You have likely seen many motorists zoom down the highway, and you might have felt unsettled by their flagrant disregard for traffic laws. While speed is a major factor in some motor vehicle accidents, motorists who drive too slowly can be as hazardous as their faster counterparts. Unlike speeders, slow drivers impede the flow of traffic, and may disrupt it depending on what lane they are in. If you encounter one on the road, you must understand how you can approach them in a safe manner.

Why people drive slowly

Slow drivers often fall under one of three categories. Many are elderly and feel uncomfortable or unsafe when traveling the speed of traffic. Some older motorists have a narrowed field of vision, which makes observing their surroundings difficult. Others might have physical issues that make it challenging to apply full strength to the gas and brake pedals.

Some drivers move slowly because they are distracted. Rather than focusing the road ahead, they remain engrossed in their phone or with other diversions. By taking their eyes off the road, they lack awareness of traffic flow and conditions and fail to adapt to them.

Drivers unfamiliar with an area are likely to move slower through it than those who know it well. If motorists are unsure of where to exit or turn off, they might slow down to avoid getting lost.

The dangers slow drivers create

Slow drivers pose a risk to other motorists no matter which lane they travel in. Yet, they are particularly dangerous when driving under the speed limit in the left-hand lane. By doing so, they force other drivers to pass them on the right, which can force them to make sudden, dangerous maneuvers.

While fast drivers are likely to provoke fear, slow drivers are more likely to induce anger. Motorists must do their best to stay calm when traveling behind slow vehicles, yet some lose their cool and tailgate them closely. Depending on the slow driver’s reflexes or mood, this could lead to a dangerous situation.

Staying safe around slow drivers

When approaching a slow driver, you must make sure to come up behind them with care and pass them as soon as you can. Following a slow driver for too long will further impede the flow of traffic. Yet, weaving to get around them increases your risk of an accident. Waiting for a clear opening to speed up to pass them will keep both of you – as well as other motorists – safe.

While certain situations call for reduced speeds, slow drivers imperil the safety of other motorists in normal conditions. If an accident with one caused you harm, an attorney can help you work toward a settlement that reflects your injuries.