Chronic Lane Change does not speed up the commute

September 1st, 2016 by

Chronic Lane Change does not speed up the commute

Do you have to change lanes to get down the road? You may be wasting your time

If you are like the majority of Americans, the odds are that you commute to work. Even if this is not the case, the odds are very high that you own a vehicle and have to use it at some time to get down the road. And while there are days when you can go down the highways and country roads without a hindrance, many times the congestion of traffic stands in the way. It is during these times that change lanes to get down the road seems to be the best course of action to take, but is it really? Here are a few considerations which may have you thinking twice before changing lanes.

You really do not get to your destination faster

According to a report by ABC news, changing lanes does not get you to your destination quicker. The test was performed by the University of Toronto for commuters which had to spend about an hour to get to their commute. The facts showed that while the driver thinks that he or she is going faster. And while we may think that a certain lane is going faster than ours, the truth is that many of the perceptions we have about traffic are optical illusions. “The only way to really know how fast the lanes are moving it to stand on the side of the road (Tibshirani, co author of the study).”

Increased risk of a collision

There are three primary factors to consider when you change lanes. First, the driver has to calculate the speed of the lane in which they are trying to merge into. As this perception can be misjudged, the risk of impact from an oncoming vehicle is greater. This is especially true for drivers who are changing from a “standstill” lane to a lane with is quickly moving. Secondly, the driver must account for the blind spot of the vehicle. When changing lanes it is virtually impossible to keep an eye on all points of the car. There is a bit of leaping ahead blindly that occurs. The more you leap, the higher the risk is that you will miss something and have an accident. Thirdly, if you have to put on your breaks then all traffic behind you must do the same. This results in longer delays and lost time.

While the primary reasons for avoiding lane changing are for the driver, supportive reasoning would state that a great deal of the safety of the passenger and the driver depends upon incoming traffic and the responsiveness of those drives.


Let us face it, if you are changing lanes chronically, the odds are that you have a bit of a need for speed. For some, the adrenaline rush of getting through traffic at higher speeds can become addictive. “People want to go fast…Even if it means saving just two to three minutes during a trip, people want to go faster” (Adrian Lund, President of the IIHS). The danger is that when cars are operated at a higher speed, the driver has less time to react to obstacles and hazards, regardless of his or her reflexes. When combining speed with congested traffic (or any traffic for that matter), the driver has to look not only at the road and the obstacles there, but also judge the speed and hypothesize on the maneuvers of the vehicles around their car. And because speeding can be costly if a person gets caught and pulled over, the chances are that a person’s focus will not be on the road and the other drivers, but on the road and looking for law enforcement.

But a commute is so dull?

There are many ways in which you can safely liven up your commute. First, ensure that your vehicle is equipped with driver safety enhancement technology. This technology generally includes blind spot monitoring, lane departure warnings, front collision alert, back up camera, and such. This way if you must change lanes you can use the technology to assist you in getting into the lane safely. Keep in mind that you should not rely upon these systems as a primary driving tool as they are there to help in driving. Chronic lane changing will still pose an enhanced risk of an accident. If you have any questions about driver enhancement packages please contact Bill DeLord Cadillac Buick GMC. One of our professional team members will be more than happy to assist you. Secondly, have an infotainment system installed if your vehicle does not have one. The infotainment system will allow you to find alternate routes around the traffic via GPS application so that you do not have to worry about constantly changing lanes to get through traffic, you can just avoid it completely. Third, upgrade your radio and entertainment features of your car. If you can have relaxing music playing or can plug in your phone to a USB port then you are less likely to get restless waiting on getting down the road.

Remember, it may seem expedient to change lanes, but it is more important that you keep yourself safe and alive in your commute. Drive Safe.

Posted in Carpool with BIll