Random Question - Smoothest Flow of Traffic on Motorway - Which Lane?

62
Found 8th Jan 2012
Hi

I know that you should always try to drive in the left lane on motorways as its good practice but which lane would you say on a 3 lane motorway has the smoothest flow of traffic.

I would personally say that it was the 3rd lane due to not having to slow down for people joining as you would have to in the 1st lane and in the 2nd lane people moving over from the 1st to allow people to join. Where as the 3rd lane is fairly smooth.

Do you agree?
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The hard shoulder.
Banned
I'm always in the 3rd land, It's the only lane you can actually stay 100mph+ without idiots getting in the way
Original Poster
Jed Maxwell

The hard shoulder.


lol
3rd normally, 2nd when busy..

But for driving the UK the 1st lane is the only one that is supposed to be used..
Original Poster
shergold

I'm always in the 3rd land, It's the only lane you can actually stay … I'm always in the 3rd land, It's the only lane you can actually stay 100mph+ without idiots getting in the way


That is very true! lol
Doesn't mean you should drive in the 3rd lane all the time, however I get a good feeling when taking over BMW's and Merc's in my little 1.3 Ford KA lol.

I find motorways a bit like queues in the supermarket. It doesn't matter which lane I go in, it always ends up the slowest moving one, especailly when it comes to roadworks
Generally any lane on the opposite carriageway is going quicker
feed_me_chocs

Generally any lane on the opposite carriageway is going quicker




Yep
Last October I drove down the M4 from Swansea to London and left at 3.00am, for the first hour there was only a handful of cars, it was brilliant. Best time to drive on the motorway.
shauneco

Doesn't mean you should drive in the 3rd lane all the time, however I get … Doesn't mean you should drive in the 3rd lane all the time, however I get a good feeling when taking over BMW's and Merc's in my little 1.3 Ford KA lol.



I'm so glad you're only kidding.



You ARE kidding, right?
deek72

I'm so glad you're only kidding.You ARE kidding, right?



Nope, I know it's an hair dresses car, however it's cheaper to run than my 2.3 petrol Galaxy, I travel 60 miles a day somedays and the KA's very economical and cheap to insure.

You may laugh, But I'm saving money, it's great fun to drive, Just not as luxurious as the Galaxy, I can get at least 90mph from it but obviously I dont because it's not legal on any public road.
loulou11

I find motorways a bit like queues in the supermarket. It doesn't matter … I find motorways a bit like queues in the supermarket. It doesn't matter which lane I go in, it always ends up the slowest moving one, especailly when it comes to roadworks


this (_;)
shauneco

Nope, I know it's an hair dresses car, however it's cheaper to run than … Nope, I know it's an hair dresses car, however it's cheaper to run than my 2.3 petrol Galaxy, I travel 60 miles a day somedays and the KA's very economical and cheap to insure. You may laugh, But I'm saving money, it's great fun to drive, Just not as luxurious as the Galaxy, I can get at least 90mph from it but obviously I dont because it's not legal on any public road.



Lol, was only kidding It's a great little car.

Lol, was only kidding again...
Middle lane all the way. No issues.

I would personally say that it was the 3rd lane due to not having to slow … I would personally say that it was the 3rd lane due to not having to slow down for people joining as you would have to in the 1st lane



you don't have to slow down for people joining the motorway. It's their responsibility to adjust their speed & filter into the traffic.
g1bbuk

you don't have to slow down for people joining the motorway. It's their … you don't have to slow down for people joining the motorway. It's their responsibility to adjust their speed & filter into the traffic.



So if they don't do that shall we just let them crash into us to teach them a lesson. We don't live in an ideal world sadly.

1st lane driving is dangerous these days unless you want to stick to 55.
Original Poster
aircanman

So if they don't do that shall we just let them crash into us to teach … So if they don't do that shall we just let them crash into us to teach them a lesson. We don't live in an ideal world sadly. 1st lane driving is dangerous these days unless you want to stick to 55.



Must agree with aircanman.
aircanman

Middle lane all the way. No issues.


Bet your over 60.
I'm just happy cruising at about 65mph in the left lane these days my days of flooring it are gone, watch the pocket these days.
Banned
aircanman

So if they don't do that shall we just let them crash into us to teach … So if they don't do that shall we just let them crash into us to teach them a lesson. We don't live in an ideal world sadly.



Too many idiots to risk it, it's like a game of chicken. Then there's the times when you are in the 2nd lane, cars in the 1st moving into the 2nd as traffic joins 1st, some don't look or care you are doing 90mph+
Paddy_o_furniture

Bet your over 60.I'm just happy cruising at about 65mph in the left lane … Bet your over 60.I'm just happy cruising at about 65mph in the left lane these days my days of flooring it are gone, watch the pocket these days.



Half of 60 lol, I find the car drives nicely 75-80 and the fuel difference is minimal.

Lane 2 I believe is the safest to drive in recently, you can actually drive most of the way without having to pull out all the time. Speed is important though, if you drive at 60-70 in the middle lane it is not safe, because you are putting others at risk when they have to overtake you all the time, if you get with the flow which is around 75-80, only the people who drive 80+ and take the gamble have to use lane 3, which they are never happy about but at the end of the day if you want to drive at silly speeds there is an empty lane there so use it.
All I have to say is

GET OUT OF THE MIDDLE LANE AND INTO LANE 1!!!
aircanman

Half of 60 lol, I find the car drives nicely 75-80 and the fuel … Half of 60 lol, I find the car drives nicely 75-80 and the fuel difference is minimal.Lane 2 I believe is the safest to drive in recently, you can actually drive most of the way without having to pull out all the time. Speed is important though, if you drive at 60-70 in the middle lane it is not safe, because you are putting others at risk when they have to overtake you all the time, if you get with the flow which is around 75-80, only the people who drive 80+ and take the gamble have to use lane 3, which they are never happy about but at the end of the day if you want to drive at silly speeds there is an empty lane there so use it.


But lanes 2-3 are overtaking lanes, not cruising lanes. Older drivers hog the middle lane as their ability to drive decreases as a sort of defence. express.co.uk/pos…ogs
highguyuk

All I have to say is GET OUT OF THE MIDDLE LANE AND INTO LANE 1!!!



So I want to drive 70 MPH, I have to overtake lorries and pull out when people are coming into lane 1, speed up, slow down, in and out of lanes. I would rather do what others do and stay in the middle lane, it's safer.

Lane hogging imbecile.

aircanman

So I want to drive 70 MPH, I have to overtake lorries and pull out when … So I want to drive 70 MPH, I have to overtake lorries and pull out when people are coming into lane 1, speed up, slow down, in and out of lanes. I would rather do what others do and stay in the middle lane, it's safer.


aircanman

Half of 60 lol, I find the car drives nicely 75-80 and the fuel … Half of 60 lol, I find the car drives nicely 75-80 and the fuel difference is minimal.Lane 2 I believe is the safest to drive in recently, you can actually drive most of the way without having to pull out all the time. Speed is important though, if you drive at 60-70 in the middle lane it is not safe, because you are putting others at risk when they have to overtake you all the time, if you get with the flow which is around 75-80, only the people who drive 80+ and take the gamble have to use lane 3, which they are never happy about but at the end of the day if you want to drive at silly speeds there is an empty lane there so use it.

Its not your job to police the roads, though, and once you choose to ignore the speed limit, it puts you on dodgy ground criticising other people for it.

What middle lane hoggers don't seem to realise (or care about) is that their behaviour is provocative, and therefore aggressive, and there is far too much aggression on the roads.

You can attempt all kinds of technical justification, but ultimately if you hang in the middle lane when there is other traffic about, you are ignoring road discipline for your own convenience and therefore being discourteous and selfish.

That's all it comes down to. Do it if you must, but at least do it with self-awareness.
Back to the OP. The inside lane is the smoothest flowing, as people only tend to move into it just before junctions. You have to travel slower, but cruising along relaxed suits me fine.
Ennui

Its not your job to police the roads, though, and once you choose to … Its not your job to police the roads, though, and once you choose to ignore the speed limit, it puts you on dodgy ground criticising other people for it. What middle lane hoggers don't seem to realise (or care about) is that their behaviour is provocative, and therefore aggressive, and there is far too much aggression on the roads.You can attempt all kinds of technical justification, but ultimately if you hang in the middle lane when there is other traffic about, you are ignoring road discipline for your own convenience and therefore being discourteous and selfish. That's all it comes down to. Do it if you must, but at least do it with self-awareness.



Safer for me, if you want to drive faster, use lane 3, slower, use lane 1. If everyone was in lane 1 the roads could not handle it.
aircanman

Safer for me, if you want to drive faster, use lane 3, slower, use lane … Safer for me, if you want to drive faster, use lane 3, slower, use lane 1. If everyone was in lane 1 the roads could not handle it.

I've no idea what that has to do with my posts, apart from avoiding my point that middle lane hogging is done out of a lack of regard for others.
Filter between all three. It means you can cruise at the same speed, braking very little. There's nothing better than undertaking the idiot who has been driving 100+mph (only to slam his brakes on when the car in front is only doing 70mph) and pull in a few cars in front of him.

Josh
Edited by: "r3tract" 9th Jan 2012
aircanman

Safer for me, if you want to drive faster, use lane 3, slower, use lane … Safer for me, if you want to drive faster, use lane 3, slower, use lane 1. If everyone was in lane 1 the roads could not handle it.


You know the speed limit is 70 (78 if you want to push ACPO guidlines) in all three lanes (for a car) on a motorway don't you. I tend to find it's little old wifeys and old codgers that hog lane 2, causing mayhem as they do so. HGVs being unable to undertake them, yet not being able to move to lane 3 to overtake them. No reason to hog the middle lane (it's an overtaking lane).
aircanman

if you want to drive faster, use lane 3, slower, use lane 1.

ok, I think I understand this on a reread:

Basically, the definitions of the lanes of the motorway according to aircanman are:

The inside lane is for those travelling slower than me.
The middle lane is the one I travel in.
The outside lane is for those travelling faster than me

However I am willing to bet a whole FIVER that when the first motorway was built, aircanman was NOT consulted, or even considered.

Unless aircanman is in fact the queen, in which case, apologies, ma'am.
Ennui

ok, I think I understand this on a reread:Basically, the definitions of … ok, I think I understand this on a reread:Basically, the definitions of the lanes of the motorway according to aircanman are:The inside lane is for those travelling slower than me.The middle lane is the one I travel in.The outside lane is for those travelling faster than meHowever I am willing to bet a whole FIVER that when the first motorway was built, aircanman was NOT consulted, or even considered.Unless aircanman is in fact the queen, in which case, apologies, ma'am.



Well you never know do you?

Rules aside, you think it is safer to drive in lane one at all times? I assume you drive at 56 Mph most of the time yes?
Joking aside, I know many people say driving in the middle lane is a big no no. I have come a cropper for this on here before.

In all seriousness, you get on the motorway, and want to drive a comfortable 70 MPH, I can not do this in lane 1, because of slow drivers, lorries, caravans etc. So, in order for me to drive in lane 1, I would need to be pulling out and pulling in pretty much every 30 seconds, which I feel is very dangerous, it is what causes many accidents, because you never know someone who is speeding can speed up fast behind you or you miss them in the blind spot.

In lane 2, I can drive between 70-80 MPH fine, I rarely need to overtake people, and people rarely need to overtake me. If there is an idiot driving at 100MPH as far as I am concerned, if there is an empty lane 3 then let them overtake me.

I would never hold up traffic, or drive aggressively as some have said, I have made the decision as a responsible driver that it is safer for me to be in lane 2 most of the time. I don't really care if people say its wrong or hate it. I have many driving years under my belt and an advanced driving qualification.
aircanman

Joking aside, I know many people say driving in the middle lane is a big … Joking aside, I know many people say driving in the middle lane is a big no no. I have come a cropper for this on here before. In all seriousness, you get on the motorway, and want to drive a comfortable 70 MPH, I can not do this in lane 1, because of slow drivers, lorries, caravans etc. So, in order for me to drive in lane 1, I would need to be pulling out and pulling in pretty much every 30 seconds, which I feel is very dangerous, it is what causes many accidents, because you never know someone who is speeding can speed up fast behind you or you miss them in the blind spot. In lane 2, I can drive between 70-80 MPH fine, I rarely need to overtake people, and people rarely need to overtake me. If there is an idiot driving at 100MPH as far as I am concerned, if there is an empty lane 3 then let them overtake me. I would never hold up traffic, or drive aggressively as some have said, I have made the decision as a responsible driver that it is safer for me to be in lane 2 most of the time. I don't really care if people say its wrong or hate it. I have many driving years under my belt and an advanced driving qualification.


Pass Plus doesn't count as an advanced driving qual.
aircanman

Well you never know do you? Rules aside, you think it is safer to drive … Well you never know do you? Rules aside, you think it is safer to drive in lane one at all times? I assume you drive at 56 Mph most of the time yes?

The only claims I made about lane one is that in traffic it is the smoothest flowing, and that you should stick to it when not overtaking. I have not advocated driving in it at all times, and I have acknowledged it is slower.

I'm not sure if you are misquoting me because you haven't read my post or because you are trying to distract attention again from the point about self-centredness - which you have failed to acknowledge or counter, which suggests either a lack of self-awareness or ability to admit you are wrong, or both.

Just to reiterate: if you sit in the middle lane unnecessarily when you are in traffic, you are driving provocatively and without consideration for other people.

This is selfish behaviour.
Ennui

The only claims I made about lane one is that in traffic it is the … The only claims I made about lane one is that in traffic it is the smoothest flowing, and that you should stick to it when not overtaking. I have not advocated driving in it at all times, and I have acknowledged it is slower.I'm not sure if you are misquoting me because you haven't read my post or because you are trying to distract attention again from the point about self-centredness - which you have failed to acknowledge or counter, which suggests either a lack of self-awareness or ability to admit you are wrong, or both.Just to reiterate: if you sit in the middle lane unnecessarily when you are in traffic, you are driving provocatively and without consideration for other people. This is selfish behaviour.



I never drive in it unnecessarily, if lane 1 is empty I will be there, if it isn't then I will move over to lane 2, and just for you I will clarify, I know what you are saying, I personally do not think it is aggressive or selfish because I am not putting a burden on anyone.
aircanman

I never drive in it unnecessarily, if lane 1 is empty I will be there, if … I never drive in it unnecessarily, if lane 1 is empty I will be there, if it isn't then I will move over to lane 2, and just for you I will clarify, I know what you are saying, I personally do not think it is aggressive or selfish because I am not putting a burden on anyone.

You seem to be saying you do not hog the middle lane as you originally implied. Fair enough, if somewhat confusing.

Those who do sit in the middle lane do place a burden on others. For their ease of driving they force other drivers to move across more lanes than necessary to overtake, and frustrate them as they approach and try and work out what they are doing; ie. if they have just made a temporary mistake and are about to move over, or are actually incompetent and selfish.
Ennui

You seem to be saying you do not hog the middle lane as you originally … You seem to be saying you do not hog the middle lane as you originally implied. Fair enough, if somewhat confusing.Those who do sit in the middle lane do place a burden on others. For their ease of driving they force other drivers to move across more lanes than necessary to overtake, and frustrate them as they approach and try and work out what they are doing; ie. if they have just made a temporary mistake and are about to move over, or are actually incompetent and selfish.



It's really quite simple. One should drive in the lane furthest left that allows travel at the speed desired. (within the speed limits of course). Those that use the middle lane regardless are in effect turning a 3 lane road into a 2 lane one as it is illegal to undertake. I agree that applying the 'keep left at all costs' rule needs to be applied sensibly and that darting in and out instead of 'long-overtaking' really isn't appropriate. I drive on motorways daily and the amount of people that sit in the middle lane when there is nothing in the left-hand lane makes me despair. What do they actually think the left-hand lane is for?
Hate middle-lane hogs! - There is no need for it - if your not overtaking / about to overtake another vehicle at speed your travelling MOVE OVER!

And as for someone making the argument for being in lane 1 and changing lanes being dangerous because of people approaching in their blind spot etc? I dont mean to sound mean but please learn how to drive, you should be checking your mirrors as a matter of course, not just when changing lanes, and therefore should be aware whats approaching... plus you can often check a blind spot in most cars too... motorcyclists call it doing your lifesavers!

Grrrrr... rant over lol
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