffic behind you or move out of the way.
    Well, if there are three lanes, I completely agree. If only two, no. It's impeding traffic.
    It has been in Wisconsin for as long as I've lived here because most LLBs ('Left Lane Bandits') are oblivious to overtaking traffic. So you pass them on the right - which is legal here, but not in every state or country.
    That's what most people want it to be. Dumb and slow. :mad:
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    In the 'horse & buggy' days prior to automobiles, I wonder if riding a horse to get anyplace was considered a privilege by the government (or the society that elected the officials who created the laws) - or if state & local governments licensed & taxed horse (&/or carts/buggy/wagon) ownership, sales, and use.
    • Member

    Pyewacket1

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    Good point. Watching westerns when I was growing up in the 1960's, I don't ever remember seeing a license tag attached to the backside of a horse on Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, Have Gun - Will Travel or Bat Masterson.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    You still had to observe the rules of the road in order to use it. I just heard today (History Channel) that Ulysses Grant was once cited for driving too fast - years before the automobile was invented. The American Indians charged tolls to use some of their roads. I watch too much tv.

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