Having spent a large portion of the long weekend behind the wheel of a car, I am reminded of an old problem I have with American drivers. (I reflected on it in passing in this post.)
Left lane is for passing, not for cruising. I don’t care that your speed is marginally faster than that of the car to your right – if nobody is in front of you and you do not pass that car within seconds, then you have no business being in the faster lane. And if there are no cars to pass and you persist in staying in the left lane, then you’re a dick. Yes, I can break two laws at once – pass on the right while exceeding speed limit – to get around you, but you won’t be any less of a dick as a result of that.
Somehow, this never feels like a problem when driving in Europe. People exceed speed limits all the time, of course, so you might come up behind someone already going pretty fast in the fast lane. But if they see in the rear mirror that another car is gaining on them, they’d move to a slower lane as soon as they find an appropriate gap between vehicles. If they don’t, while no longer passing cars in slower lanes, a couple of headlight flashes will remind them of what is considered common courtesy on Euro roads, and they’ll comply.
Try flashing your headlights to a car that drives at around speed limit in the left lane on an American freeway. It will likely decrease speed and the driver will either completely ignore your hint or gesticulate his confusion at your apparent intrusion into his driving reverie. Finishing with a bird.
Man, I hate stupid drivers!