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When someone consistently tailgates, it's most often....


Consistent tailgating is most often....  

56 members have voted

  1. 1. Consistent tailgating is most often....

    • .. aggressive?
      168
    • .. clueless?
      55
    • .. other?
      27


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ETA: Update in message 81

 

 

... aggressive or clueless? Poll to follow.

I drove half an hour to work today along a narrow, winding country road. I drove at 50mph in the 60mph zone (because of the nature of the road) and 30mph in the 30mph zones (as we went through villages). In both zones, the car behind was close enough that I could see the driver's expression, which was.... blank.

I know that tailgating can happen through inattention, but this was so consistent. Is it necessarily aggressive? Or is it possible that he really didn't understand/care what would happen if I had to brake suddenly? The driver was mature - in his forties perhaps?

ETA: On this road, everyone drives at 50mph. You couldn't take the corners if you went at 60. You can't pull over because, for almost the whole length, the lane is so narrow that there is no space at the side to park. If you stopped, everyone else would be stuck behind you, unable to pass. The only way to get off the road is to turn into a farm track. To get out of the farm track, you would then need to reverse back onto the road - not safe.

Laura

Edited by Laura Corin
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It could be any of those things, but I put OTHER because I've noticed this trait among people who learned to drive in a major city. If they ou t to three to leave following distance, 12 cars will fill that space and they'll never move.

 

 

 

 

So I'm told :glare:

 

In the OPs situation, the person might have been trying to give HER a clue that she was driving 10 MILES UNDER the speed limit.

Edited by KungFuPanda
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My SIL tailgates all the time. It drives me crazy. She's not impatient. She's not angry. She's just clueless and has gotten so accustomed to driving too close that it doesn't seem too close from her perspective. If I ride with her, I have to ask her to back off (which she'll gladly do), but she just doesn't think about it.

 

In other words, sometimes the driver is aggressive or impatient, and sometimes they just don't recognize that it's a problem.

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My father-in-law does this every time he is behind the wheel.

I can double dog assure you that in his case it is absolutely aggression.

Like there is some pent up rage that always surfaces against anyone

who has the gall to be ahead of him on the road, every other driver on

road is an idiot except him, complete with cursing, hand gestures, horn

blowing, etc. Once when we were all in the car with him, he would have

to continually slam on his brakes as a result of tailgating, and each time

things from the back woukd slide forward and slam into the back of our

seat, oh but god forbid you mention that, just let it go...

Here's the part I could not let go - then he quite literally almost killed

dh and oldest dd by turning into the path of an oncoming car that had

the right of way and was going about 60 mph. Guess what he did after we

survived this? He cursed a blue streak up and down against the other driver!

When we quite ferociously called him on it, he cursed us out! Needless to

say I will never be in a car with him driving ever again.

Yes this is quite a sore spot with me.....:glare:

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Any if the above, depending on the day.

 

I cannot tolerate tailgating. At all. It is truly the one way to make me lose my cool, utterly and completely. It is one of the very few ways to incite me to threaten you with physical violence. It is so stupid and so dangerous, and I don't care what your reason is--I hold it the equivalent of pointing a deadly weopon at me and my family/child, if they are with me.

 

One if my worst tailgating experiences happened in a horrible surprise snowstorm. I was trying to get home from work, and it was very slow going. I couldn't see the lines of the road or the shoulder/edge if the road at all. It was dark and the road home is a winding country road. The entire way to the end someone rode my bumper so close I couldn't see their headlights. I couldn't pull over because I couldn't tell where the road edge was. I was terrified, and lost (though luckily regained) control of the car several times. When I got to the end if the road, where i had to stop (and thankfully it was flat and at that point met up with a road that had seen a plow), I put the car in park, rolled down my window, and proceeded to half climb out of my car while waving the happy sign and screaming I was going to call the police (among other things).

 

The person behind me? A POLICE OFFICER. I was livid. I still can't wrap my brain around it. He never put his lights on; he wasn't trying to get by me. It still upsets me. I'm glad I told him, in many choice words, that I though he was a piece of scum for threatening my life. He didn't even get out of his car or act like he cared. I tried to get identifying information so I could report him, but given the weather I couldn't really get out of my car safely. I have several family members and friends who are/have been police officers, and none of them understood it, either.

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I find I tailgate a lot but it is an act of cluelessness, not meanness. Never trying to be mean on the road. When I notice the car going even slower in front of me, then I catch myself tailgating and reluctantly slow down even more while waiting to be able to pass. I will say that when I do get tailgated myself then I mostly find it very creepy and always get a bit scared but that is perhaps due to a racist experience I once had which has stuck. I always get out of the way if tailgated (either by speeding up or changing lanes).

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In the OPs situation, the person might have been trying to give HER a clue that she was driving 10 MILES UNDER the speed limit.

 

That's the general speed limit for all single-lane roads in the UK. The driver needs to take into account the state of the road (winding road, lots of farm gates, etc.) in choosing what speed to travel at. I could have accelerated on the straights, but then would have found myself close behind other drivers also travelling at 50. He was also tailgating me when I was travelling at the speed limit through villages.

 

Laura

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My dh tailgates and half of the time it's due to total cluelessness BUT when someone is tailgaiting him, he always assumes that person is being aggressive. :001_huh:

 

I think we are married to the same man. He's always complaining about the car behind him tailgating us, and meanwhile I'm saying "aren't you awfully close to the car in front of us?"

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When we first moved here and the boys started going to a primary school six miles away there was someone who used to do this to me every morning. Again, it was a winding country road, so I began to find somewhere each morning where I could pull over and let them pass, giving them the benefit of the doubt and imagining that they had to get to work after dropping their children off at school. Anyway, I eventually got to know this person, another mum, who eventually became a good friend. She had no job to go to. After dropping her two boys at school and nursery she simply went home to an empty house. Nor was she at all aggressive (maybe a bit competitive, but really very sweet). I still don't understand her behaviour, I'm guessing she just enjoys driving fast :tongue_smilie:.

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I vote aggressive. My most memorable recent tailgating: I was driving 55 on a two-lane rural 45 (yeah, yeah, I know) and TWO vehicles behind me were riding my bumper. They couldn't wait till we got through the no-passing zone so they could fly by me. :glare:

 

My brother commutes on the freeway every day, and says that most cars that tailgate him are driven by women, and that the women are aggressive rather than inattentive.

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But didn't she say the conditions warranted a lower speed? It's called a speed LIMIT not a mandatory speed. And it's the speed for the most ideal circumstances.

 

Exactly! This reminds me of a young girl telling Mom and I her sob story about her accident she'd been in a few day before. It was winter. I don't even remember where we were - like maybe the optometrist office waiting room or something like that. Anyway she went on and on and oooooon about the "stupid cop" who gave her a ticket, the "stupid city" for not clearing the road fast enough after a snowstorm, and the "stupid driver" in front of her who had the gall to actually come a full stop at the stop sign. See, it clearly wasn't her fault, she was going to speed limit, blah, blah, blah.

 

Her ticket: Driving too fast for road conditions.

 

:confused: We were quick to point out that it was in fact the Upper Limit at which you could travel, not the speed you HAD to travel...on icy streets...an hour after a snowstorm has passed by. She could not get it through her head that she was in any way at fault and argued back every time we tried to explain to her what limit meant.

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I do so for lack of paying more attention so clueless I suppose. When I notice it I back off but it is never because I am in a rush. The person in front simply defines the traveling speed and I get to a natural space that is too close.

 

Now DH is totally clueless that he does it and then gets livid at people who do it to him. Pointing this out doesn't alleviate the frustration.

 

Now there is aggressive tailgating too but I don't find it too often but that is the person on my tail and shifting side to side so I know they are there. Then there are others that just follow too close and I assume they are like me.

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IMO, if you want to drive 10 mph under the speed limit, you should also pull over to let others pass.

 

On this road, everyone drives at 50mph. You couldn't take the corners if you went at 60. You can't pull over because, for almost the whole length, the lane is so narrow that there is no space at the side to park. If you stopped, everyone else would be stuck behind you, unable to pass. The only way to get off the road is to turn into a farm track. To get out of the farm track, you would then need to reverse back onto the road - not safe.

 

I should have realised that when a Brit said 'narrow winding road' that image would not be obvious to people from other places. Sorry.

 

Laura

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... aggressive or clueless? Poll to follow.

 

I drove half an hour to work today along a winding country road. I drove at 50mph in the 60mph zone (because of the nature of the road) and 30mph in the 30mph zones (as we went through villages). In both zones, the car behind was close enough that I could see the driver's expression, which was.... blank.

 

I know that tailgating can happen through inattention, but this was so consistent. Is it necessarily aggressive? Or is it possible that he really didn't understand/care what would happen if I had to brake suddenly? The driver was mature - in his forties perhaps?

 

Laura

 

Tailgaters should be arrested. Period. They cause the majority of the accidents. Every time you hear about a 10 car pile up, it is because they were traveling TOO CLOSE, and half the time, on their phones, so their attention was distracted as well. I can hardly stand to get on the highway.

 

I keep as much space around me as possible. I drive the speed limit and am routinely passed as if I were parked by idiots driving 90 mph and barreling close to other cars before intimidating others enough to get them to move out of the way.

 

I tell my kids that if you have to brake on the highway, you are driving too close (absent an accident or something that stops all traffic in front of you). Braking = tailgating=epic fail.

 

Ask me how I really feel...:tongue_smilie:

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Exactly! This reminds me of a young girl telling Mom and I her sob story about her accident she'd been in a few day before. It was winter. I don't even remember where we were - like maybe the optometrist office waiting room or something like that. Anyway she went on and on and oooooon about the "stupid cop" who gave her a ticket, the "stupid city" for not clearing the road fast enough after a snowstorm, and the "stupid driver" in front of her who had the gall to actually come a full stop at the stop sign. See, it clearly wasn't her fault, she was going to speed limit, blah, blah, blah.

 

Her ticket: Driving too fast for road conditions.

 

:confused: We were quick to point out that it was in fact the Upper Limit at which you could travel, not the speed you HAD to travel...on icy streets...an hour after a snowstorm has passed by. She could not get it through her head that she was in any way at fault and argued back every time we tried to explain to her what limit meant.

 

Boy, I bet she tried that on the judge too. I'd have loved to be a fly on the wall of THAT courtroom.

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:confused: We were quick to point out that it was in fact the Upper Limit at which you could travel, not the speed you HAD to travel...on icy streets...an hour after a snowstorm has passed by. She could not get it through her head that she was in any way at fault and argued back every time we tried to explain to her what limit meant.

 

That's another of my pet peeves. SLow the heck DOWN if it is wet or icy, people. You cannot drive at breakneck speed on ice. We will all get there sooner if you slow down! Arrrgh. I pass these guys in a ditch routinely when it is icy. They just couldn't drive the right speed for the conditions; they had to go full speed. So you see their cars spun off into a ditch. Happens every winter.

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I positively, absolutely detest tailgating. Drives me BONKERS.

 

But I believe it's cluelessness. I have a friend who tailgates and she doesn't even know she's doing it. I'll say, "You're too close!" "What? No, I'm not!"

 

She doesn't even know.

 

I pull over and let the person go past. I do not make a big deal of this. I pop on the turn signal, pull gently to the side and let them go. It's better than them smashing into me.

 

One time, I was with someone being tailgated and I said, "Pull over and let her go by." But my friend was soooo irritated, that he slammed on the brakes and yanked the wheel over. When we caught up to her at a red light, she got out and said, "My baby is in the car! You almost made me crash into you! You jerk!"

 

He said, "That's the point! When you tailgate, you risk slamming into people!"

 

Well, they were both being "jerks" and neither one could see the other's point of view. She should not have tailgated and he should not have slammed on the brakes.

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I hate tailgaters, with a fiery passion. My Dad taught me how to "break check" tailgaters. Mom hates it : D

 

I do that too. sometimes they'll back off a bit, I've had a couple put their brights on. Didn't matter really, I couldn't see their headlights anyway. :)

 

I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Twice I was called because my mom was not answering her phone. One time she had fallen and broken her hip. The other time she was passed out and near death (body temp was 93).

 

And I have one friend whose daughter was having seizures and the EMT dilly dallied (according to her DH) too much. By the time they got to the ER the seizures were done. So twice, he drove them to the hospital. Passing every car and running every light. The ER got to see her seizures and were able to move forward with treatment.

 

I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. But some people are just jerks.

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Brake checking just means there are two people doing dangerous and illegal actions that could cause an accident, instead of one.

 

For me, break checking is just tapping the brakes enough that the lights blink. I do NOT slow down. It's actually no different then a two footed driver with their foot constantly on the brake.

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Garga: I positively, absolutely detest tailgating. Drives me BONKERS.

 

But I believe it's cluelessness. I have a friend who tailgates and she doesn't even know she's doing it. I'll say, "You're too close!" "What? No, I'm not!"

 

She doesn't even know.

 

Yay - I'm not alone! Don't they teach kids the "3 second rule" any more??? If you are less than 3 seconds of travel time (counting slowly, as in 1, one thousand, 2, one thousand etc) behind the car in front of you as indicated by when he passes a marker beside the road and when you do, you are TOO DARN CLOSE!

 

This is one of the first things I ever learned when learning to drive oh, 37 years ago or something like that. Goodness. I wish I could pass drivers on driving tests or deny them. The roads would be a lot more empty.

 

I pull over and let the person go past. I do not make a big deal of this. I pop on the turn signal, pull gently to the side and let them go. It's better than them smashing into me.

 

Yes, Ma'am. I have to do this a lot.

 

One time, I was with someone being tailgated and I said, "Pull over and let her go by." But my friend was soooo irritated, that he slammed on the brakes and yanked the wheel over. When we caught up to her at a red light, she got out and said, "My baby is in the car! You almost made me crash into you! You jerk!"

 

He said, "That's the point! When you tailgate, you risk slamming into people!"

 

Well, they were both being "jerks" and neither one could see the other's point of view. She should not have tailgated and he should not have slammed on the brakes.

 

True. But I've been known to drive much more slowly when being tailgated. At least if the person hits me, the impact won't be as great. Of course they cuss me out, give me the one-finger salute, and all that.

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I am tail gated constantly.

 

The speed limit through the next town is 25 mph. I do around 28-29 mph. The police are out 100% of the time giving out tickets. I have no intention of getting a ticket.

 

There is backroad (2 lane, long and windy) that I take through my town. I am tailgated on it 99.9% of the time. Its not going to make me go any quicker and its going to take you longer to get to your destination when you hit me and we have to call the police.

 

The road ends at a stoplight (one lane to go straight and a turning lane). I can't tell you how many times I have been tempted to get out and have a conversation with the person in the tailgating car. I think their is something seriously wrong with them. And they even have kids in the car!

 

I was tailgated and hit while driving my car down the road one time. Just going home, doing the speed limit, minding my own business. The moron behind me drove into me and the idiot behind him drove into him.

 

What is wrong with people?

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I think it has a lot to do with personal space and some people need a lot more than others. I grew up in the city, and either you drive close together or you have a parking lot and nobody moves. Now I live in an area where people rant against tail gating...and they also line up in the left lane for miles because they are going to turn seven miles down the road and they might not be able to merge (there aren't 12 car lengths between cars and anything less than that they can't possibly squeeze in) so one person drives 49 in the left lane and the other drives 48.5 (speed limit is 55, of course). I swore when I moved there that people around here really were afraid of actually arriving at where they were going therefore they put it off as long as possible by driving 28 in a 35 with 7 car lengths between cars so we have to wait through 4 lights instead of just one.

 

Back where I came from you have 5 lanes in each direction on the interstate and everyone is going 70 even though the speed limit is 55 and if you leave more than 1.5 car lengths between you and the next person, someone squeezes in. When you're accustomed to driving that way, you drive differently. I would not want any of the locals around her to drive like that because, quite frankly, they do not having the driving skills to do it. If they drove behind me like that, you right - it would be VERY dangerous. If Jeff Gordon drove like that behind me, I wouldn't consider it dangerous, especially if it was a road he was familiar with (NASCAR drivers go 200 mph with inches between bumpers).

 

It's like driving on ice - you do it enough, you learn what the hazards are and you become comfortable with what you can do and what you can't do and you drive accordingly. People who drive curvy roads all the time drive much faster on them than people who drive straight roads all the time. I now live in Nebraska and every time I drive curvy roads in Kentucky, someone flies up behind me and rides my bumper because I am not going as fast as they feel comfortable driving on that particular road (which they probably drive every day). I don't get mad at them and have a meltdown over it and rant about how they are endangering my life.

 

So is it ignorance? Yes - both on the part of the person tailgating AND on the part of the person being tailgated. Politeness is a two-way street.

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... aggressive or clueless? Poll to follow.

 

I drove half an hour to work today along a narrow, winding country road. I drove at 50mph in the 60mph zone (because of the nature of the road) and 30mph in the 30mph zones (as we went through villages). In both zones, the car behind was close enough that I could see the driver's expression, which was.... blank.

 

I know that tailgating can happen through inattention, but this was so consistent. Is it necessarily aggressive? Or is it possible that he really didn't understand/care what would happen if I had to brake suddenly? The driver was mature - in his forties perhaps?

 

 

Laura

 

In these situations I slow down enough to make the distance safe. This makes most drivers suddenly "see" what they are doing.

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I live on a state highway that is a 50mph zone except through the small towns. I have to travel 10-15 miles in either direction to get anywhere. I have 4 kids that need to be places at different times, plus homeschooling, my own schooling, and myriad other responsibilities. I want to get where I'm going so that I can use my limited time for more important things than sitting in a car. It drives me bonkers to get stuck behind an inconsiderate jerk (yes, that is my opinion) who obviously has no-place to be because they are traveling 35 or 40 in the 50 zones. And the state took out 5 passing zones around my house in the last 5 years. :glare:

 

I am a safe driver. I have not caused an accident in the 25 years I've had a license. In fact, I've only ever been in one accident in which I was a driver, when a highway department truck broadsided me when I was 16 years old. This has nothing to do with safety, and everything to do with consideration for other people on the road.

 

People going too slow are just as bad as people going too fast - this article is about a report which says they should be ticketed.

 

Now maybe the OP was going a safe speed for the road she was traveling, but I still think she should pull over and let the tailgater go by. My son's drivers' education book says so in Chapter 2, which I read last night to preview his assignment. I know that it also used to be the law in CA.

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Like if I were impatient waiting in line at the grocery store, would I get right up behind someone giving them no more than an inch to move? Heck no. They'd turn around and bop me one or look at me like I had ten heads. But people get in their cars and they don't see it that way.

 

 

I wish you shopped at my local stores. I would love more people behind me in line that are like you. :) People here have no problems with standing behind you so close that they are breathing on the back of your neck, ramming the backs of your ankles with their shopping carts, and sighing and muttering under their breath about how long the line is taking. :glare: I really really hate that, but other than doing a turn around glare and saying, "You just hit me with your cart can you please back up some!" I ignore them.

Edited by Ibbygirl
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But didn't she say the conditions warranted a lower speed? It's called a speed LIMIT not a mandatory speed. And it's the speed for the most ideal circumstances.

 

That's geezer talk!

 

On this road, everyone drives at 50mph. You couldn't take the corners if you went at 60. You can't pull over because, for almost the whole length, the lane is so narrow that there is no space at the side to park. If you stopped, everyone else would be stuck behind you, unable to pass. The only way to get off the road is to turn into a farm track. To get out of the farm track, you would then need to reverse back onto the road - not safe.

 

I should have realised that when a Brit said 'narrow winding road' that image would not be obvious to people from other places. Sorry.

 

Laura

 

Actually, I'm from Southern West Virginia. Roads are narrow, (often with no line in the middle), winding, full of hair-pin turns, carved into a hillside with no shoulder, and often in poor repair. However, there is no generic speed limit. Reasonable speed limits are posted and signs for reduced speed are placed before dangerous curves. If the sign says 10 mph on a curve, you believe it. It never occurred to me that a minimum posted speed could possibly be too fast for ideal road conditions.

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Clueless, for the most part, I think. I usually slow down or tap my brakes to give them a clue.

 

I've driven those roads where you live--very narrow and lots of blind curves. Certainly nowhere I would have driven 60mph. My friend's 21yo dd who lives near there rides her bike or walks the 4-5 miles from Uni to their house. Freaks me out to think about it.

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W

Now maybe the OP was going a safe speed for the road she was traveling, but I still think she should pull over and let the tailgater go by. My son's drivers' education book says so in Chapter 2, which I read last night to preview his assignment. I know that it also used to be the law in CA.

 

What does the book say about situations where there is nowhere to pull over, as was the case in the OP's situation? It probably says not to tailgate, no?

 

Rosie

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I think it has a lot to do with personal space and some people need a lot more than others.

 

No, it has to do with the law, not anyone's perspective or opinion.

 

So is it ignorance? Yes - both on the part of the person tailgating AND on the part of the person being tailgated. Politeness is a two-way street.

 

 

People being tailgated for driving the speed limit are ignorant? :glare:

 

No one has any business driving like a NASCAR driver on the highways. Not even Jeff Gordon. They're community property. I have a right to feel safe on the highway and if you need to speed, you are making your time management problem into a danger for everyone else. Pure and simple.

 

I don't care how comfortable someone feels driving fast or following too close. Intimidating other drivers is aggressive driving which is a ticket-able offense.

 

Oh, and it never ever causes the driver ahead to speed up. Never.

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