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SALT LAKE CITY — It may seem strange that the Utah Department of Transportation is telling drivers to speed up, but that is exactly the message they’re sending.
That, or get out of the fast lane.
Altering the bad habits some Utah drivers have developed is the purpose behind the freeway signs popping up lately between Weber and Utah counties, begging you to get out of the left-hand lanes.
“If the left lane is clogged with slower-moving traffic,” said John Gleason with the Utah Department of Transportation, “that means that people that are trying to get around that traffic are going to try to pass on the right.
“And that’s something we want to try to avoid,” Gleason told KSL Newsradio.
So, besides being illegal, driving slowly in the freeway’s left lanes can lead to accidents. The most obvious potential accident is a rear-end crash, when someone driving quickly approaches someone driving slowly in the left lane.
But the other type of crash may be less obvious. When a faster driver approaches a slower driver in the fast lane, instead of passing on the left (remember that from driver’s ed?) they have to pass on the right.
That means they have to merge into slower-moving traffic. And, make a lane change. And according to the National Highway Safety Traffic Association, 10% of deadly crashes on U.S. highways are due to drivers making lane changes.
Contributing: Kellie Pierce, KSL NewsRadio