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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Common Sense 101: Tailgating

Look, I get it. I do. Impatient is my middle name -- or would be, if my parents had had the chance to get to know me ahead of time. When the driver ahead of you is moving too slow, it's natural to want to noodge them into speeding up by pressing on their automotive space bubble. BUT . . . you really know better. You do. Don't you?

Well, just in case you don't:

(a) Tailgating Is Dangerous. Your vehicle looming in my rear view mirror distracts me. When you distract me, I'm less likely to react in time when something changes up ahead. And maybe I crash into the deer or bicyclist or car or toddler, and then you crash into me.

Not good enough? Well, try this one:

(b) Tailgating Is Counterproductive (at least, when you tailgate a careful driver). When I see you driving up close to my rear, I don't speed up. I slow down. And I'm not doing it to frustrate you -- at least, not primarily. The less room I have behind me, the more room I'll need in front of me. If I see an obstacle up ahead, and I slam on the brakes with you right behind me, you'll slam into me. The slower I'm moving, the more time I have to brake gradually before I reach the obstacle.

And if I slow down, you'll have to slow down. (Or pass me. PLEASE. But you could've done that without tailgating me first.)

So take a deep breath, and BACK OFF.

3 comments:

Roger Lawrence said...

Tailgating isn't so much of a problem in London since we never get to drive above 0.5 mph.

Donna Yates said...

I'm with ya on this one. I slow down too for the same reason. I also learned to pump the brakes quickly a couple of times. That works sometimes, unless that driver is just blind to the road.

IceHole in Charge said...

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