You’ve seen them. We’ve all seen them: Drivers changing from one lane to another all over the road in the hopes of saving time. They skirt around one slower vehicle after another in the hopes of arriving at their destination earlier. Does all of that weaving in and out help? And could it potentially be a dangerous practice on Colorado roads and highways?
Does Weaving Save Time?
In August 2014, The MythBusters tested this “traffic myth” to see if it’s actually true. Does weaving in and out of lanes get someone to their destination any quicker? In the episode, they drive two vehicles 46 miles in rush hour traffic from San Francisco to San Jose. One of the cars stays in the same lane the entire time and the other weaves in and out of traffic trying to make better time. In this test, the weaver arrived 2 minutes ahead of time (about 2% faster.)
In another test, they had one car weave in and out of traffic and another four vehicles stay in each of the four other lanes of the highway the entire time. In this test, the weaver still arrived ahead of the others, anywhere from 4% to 25% faster. But, at what cost?
The Real Dangers Of Weaving In Traffic
According to research done by Donald Redelmeir of the University of Toronto and Robert Tibshirani of Stanford, as well as a commuting comparison by David Hyde of “Sound Q’s” on public radio station KUOW-FM, Seattle, it helps a little. You might save a couple of minutes but you arrive more stressed out than you otherwise would when driving calmly and sticking mostly to one lane. More importantly, every lane change triples the likelihood of an accident, and lane jumpers are often wrong when they think the next lane is going faster.
Additionally, the weaver often ends up with a too-short-following-distance to the car just ahead. Rear end accidents are the most common accident in the U.S. and can be easily avoided by increasing your following distance. This is difficult to do when you’re always trying to pass another vehicle and changing lanes constantly. Many times, in order to change lanes quickly you must tailgate the car in front of you, which can easily end up in an accident. And, if you do get into an accident, imagine how much longer it will take you to get to your destination! At Learn To Drive Colorado, we always recommend to our Denver driving school students that you should maintain a safe distance and try to stay relaxed when driving in traffic. Not only will you arrive safe, but you also won’t be in as bad of a mood!
Lastly, the best drivers are predictable. Changing lanes often can surprise other drivers and is a hazard for everyone else on the road. There’s no need to arrive frazzled, harried and ticked off! So, take a deep breath, enjoy the journey, minimize lane changes and arrive at your destination safe and sound – everyone (including yourself) will be better off!
Our Colorado Driving School
At Learn To Drive Colorado, we are here to help new drivers learn the rules of the road & utilize best practices when driving. Additionally, we can help rusty drivers brush up on their skills so they feel more comfortable when taking to the congested highways in Denver like i25 or i70.
We offer several different classes and practical assessments. From our 30-hour teen drivers education course and 4-hour driver awareness program to our popular adult drivers education course, we are sure to have the program you need in order to ensure your safety and competency on the roads in Colorado! We even offer 3rd party driving tests in Colorado so that you don’t have to wait for months to get it done at the DMV!