HOV Lanes: What You Need to Know

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in Defensive Driving Tips

As you are stuck in rush hour, wasting valuable time, cars to your left seem to be flying by. Yep, it’s that darn HOV lane. Those lucky carpoolers. You know, it doesn’t have to be this way. You could very well be a carpooler yourself and be the envy of every other single driver on the road. If you are considering this, then the HOV lanes are serving their purpose.

What exactly is the purpose of HOV lanes?

HOV lanes were created to give an incentive to drivers to carpool. When people carpool there is less traffic on the road. This means less emissions and cleaner air quality for all. However, most people that use the carpool lane are not thinking about the cleaner air they are contributing to; they are thinking about all the traffic they are avoiding. And they are probably saying, “Neiner, neiner” to you as they are driving by.

But not everyone in the carpool lane is really carpooling.

That is very true. Yes, the purpose of HOV lanes is to encourage people that would normally travel alone to make new friends so they can carpool. Some people don’t like to make new friends and some people enjoy their time alone. That is okay, but you have to face the traffic. Unfortunately, though, the only restriction is that you have to have two or more passengers in your car. That means that all those people that are simply out enjoying the day with their families can also take advantage of the carpool lane. And yes, even those parents that are simply driving around with their baby in the car can legally use the carpool lane. But hey, if you had a crying baby you wouldn’t want to sit in traffic either.

How can I take advantage of the carpool lane?

This answer is simple: Find someone to carpool with. If you don’t live near anyone in your office, you can always contact your local Department of Transportation for ridesharing opportunities. Or you could always trade in your car for a motorcycle, since they are allowed in HOV lanes as well. Whatever you decide to do, it is imperative that you always drive defensively and follow the law (which means staying out of the carpool lane if you are alone, as tempting as it may be). You can find out more about defensive driving atDefensiveDriving.com.

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