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"Too Slow" on the Interstate- Argument between me and my wife

Help settle a disagreement between me and my wife. She says that people who drive “Too Slowly” on the interstate are dangerous drivers. She says that a driver must keep the same pace as the cars around it. I say that slower and steadier is safer. Also, I admire the person for burning less gas, saving more money, and doing less environmental damage.
Keep in mind that my wife is a Type A personality, and her argument might be influenced by her annoyance at having to get around a slowpoke. I am a Type something else personality. (I would look it up, but it’s too much work). My argument might be influenced by the joy I get in ticking my wife off. What do you say? Is driving significantly below the speed limit “dangerous” to other drivers?

If you’re driving slower than other traffic in the far right lane, yes, you are dangerous.

If you must drive slowly, at least stay in the far right lane and try to keep up with traffic in that lane. Driving significantly slower and making everybody pull around you is annoying and possibly hazardous to others.

Good luck staying married. :wink:

I agree that its dangerous to drive a lot slower. Some states have speed limit signs that also contain a minimum mph.

If its 65 I say you need to do atleast 65, maybe a few less if its really congested.


If you are in the left lane going 40, while everybody else is doing 70, you shouldn’t be in the left lane

Please don’t drive slow in the left lane just to prove a point . . . this is how road rage begins

“Is driving significantly below the speed limit “dangerous” to other drivers?”

yup, no doubt about it

No offense intended, but you sound like the kind of person who’s driving 40mph on the freeway, with a deathgrip on the steering wheel, forehead planted against the windshield, and the turn signal is still blinking, from that turn you made 20 minutes ago

A few weeks ago, I saw a highway patrol officer pull up behind a guy and tell him on the speakers “You’re driving too slow. Speed up or get off the freeway.”

It was priceles

+1 to Jesmed’s comments.

"Is driving significantly below the speed limit “dangerous” to other drivers?"

I guess I can understand someone wanting to drive slowly, but that person shouldn’t be driving on expressways, and needs to find secondary roads for his/her travel. Somebody who fails to keep pace with the other vehicles on an expressway IS a hazard, plain and simple.

The actual prevailing speed of traffic is usually not a problem, vis-a-vis safety.
What is a problem is wildly different speeds from one car to another, and if you find that you are being passed like you are standing still, then you need to drive on secondary roads where you will be more comfortable with the 45 or 50 or 55 mph speeds.

But, no matter where you drive, please remember to always use the right lane for your below-the-speed limit driving. All too often, I see people who are essentially rolling roadblocks in the center lane or left lane, and aside from being an impediment to other drivers, it is only a matter of time before these center lane/left lane hogs get rear-ended by faster traffic. You may not like this comment, but it is reality.

And, if you really get a feeling of satisfaction from “ticking off” your wife, I think that you may need to rethink things beyond your driving habits.

Q - "Is driving significantly below the speed limit “dangerous” to other drivers? "

A - Yes.

Driving too slowly on the highway causes what traffic engineers have come to call “turbulence”. Just as a rock in a stream forces the water to go around it, a driver going too slow causes drivers to have to go around. That creates an extra opportunity for accidents to happen, especially in less than optimum conditions.

Yes, IMHO driving too slow on the internet causes accidents. However you should know that we’ve argued ad-nauseum amongst ourselves on the question of appropriate speeds. Some here believe the speed limit is an “absolute” and should not be exceeded under any conditions. I believe that going with the flow of traffic is far safer. You may not get a consensus here.

A few weeks ago, I saw a highway patrol officer pull up behind a guy and tell him on the speakers “You’re driving too slow. Speed up or get off the freeway.”

This is how the state troopers in my state–NJ–herd those left lane sheep to the right lane.
Now THIS is priceless!

(Warning–Some of the language is not appropriate for children.)

It depends on the road configuration and what you mean by “too slowly”. If you are driving 50 mph in the right lane of a 4 lane (in each direction) freeway, that’s fairly safe. But if you are driving 50 mph in one of the fast lanes when other cars in those lanes are hitting speeds of 70 mph +, then that’s not safe. Your wife is correct that in general it is safer to drive at approximately the same speed as the other traffic. It would be quite dangerous to drive at 50 mph in a lane adjacent to a lane where the cars where going 10 mph.

Yes…drivers in the left lane driving slow are very dangerous. Drivers who drive slow in the right lane are just dangerous.

For some drivers out there even the speed limit is too slow, Going from Highway 101 to I-5 in Olympia you have a 45mph speed limit which used to be agressively enforced, now If i stick to 45 or a little above in that zone i get blown past by drivers who think it’s ok to do 50-55 there. Or go a little further south with the 70mph limit and you get drivers going 75-80mph. Not to mention the Semi’s.

Enforcing a reasonable minimum speed in the right lane and moving to the right for faster traffic might do more to improve safety than strict enforcement of the speed limit.

Maybe the person who wondered if more acceleration would help in defensive driving and this person could split the difference.

The answer is that you are both right - it is related to the situation. If traffic is light, going slowly in the right lane(s) is acceptable. If the highway is crowded, you are a rolling traffic jam. Trucks with a heavy load have to brake long before cars do because of the huge load. They also take a lot longer to get back up,to speed. This all assumes that you are going more than 5mph below the speed limit. There is never a problem going the speed limit no matter what other traffic is doing. As a matter of courtesy, you should stay to the right if you are driving slower than traffic even if they are breaking the speed limit.

There is almost always slower truck traffic in the right lane. Truckers tend to stay at fairly constant speeds (grades excepted). If you like driving slower than most cars, just stay in the right lane and drive the same speed as most of the trucks, which around here is usually close to the speed limit. Any slower than that and you are definitely a hazard as all the traffic, trucks included, have to pass you. I’m pretty sure you can be cited anywhere for unsafe driving, and that can be driving a lot slower than everyone else.

Yes it is more dangerous, if you must drive slow DO NOT DRIVE IN THE RIGHT OR CENTER LANE. Stay in the right lane. If you do get into the center to get around someone slower than yourself INCREASE your speed and get back over quickly.
Burn more gas to increase your speed? Yes but so what, its not a perfect world.

People may not like it, but as long as you stay in the right lane and are doing at least the minimum speed limit, you are not breaking the law and those who wish to go faster will just have to deal with it. It is not dangerous either, its those who want to go a lot faster and not move to the left to pass that are the dangerous ones.

Thats what the multi-lane highway was designed for. BTW, your “type something else” has a name passive-aggressive.

“My argument might be influenced by the joy I get in ticking my wife off”.
@JohnL101–I think staying with traffic as your wife does is the safe way to drive and if you are going a lot more slowly than traffic just to tick your wife off, find another hobby that doesn’t affect your safety and those around you.
My wife and I have different driving styles. It always seems to me that she comes up on a car too fast before braking, but this is probably due to the fact that my eyes don’t work together–I alternate eyes–I first see with one eye and then the other. Nobody else thinks my wife comes up too quickly on other cars and she has driven thousands of miles as part of her job. On the other hand, I tend to drive faster than she does. One time my wife and I collaborated on a presentation and were returning home. We had a fifteen passenger van and had 8 other people with us. We agreed that I would drive us through the Chicago rush hour traffic and she would drive the rest of the way. After we got off the interstate and were on a 2 lane state highway, I suggested we go faster or we would never get home. She increased the speed of the van, missed a speed zone sign and got pulled over. Fortunately, she didn’t get a ticket and the officer didn’t even ask to see her driver’s license. This may have been due to the fact that we were in a state owned vehicle. At any rate, I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut for the rest of the trip.

In many cases the speed limit IS too slow. In many cases it was established based on standards of decades ago, and both the roadway and the cars have vastly improved… but the speed limit never revised. In many cases towns will intentionally keep a speed limit on town roads too low just to get ticket revenue.

You might enjoy this article on a town in Florida that’s under investigation for the practice:

I read that article, and it’s disturbing

City manager Worley should be fired, because she blatantly snitched out the whistleblowers