Driving too slowly is the devil’s milk (Pt. 3)

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A man asleep at the wheel.

Drunk on the devil's milk, this man is a thoroughly distracted driver. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Andrew King/Flickr)

If you’re still driving too slowly at this point, stop it. Get up to speed or leave the roadway to the capable adults. Click if you missed PART 1 or PART 2 of this article.

Roadway hazard No. 4 – Old people

Respect for one’s elders is admirable, but that social construct flies out the window when it comes to driving. If an elderly driver is nearly blind, can’t see over the steering wheel, has lost their reflexes to arthritis or dementia, they’re a danger to themselves and others when they’re behind the wheel. Regardless of will and the best of intentions, the physical limitations of age can make safe vehicle operation nearly impossible. It is respectful to take the keys, rather than allowing an aging parent to drive into oblivion. If things aren’t quite that bad, groups like AARP offer mature driver courses that can help seniors drive defensively without behaving offensively toward everyone else on the road.

Driving too slowly – Life outside the fast lane

This is a huge problem that slow driving presents: a fast lane clogged harder than an obese fast food gourmand’s arteries. How will you avoid slow drivers in the fast lane? Don’t resort sociopathic road rage tactics of aggressive tailgating, horn honking, hurled epithets and gunfire. Try a little tenderness, if not for them, then for you.

  • Be patient. If you lose control of your emotions while you’re behind the wheel, you’re going to use that multi-ton metal contraption around you to exact vengeance. It’s a bad thing.
  • Flash your lights a bit. Sometimes, this can snap a slow driver out of their highway hypnosis and get them to clear a path.
  • Tap the horn. Don’t lean into it. A quick beep can work even better than flashing the lights. However, don’t overdo it or you could create an unwanted road rage scenario. Plus, some states actually have laws against unnecessary honking.
  • Wave off bygones. Once you pass a slow driver, politely acknowledge them with a thankful wave. It doesn’t help you to carry the burdens of the roadway once you’ve left the vehicle and embarked upon life’s more tranquil paths.

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Driving too slowly – The insurance problem

If you are a slow driver, beware. If you receive a citation from law enforcement for not operating your vehicle at a safe rate of speed – regardless of whether that speed is too fast or too slow – it will cost you more than the fine printed on the ticket. Just as any garden-variety moving violation can wreak havoc on an insurance premium, a citation for driving too slowly can raise rates.

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AARP Mature Driver courses



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