When someone weaves through traffic at 20 mph over the speed limit and flies past you in the wrong lane, it’s easy to assume that person is going to crash. You feel like they’re driving recklessly, and they’re almost out of control.
But does that mean that driving slowly is what is going to keep you safe? It doesn’t. In fact, some studies link accident rates more heavily to drivers who are too slow than those who are too fast.
If you have ever been driving at 60 mph and come up behind someone “carefully” going 45 mph, you know how hazardous it is. You suddenly have to slam on the brakes and change lanes. One slow driver can cause a massive backup. It breaks down the flow of traffic.
That slow driver may feel safer, but they may actually have higher accident risks, and their slow driving practices may put everyone in additional danger — not less.
What is actually safe is when traffic moves at the same speed. No one breaks the limit. No one drives under the limit. This reduces the amount of braking, accelerating and lane-changing. Traffic flows smoothly and everyone gets where they are going without injury.
This is a great theory, but you know that it rarely happens in real life. No matter how you drive, there is always someone slower than you blocking the way, and there is always someone faster than you trying to pass. These are the drivers who really cause a lot of accidents, and you need to know what options you have if you get injured.