Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tailgaters Drive Slower

General rule: zoom up behind me and tailgate when you could as easily have passed on the right and I'm slowing down no matter what lane we're in.

One of the streets on my way to work is a four lane road at 50MPH that drops to 40 and two lanes, from 2 to 1 lane for each direction.

Today I noticed I was being tailgated SUPER close by a newish white Exploder and slowed down (let off the gas) from 55ish to under 50. We were in the #1 lane but the #2 lane was wiiiide open if they just HAD to pass and speed to the next tailgating party. After a few hundred yards they went around to the #2 lane, passed the person in front of me, went back into the "fast" lane and went to tailgate the next car in front. I went back up to the speed limit.

The car three cars in front of them went to turn left, and there is no left turning lane. Traffic backs up. The #2 lane was clear so I moved over there and passed our friend in the Explorer and the rest of the watingforturner crew. Then I went back into the #1 lane. The Exploder driver had to wait until I went by to have a clear lane on their right, then they went into the #2 lane well behind me.

The street necked down to one lane and 40MPH. I slowed down to 40MPH and here's Explorer buddy tailgating again. Okay, so I let off the gas again and we're at 38MPH and sllooooowing to a stop sign. After I stop, I'm off again like a rocket as usual and Explorer buddy has to wait for a turn to go, so they're way behind me. 1/2 mile later, and there they are tailgating me again. So I let off the gas. Again.

Bear in mind, this is a two lane undivided road with limited visibility, with solid double yellow NO PASSING ZONE stripes for several miles. Passing is not safe to do here, so what did they do? They pulled out into the OPPOSING lane of traffic and tried to hit the gas. And here I am in the Hot Rod. You want to illegal-maneuver pass me? Fine, let's see how bad you want to pass me. 5th to 3rd gear, and I floor it.

As it turns out, they didn't want to pass me any more after about 70MPH headed for a bend in the road. So they fell back behind me again and I braked a little and coasted down to speed. And slower. Until a red light, and they turned a different direction, probably fuming but you know what?

IF they had backed up to +1 safe following distance, I'd have been happy to cruise along at +10% over the speed limit this whole time - but they had to risk my life, my car, their life, and their car, as well as everyone around us by following within a car length of my back bumper.

Tailgaters drive slower - so back up!

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