Posted by Double M
If you drive in the fast lane on the interstate, you must drive at least five (5) miles per hour over the speed limit or the speed of the car behind you, whichever is faster.
I once wrote a post about interstate driving, but there are a few rules within that post that are important enough to merit their own post.
Here's the gist of it, if you are driving in the fast lane on the interstate, you must speed. The fast lane is actually built for passing slower cars, even if the "slow" cars are going the speed limit or slightly over. The fast lane is a very important part of maintaining traffic flow as it allows the more efficient drivers to leave the slower, plodding drivers moving at the pace they feel comfortable.
In situations where people don't speed in the fast lane (like construction zones where there is only one lane or times where people are just being derkas), you'll notice that the slow driver is almost always the bottleneck. If there is a bottleneck in the fast lane, all hell can break loose. Faster moving cars and semis get impatient and start swerving back and forth between lanes looking for an advantage or riding the ass of the car in front of them, both of which can lead to accidents which can cause real bottlenecks.
So, for starters, if you are going to get into the fast lane, you need to be willing to drive at least five mph over the posted speed limit. Even if no one is around you. As long as you follow this rule you will not mess up traffic flow, in general.
I'll allow you an exception if you are only driving a couple miles over the speed limit and if you are the only person in the fast lane and you are passing someone a slower driver in the right lane. This brings me to my second point: if you are in the fast lane, you need to drive as fast as the car behind you. You should never cause the bottleneck and this means that if there is someone else in the fast lane, you need to either go as fast as they are going or get out of their way, pronto.
There is nothing more annoying than driving seven over in the fast lane and then suddenly having to slow down to the speed limit because some jackass decided they wanted to pass an ultra-slow car but didn't pay attention to other traffic on the road. I know it sucks to be in the slow lane behind someone going five under, but if you aren't willing to go over the speed limit then you are going to make it equally suck for the person that is having to slow down for you.
If you are going to get into the fast lane, look into the fast lane (not just in your immediate vicinity) and see if someone in the fast lane is going to catch up to you while you're passing. If that is the case, wait or speed up so they don't have to slow down.