Why slow drivers speed up at passing lanes

Drivers react to the road environment in which they operate. When people perceive a road to be narrow, they tend to drive slower and when the road appears to be wide, drivers speed up without noticing it.

We all know the story. Drivers doing around 85-90 km/h all the way, and when they get to a passing lane, they take off like a bat from hell. Consequently, you cannot catch up unless you go much faster than the speed limit. Hence, you stay behind the vehicle doing 100km/h plus at the passing lane.

Now when you all reach the end of the passing lane brake lights go on and you find yourself behind this driver doing 70 or 80 km/h. Very Frustrating indeed.

There are cases where drivers would deliberately go faster, but in most cases, drivers do it unknowingly. The reason is that when the road narrows they feel more confident to go faster.  How do you overcome this?

You have two choices. One is to be patient and adapt yourspeed to what they are doing. Move quickly into the left lane and let other impatient drivers behind you pass.

Then when the opportunity comes, you overtake where it is safe.

Another option is to drop back just a bit when you get to the “passing lane 400m” sign. Then with that distance between you and the slower vehicle, you pick up speed and when your timing is right, you will be ready to pass the slower vehicle the moment the passing lane starts. The aim is to begin your passing maneuvre before the driver in the slower vehicle starts to accelerate in the passing lane.

When there is a queue of vehicles behind you, also wanting to pass the slower vehicle, then you have to consider what you are going to do after you passed the slower vehicle.

This will be explained next time.