1. MainerMikeBrown
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    MainerMikeBrown Contributing Member

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    Tailgaters Should Know Better

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by MainerMikeBrown, Jan 7, 2015.

    I hate it when I'm driving my vehicle down a road just minding my own business, and someone suddenly comes up behind me and starts tailgating me.

    If someone tailgates me for ten or fifteen seconds and then backs off, than I don't get mad at that. We all make mistakes, after all.

    However, if someone tailgates me and never backs off, then I get angry.

    Not only is it an invasion of my space on the road...it's also dangerous. I mean what if I had to stop suddenly because of something coming out in front of me?

    Tailgaters should know this already. They need to back off.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It's not worth pissing an aggressive driver off, you never know who has a gun. I usually change lanes out of their way but do it very slowly so it doesn't look like I'm doing it on purpose.
     
  3. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, it's only dangerous, I think. The idea of it being "an invasion of your space on the road" doesn't make any sense, except in so far as the proximity is dangerous.

    And, yes, it's annoying, and dangerous. Tailgaters should stop.
     
  4. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I've noticed, in the last few years, an increasing incidence of the following (usually on the freeway): I'm proceeding at the speed I consider proper (usually 5 over the speed limit), when another driver overtakes me at what has to be a speed greater than mine. When he arrives at a point two or three car lengths from my rear bumper, he slows to my speed and stays there as long as I let him. Very annoying.

    My solution to this lapse in traffic manners is to press on the brake pedal until the brake lights come on without slowing my car. Most of these idiots get the message and pull into the left lane and pass, which they should have done in the first place. Depending on my mood, they may also receive the middle finger salute.

    It is indeed an 'invasion of my space on the road', exactly the same as someone who stands too close to me, invading my personal space, only with the addition of an actual aspect of danger.
     
  5. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    So you guys think you have, like, a bubble of space around your car that belongs to you?

    And your bubble coincides with the safe following distance on highways. So when you're in city traffic and there are, like, seven cars within your bubble of personal space, does it piss you off?
     
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  6. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's a safe distance to follow someone, though it varies between city and rural, and how many lanes there are. I don't put on my brakes at all - I just let off the gas until they back off, then go back to normal speed. If they get on my tail again, I let off the gas again. I can do that because I give myself plenty of time to get where I'm going. So far, it only takes that second slow down and they either back off for good or pass me. I will add that I'm pretty generous about how close I let people get, and how long I give them to either pass or back off before I do anything.

    What I really can't understand is why people will tailgate, but, when the road becomes wide open, still won't pass!
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    My guess is that they don't perceive it as tailgating, but they instead just have a skewed idea of a safe following distance.
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Well let's just take that concept a little further.

    Is it OK for someone to actually touch your bumper with their car? How about 1 inch? 2?

    Where is your tolerance for not-PC to drive that close to the car in front?

    I suspect you are just drawing the line on the continuum in a different place.
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'm pretty sure there's more aggression involved than just a different perception of a safe following distance. We've all seen them, aggressive drivers that are clearly exhibiting anger using their vehicle.
     
  10. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Tailgater
     
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  11. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's sound advice. In case anyone needs an example to back up her advice: one time when I was younger and stupider, some guy was tailgating me on a one-lane road for miles; as I turned off onto another road and he passed me, I gave him an obscene gesture; he slammed on the brakes and started following me; and I had to lose him (it didn't feel as badass as they make it seem in the movies).
     
  12. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't worry about bad reactions too much - I figure I've got a few thousand pound weapon at my disposal :D
     
  13. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm with you on this tactic. My philosophy is: If you won't keep a safe distance behind me for the speed at which I'm travelling, then I'll slow down until the distance between us is safe for the speed at which we're travelling. I can't control the distance between us, but I can control the speed.

    I've actually heard the excuse (for rear-ending somebody) "You were following too close in front of me!"
     
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  14. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I have only been in two car accidents in my life. I was not the driver in either instance. Both times the car I was in rear-ended the car in front, because the driver was tailgating.

    In the first instance, I had actually mentioned to the driver that she was traveling too close behind the car ahead of us. She got mad at me for criticising her driving and refused to back off. About an hour later ...WHAM. Fortunately we were in city traffic at the time, and weren't traveling at any great speed. However, we totaled our car, and I injured my knee. She was ticketed, and wanted me to testify that she hadn't been tailgating. (!) I never said "I told you so." But I wouldn't lie to the cops either, and told them the truth. Friendship (such as it was) over.

    The second time was here in Scotland. Traffic was heavy and the weather was bad. However, when the taillights of the car ahead of us kept vanishing from view (I was in the back seat) I began to worry. I didn't say anything this time, but sure enough ...tailights ahead suddenly went VERY red, disappeared, and WHAM. Walked away from that accident as well.

    So ...tailgating causes accidents. The severity of the accident depends on how fast the traffic is going, and whether or not you get rear-ended in return. In both of my instances, the people traveling behind us were a safe distance away, so the accidents weren't as bad as they could have been.

    As a driver, I never tailgated, or allowed tailgating. I pulled over if possible to let the miscreant through (easier in Michigan where every road had a 'shoulder') slowed down so they could pass me if it was safe, or simply kept flashing my brake lights till they took the hint and backed off. I don't drive here in Scotland, and we don't own a car, so it's not something I do any more. But while I was driving nobody ever road-raged me (lucky me), but hey. No speed is worth the misery, incapacity, expense and death a road accident can cause.
     
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  15. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    When driving down from Stranraer in Scotland to London, I picked up an 18 wheeler tailgater. I was driving a crappy beat up Ford Fiesta. The trucker seemed to be clinging onto my tail lights because of low visibilty, and inky blackness. I slowed way down just to let him know he was pissing me off, but didn't take heed. All I could see from my rear-view was a grill bigger than my car. The lights were dazzling. This went on for half a hour and my nerves were shot, as the glare was making it hard to see the road ahead of me, so I pulled in at a roadside cafe to grab a coffee. I spent about 20 minutes letting the trucker get ahead, but within half a hour he was back on my tail, don't ask me how.

    Damn scary, dangerous, and utterly stupid given the road conditions.

    Luckily cops sitting on a bridge across the motorway must have realised the position I was in, and put the sirens on. I could just about see him getting a ticket as I lost sight of him. Idiots like that have no business driving large commercial vehicles.

    Once a driver behind encroaches beyond safe braking distance, I do consider it an invasion of my personal space, as much as someone standing up close threatening me with a baseball bat. To me it's like driving under the influence. There is no excuse.
     
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  16. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sounds like Duel
     
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  17. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Seriously? I mean, I've never been a fan of gun culture in the US, but you'd be afraid of getting shot on the road because you're not fast enough for some drivers? So much for the whole "guns keep us safer" o_O

    My husband tends to just keep at the same speed and wait for the person behind to overtake him, which they normally do.
     
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  18. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Felt like it too. :(
     
  19. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, in the city, like, in bad traffic or in parallel parking situations, people definitely get close enough to each others cars that a pedestrian can't easily pass between them. I think this is acceptable because the cars aren't moving, or at least aren't at high speed, so there's no component of danger to the proximity.

    I really don't think... if you're meaning "not-PC" to mean "not politically correct"? I really don't think it's an issue of political correctness! As I said, I think it's solely an issue of safety. The rule I learned was there should be at least two seconds of time between you and the car in front of you. If you're going very slowly, that's not much space. If you're going faster, it's a lot of space. Based on safety, not personal space.
     
  20. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    OK, but you didn't address the idea that it's the same thing as 'personal space' when not in a car. Having someone stand inches away from me in, say, a line at the coffee shop, makes me uncomfortable. I suspect it's the same for most people. It isn't unsafe, just creepy, and it makes me feel the same way when a thoughtless driver invades my space on the road.
     
  21. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    But do you think it's creepy when someone's car is really close to yours in a parking lot, or in downtown traffic?
     
  22. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    No, unless the closeness is unnecessary or intentional or deprives me access to my car doors, any more than I'm creeped out by the nearness of others in a full elevator. If you don't feel the 'space' thing on the road, that's fine, but since it appears everyone in the thread other than you does, it seems odd for you to repeatedly insist that the feeling doesn't exist.
     
  23. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I think everyone agrees to the safety-related discomfort. And obviously I can't know or change what other people feel. But the idea that there's some sort of 'right' to space on the road, independent of safety? That's more of a rational question, isn't it?
     
  24. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Yup. It just seems rational to me that the same 'right' exists on the road as exists off the road. YM(no pun intended)MV.
     
  25. Chinspinner
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    I can't help but slow down, sometimes to a crawl, and then I just amuse myself watching their anger in the rear view mirror.
     
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