Making the case for lane discipline: you’re on the way home, cruising down the CTE, when you suddenly see cars cutting left, right and across four lanes.
It happens everywhere: at traffic lights, intersections, expressways and even small neighbourhood roads.
It appears, then, that lane discipline is in pretty short supply these days.
What is lane discipline?
Self-explanatory to all but some, lane discipline is just that: sticking to your lane and changing lanes only when necessary.
It basically means that if you’re in a lane, you should stick to it unless you need to overtake a slow-moving vehicle.
It means to also indicate early when you’re leaving the expressway, and to stick to the leftmost lane early, so that you don’t have to cut across four lanes at the very last minute.
No excuse is good enough to be weaving in and out of lanes like a rally driver.
It also involves maintaining a set speed, using your indicators and generally being courteous to other drivers.
What are some bad examples?
1. Changing lanes at red lights. We’re sure you’ve seen those drivers who change lanes at the last minute at red lights. That’s dangerous. Not only does it catch other drivers unawares, it makes for traffic jams at the lights as other motorists swerve to avoid the errant driver.
2. Cutting across four lanes. Something that can easily be avoided by keeping to the leftmost lane when you’re nearing your exit. With GPS devices giving you plenty of warning before the turnoff, use them to your advantage.
3. Changing lanes incessantly. Many times we’ve seen drivers cutting in and out of lanes. That’s bad lane discipline. An episode of the popular TV show Mythbusters showed that if you stayed in your lane, you’ll reach your destination the same time as someone who constantly cuts lanes. Even if you were slightly slower, you’ll arrive less harried.
4. Pootling along in the fast lane. Most expressways have a 90km/h speed limit, with some stretches at 80km/h. No matter what the speed is, keep to the middle lane unless you are overtaking or going at the limit, otherwise, you’ll hold up other motorists.
5. Changing lanes without indicating. This is arguably the easiest thing to adhere to on this list. When you’re changing lanes, take a moment to depress your indicator stalk to alert other motorists of your intentions. Not only is it safer, but they might give way to you too!