Cars in the next lane really do go faster

Since I bought myself a car about a year and a half ago I've spent an increasing amount of time in traffic jams. Sitting in a traffic jam is the perfect place for pondering the mysteries of the world. Such as why the other lane seems to move faster on average than the lane I'm in. This might seem like a logical fallacy but it is not. The time a driver spend in the slower lane is longer than that of a driver in the faster lane. This is simply because the slower lane is, well, slower.

So, this is roughly how my thoughts have been going every time I've been in a traffic jam. And I was very much delighted today when I read an article called Cars in the next lane really do go faster which confirms my theory albeit with a slightly different explanation. It turns out that this result belongs to the field of observation selection effects and which has all kinds of interesting applications. I'll be sure to learn more about this in the future.

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