Ever found yourself behind a Sunday driver in the left lane, one that refuses to move to the middle or right lane, no matter what the speed limit actually is? If you’ve experienced this frustrating situation, you know there’s little that can actually be done since it seems police officers only seem to pull over the speed demons instead of the slowpokes. That, however, all changed over the weekend when Indiana State Police Officer Sgt. Stephen Wheeles tweeted about a vehicle stop.
It seems the left-lane driver was severely holding up traffic and was so stubborn about moving out of the lane that Officer Wheeles called in a left lane violation for the slower vehicle. Here’s what he had to say.
The tweet went viral and earned about 80,000 likes and counting which clearly shows that drivers across America, whether they live in Florida, Colorado, Ohio, or traverse I-65 regularly, respect the purpose of the fast lane for faster traffic. If you’re wondering why this is such a big deal and you aren’t bothered by a slow driver, let’s talk about the accordion effect and why it matters.
The Accordion Effect
In physics, the accordion effect happens on the road when vehicles accelerate and decelerate. When the vehicle in front of you decelerates and accelerates, you experience the accordion effect by trying to decelerate and accelerate to match the current traffic pace and the recent change in motion from the car in front of you. Over time, these changes in speed spread backwards and become larger as the line of traffic increases. This is exactly what Officer Wheeles cited when he tweeted about the traffic stop that became popular in top stories lists throughout the weekend.
Also, Officer Wheeles, we salute your career choice. With a last name like that, he was made to hit the road and protect our dear American fast lane.