The cure for Middle Lane Moron Syndrome?
Here I have explained to the unknowing what MLMS is, gone through the logic of why MLMS makes you believe sitting in the middle lane is acceptable and put forward some different ideas for a cure to MLMS.
What is MLMS?
Middle lane Moron Syndrome is not exclusively for the middle lane drivers but is where a driver feels that when driving on a road with more than one lane it is acceptable for them to use a lane other than the left hand lane (when driving in the UK) to sit in when they are not overtaking another vehicle. Contrary to some arguments from people who fear they are wrongly diagnosed with MLMS it is irrelevant of the speed travelled, the time of day, the size of your car, the fact you are driving a car or the driver’s confidence on the road.
What does MLMS make you believe?
Most people that suffer with MLMS have the belief that the inside lane is for lorries and other goods vehicles, that they are going their speed of ‘70’ MPH and so no-one should be over taking them. Other sufferers have claimed that it is unsafe to change lanes or just think that because they are leaving a lane to their right that it is acceptable to drive like this.
Why is MLMS such a serious problem?
If you are asking this question you may need to seek advice as you may already suffer from MLMS. Have you ever travelled down the motorway and got frustrated at the lorry in the middle lane that is overtaking another lorry? That is what people with MLMS cause to other drivers. Drivers are constantly forced to queue in the outside lane when the inside lane is free because someone is suffering from MLMS, some drivers are even encouraged to undertake drivers with MLMS. Then there are the people with trailers or even in some cases lorries who want to go faster but they cant because someone with MLMS is on the road and they are forced to undertake or sit behind them causing traffic to build up in the outside lane.
“But I am travelling down an empty road in the middle lane, there are no other cars near me, why is that so bad?”
1. Because the Highway Code states “264. You should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear. If you are overtaking a number of slower-moving vehicles, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely past. Slow-moving or speed-restricted vehicles should always remain in the left-hand lane of the carriageway unless overtaking.”
2. Other drivers see you and think this is acceptable, it encourages other people to do it and when you start to meet other cars on the road again you may have got stuck into the auto pilot and forget to move over.
3. Because the driver that is coming up behind you in the inside lane should change lane to the middle lane, wait, then change into the outside lane, wait, change into the middle lane (after passing you), wait, then change back into the inside lane.
“The people who get annoyed about this are the people who get angry at drivers who are ‘only’ doing the max speed limit.”
This is completely wrong. Personally I am happy for drivers to go whatever speed they want, in fact I don’t even mind the lorries that are overtaking each other. The lorries, just like the rest of us, are in a rush and don’t want to be stuck behind the other driver. As long as they turn back in once they have finished (which they do most of the time). Its the inconsiderate drivers who don’t turn in that annoy me!
“But if I change lanes I will get stuck and it’s dangerous to be swerving in and out of lanes”
Firstly let’s say there are no cars in front of you except in the distance there is a lorry in the left lane. If you are not going to catch up with that lorry in the next 10 seconds you should consider changing lanes, if it will take longer than 30 seconds you should be already checking your mirrors and signalling. “But there are cars behind me” you say. This is even more reason to move over! They will either go past you or if they are suffering from MLMS they will sit, like an idiot, in your blind spot. If they do the latter then when approaching the lorry indicate early, give the idiot lots of notice, if he isn’t going to let you out by changing lanes (he obviously wants to go faster than you) then accelerate to create the space, remember to give yourself space to do this, then change lanes. If this does not work chances are the driver is not an idiot but a full blown *insert offensive word* and you will have to slow down to let them past, remember to leave a big gap between you and the lorry and you should still be indicating. Then you should be able to accelerate and pull into a gap when available. Remember its the idiot that sat in your blind spot that is at fault, you should continue to lead by example and not to drive like them!
OK so now lets say you are sat behind someone who is in the middle lane in the same situation, but they aren’t moving. Firstly ask yourself, why are you sat behind them? Are they going the exact speed you want to go? If you want to go faster then overtake them (even if you only want to go 5 miles an hour faster) if someone else wants to go faster than you it is the driver with MLMS that is at fault and the idiot that has just come up behind you flashing their lights and pushing your bumper probably suffers from MLMS too as he (I’ve never seen a woman do it) will very rarely change lanes either. But if you are happy with the speed you are travelling then change into the left lane. If you have cars behind you refer to the first part of this question.
“But I don’t feel safe changing lanes on the motorway”
Then either don’t drive on the motorway or stay on the inside lane and don’t change lanes! Simples!
There have been many suggested cures for MLMS but will they work?
Some people say that education is the way forward but unfortunately some people can’t be taught, even drawing people a picture doesn’t work. (If you need evidence of this even go to your nearest roundabout and see how many people can’t work out what lane to get into). Others say there should be stricter laws, points on licence, licences revoked or fines. Personally I would like to put this idea out there, I make this suggestion on the basis that people that have MLMS are suffering a great deal, they find it hard to get behind the wheel of a car that they are forced to drive. They are forced onto a road that scares them so much they sit petrified behind the wheel of the car unable to move left or right. These people are suffering gravely and need your help, lets work together, let’s put these people out of their misery, let’s legalise euthanasia.