I-75 is a major part of a lot of peoples' commute to UF from home. Just in the past week alone, I drove down from Gainesville to Orlando for a job interview, drove back less than 24 hours later, then drove to Tampa for the weekend only to come back (again) not long after I had arrived. Needless to say, I'm pretty familiar with I-75. I'm also pretty familiar with the types of drivers that frequent that road, as are a lot of us.
One thing a lot of people on the road seem to fail to understand is the proper usage of the left lane. This has been a HUGE gripe of mine ever since I got my license in 2010. The United States Uniform Vehicle Code specifies that "upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic."
Some people seem to think that as long as they are going the speed limit, the left lane is a good place for them to drive. But the wording in the above excerpt is pretty clear; it refers to the speed and conditions of traffic at the time and place. If a red pickup truck is cruising along at the posted speed limit of 70 mph, but the majority of cars around him are going 80 mph, than 80 mph is the normal speed of traffic at the time and place that the Vehicle Code refers to. Therefore, the red pickup truck has no business being in the left lane.
The left lane isn't about going a certain speed. It's not about keeping up with traffic. It's about passing. Never have I driven on I-75 without encountering at least one person who doesn't grasp this concept. Even worse, there seem to be a lot of drivers who get offended when a car is signaling they get out of the way. A flash of your brights or light tap of the horn is a universal signal for "Move faster or get out of the way." I remember being taught to do that in driving classes I took back when I was 15. In a perfect world, using one of these signals would yield perfect results, but it doesn't. All too often, a flash of the brights is met with a tap on the brakes or even an obnoxious slow-down by the car ahead. Something to keep in mind: if you're being tailed or flashed at in the left lane, don't try to be cute and brake or flip a finger (you're not scaring anyone); just move over and let the faster drivers do their thing.
This is not just a personal gripe of mine; in Florida it is the law that slower traffic keep right and all traffic yield the left lane to faster traffic approaching from behind. Nearly every state has some sort of law regarding the usage of the left lane. If you are going slower than a car behind you in the left lane, no matter how much of a jerk the faster person is being, you are in the wrong.
I feel like this information shouldn't have to be passed on, but the traffic patterns on I-75 (and other roads all over the country for that matter) seem to suggest otherwise. Just remember, not only is switching out of the left lane for faster traffic the courteous thing to do, it's also the law. Think of how much traffic congestion could be prevented if we all left the left lane open exclusively for faster traffic. How many times have you been slowed down due to a car that just can't pass the truck in the adjacent lane? Just using the road correctly could save a ton of headaches on a drive that a lot of us make pretty often.