Why do people tailgate? I got rear ended---

User Forum Topic
Submitted by ninaprincess on June 29, 2012 - 7:02am

Why there are so many bad drivers out there? I would say at least 70% of drivers tailgate, driving only two to four car length behind a vehicle at 70 to 80 mph. I got rear ended last weekend and it is a big headache and waste of time. My car is a two week old Prius V and now it will cost about $2,000 to fix it. I was driving on the I5 N and the traffic in front of me slowed down because people were exiting the freeway for the Fair. I slowed down and then heard a really loud noise and before I could pray that I don't get hit I felt a hard jolt and my car was shoved forward about 3 three feet. Luckily I had more than a car length gap between me and the vehicle ahead. I am sure the girl who hits the car behind me is guilty of driving to close but the guy behind me is also guilty of not keeping an appropriate distance between us.

Ever since I took driver ed in HS, I always remember the two-second rule. If I could, I want to use the three-second rule but then I hate people cutting me off. Why don't people follow this simple two second rule? Tailgating doesn't not get you to your destination faster.

Submitted by spdrun on June 29, 2012 - 7:10am.

Wonder who was texting or yapping and not driving? Sorry for you -- this may help:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wMa_t5cBgY

And hey, in the future, maybe GoogleCars will follow at a respectable distance, though they'll come with problems of their own no doubt.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on June 29, 2012 - 7:16am.

i never tailgate. I keep a really large distance in front of me and people are constantly filing in in front of me as i drop back. I have never rear ended anyone. I beleive having lots of room to maneuver is good.

love, scaredycat.

Submitted by desmond on June 29, 2012 - 7:43am.

Never mind, I did not know you were driving your car.

Submitted by CDMA ENG on June 29, 2012 - 8:49am.

It's not tailgating...

It drafting!

CE

Submitted by Diego Mamani on June 29, 2012 - 10:41am.

It's really unfortunate, and for some reason cops seldom write tickets for tailgating. They are overly fixated on speeding tickets, no doubt as a source of revenue, but I digress.

When an idiot is driving too close behind me, what I do is to gradually slow down, at some point the moron gets the message and changes lanes. I also make sure that I'm not in one of the faster lanes, because if I were, then I'd be the moron...

Submitted by spdrun on June 29, 2012 - 10:45am.

It's soooo much easier to eat donuts when watching the little screen on a radar gun than if they'd be arsed to actually pay attention to traffic :)

Submitted by an on June 29, 2012 - 10:54am.

Diego Mamani wrote:
I also make sure that I'm not in one of the faster lanes, because if I were, then I'd be the moron...

Unfortunately, I've seen many morons doing this too. Then there are morons who pace the cars next to them, so even you want to pass them, you can't.

Submitted by matt-waiting on June 29, 2012 - 1:50pm.

Whenever they get too close, tap your brake pedal lightly enough for your brake lights to go on, but not enough to actually apply the brake and slow down.

Submitted by svelte on June 29, 2012 - 1:53pm.

I don't tailgate often, but when I do I can tell you exactly why.

There are certain people who will invariably try to insert themselves in that free space ahead of me then go 5-10 MPH slower than I was traveling. I can feel it in my bones when it is about to happen! So your theory that it doesn't save me any time doesn't hold water...those slow-driving morons do indeed cost me time if I let them in.

An example from yesterday: I maintained my distance and, after driving about 5 miles, at least FIFTEEN CARS had inserted themselves. the car that was once in front of me could be seen roughly 1 mile up the road!

I've said it on here before, but the large majority of oblivious morons drive white cars - don't know why. And it is especially pronounced in white Camrys, with white Corollas running a close second. White Priuses I don't seem to have a problem with, don't ask me why. Shrug.

Submitted by spdrun on June 29, 2012 - 3:29pm.

'roo bars on the front of the car + a gun rack in the rear may help people think twice before inserting themselves.

Submitted by spdrun on June 29, 2012 - 3:41pm.

Whenever they get too close, tap your brake pedal lightly enough for your brake lights to go on, but not enough to actually apply the brake and slow down.

I just downshift a gear or two and let off the gas gradually ... accelerate a bit ... let off. The varying distance without brake lights generally creeps most tailgaters out, and causes them to finish their proctological exam.

Submitted by an on June 29, 2012 - 3:48pm.

spdrun wrote:

Whenever they get too close, tap your brake pedal lightly enough for your brake lights to go on, but not enough to actually apply the brake and slow down.

I just downshift a gear or two and let off the gas gradually ... accelerate a bit ... let off. The varying distance without brake lights generally creeps most tailgaters out, and causes them to finish their proctological exam.


That would work for most user. What would work better is to just move to a slower lane. When people do that to me, I just gun it, pass that person and get into their lane, then slow down below the speed limit just the piss them off. If they try to pass me, I'll just speed up to prevent them from doing so. If I'm really pissed off, I can pass them, and do a hard break check on them.

Submitted by CDMA ENG on June 29, 2012 - 3:56pm.

spdrun wrote:
'roo bars on the front of the car + a gun rack in the rear may help people think twice before inserting themselves.

You are one of the very few ppl in this country that knows what Roo bars are for!

Bush busters are for wussies... Real men use Roo bars.

CE

Submitted by spdrun on June 29, 2012 - 4:09pm.

That would work for most user. What would work better is to just move to a slower lane. When people do that to me, I just gun it, pass that person and get into their lane, then slow down below the speed limit just the piss them off.

Lovely. Just the kind of punkass idiot I want to be sharing the road with.

Hopefully one of the people whom you brake-check will either not react and rear-end you, or follow you home and beat the living snot out of you.

If someone tailgates me in the passing lane, I'll move over, and I generally keep right when not passing anyway. If someone does it on a 2 lane road but refuses to pass, or on the right lane of a freeway, I'll try to detach them. Brake checking isn't cool, but slowing down and speeding up slightly isn't dangerous, but still gets the point across.

Lastly, I'm from NYC. Driving is a competitive blood sport here, but at the same time, brake checking and road rage aren't all that common here. Relax and be a good sport about things. How can San Diego drivers be so angry in such a lovely place? Paradox.

Submitted by an on June 29, 2012 - 4:09pm.

spdrun wrote:

That would work for most user. What would work better is to just move to a slower lane. When people do that to me, I just gun it, pass that person and get into their lane, then slow down below the speed limit just the piss them off.

Lovely. Just the kind of punkass idiot I want to be sharing the road with.

Hopefully one of the people whom you brake-check will either not react and rear-end you, or follow you home and beat the living snot out of you.

BTW - if someone tailgates me in the passing lane, I'll move over, and I generally keep right when not passing anyway. If someone does it on a 2 lane road but refuses to pass, or on the right lane of a freeway, I'll try to detach them. Brake checking isn't cool, but slowing down and speeding up slightly isn't dangerous, but still gets the point across.


Same sh!t, different pile. Using your words, hopefully, some of those people whom you try to piss off by slowing down will not either react fast enough and rear-end you or follow you home and beat the sh!t out of you.

BTW, the only time I tail gate is when some punk ass cut me off and drive like a granny on the fast lane.

Submitted by an on June 29, 2012 - 4:13pm.

spdrun wrote:
Lastly, I'm from NYC. Driving is a competitive blood sport here, but at the same time, brake checking and road rage aren't all that common here. Relax and be a good sport about things. How can San Diego drivers be so angry in such a lovely place? Paradox.

When I'm in the city, I don't get road rage. I get road rage when I'm on the freeway and get cut off by punk asses who after cutting people off, drive like a granny or slow down and pace the cars in the slower lane.

So, if I'm driving in NYC, I'd probably be more mellow than you and not even bother with slowing down/down shifting to piss off the tail gaiters.

Submitted by spdrun on June 29, 2012 - 4:17pm.

Regarding brake-checking:
If I'm slowing down, I actually look in the mirror and don't let the gap close too much. Brake checking where you actually slam the brakes is a whole different game, and a fool's game IMHO.

My goal is NOT to piss off a tailgater, BTW. In fact, I really don't want to annoy them at all. I just want them to pass me or back off. It's not a question of revenge or whatever, it's a question of the safety of myself, my passengers, and my car.

Gently speeding up and slowing down will generally cause them to detach without even knowing why they did. Brake checking would put myself, them, and everyone else next to us on the freeway in danger. Not an option.

Submitted by an on June 29, 2012 - 4:19pm.

spdrun wrote:
If I'm slowing down, I actually look in the mirror and don't let the gap close too much. Brake checking where you actually slam the brakes is a whole different game, and a fool's game IMHO.

When I break check, I look in the mirror, I make sure I have a big gap. But at lease when I break check, the people behind me see that I'm slowing down. I also only break very quickly and I'm not stepping on the break 100%, because I know my breaks are better than most cars on the street. So if I really slam on my break, I would be rear ended. Me, brake checking and moderately stepping on the break and really slow down. I start the break check at a far enough distance where the person behind can see that I'm breaking.

You down shifting 2 gears though, is just asking to be rear ended by people who aren't paying attention and not notice the space difference. Down shifting 2 gears will slow you down more than me break checking AND you don't let the person behind you know what you're doing. So, you sir, are operating in a more dangerous game than I am.

Submitted by spdrun on June 29, 2012 - 4:24pm.

Nope.
(a) my car's a diesel. No throttle plate, so not much engine braking
(b) if you rev-match properly before letting the clutch back in, and ONLY THEN gradually let off the gas, the slowing will be very gradual. Not to mention that downshifting and letting the clutch in with the engine idling chews up clutch plates.

If you're talking about doing the same in an automatic, I'd actually agree, but unless it's an electric car, any car I own will have the correct # of pedals.

Submitted by an on June 29, 2012 - 4:24pm.

spdrun wrote:
My goal is NOT to piss off a tailgater, BTW. In fact, I really don't want to annoy them at all. I just want them to pass me or back off. It's not a question of revenge or whatever, it's a question of the safety of myself, my passengers, and my car.

Gently speeding up and slowing down will generally cause them to detach without even knowing why they did. Brake checking would put myself, them, and everyone else next to us on the freeway in danger. Not an option.


Your intention doesn't always have the same reception. I'm sure those who are tail gaiting you would be pissed off when seeing you slow down and leave a wider game, which would slow them down. Down shifting 2 gears is not gently slowing down. Down shifting 2 gears going 70 MPH will DRASTICALLY slow you down without letting the person tailgating you know your intention. You're just asking to be rear ended. I would never attempt to do such a thing.

Submitted by spdrun on June 29, 2012 - 4:28pm.

See my response above. If you're driving a stick correctly, downshifting doesn't have to make you slow down hard, since the engine is already spooled up before you re-engage the clutch. Once you're running at 4000 rpm or so, you can basically control speed with the gas pedal alone.

Submitted by an on June 29, 2012 - 4:28pm.

spdrun wrote:
Nope.
(a) my car's a diesel. No throttle plate, so not much engine braking
(b) if you rev-match properly before letting the clutch back in, and ONLY THEN gradually let off the gas, the slowing will be very gradual. Not to mention that downshifting and letting the clutch in with the engine idling chews up clutch plates.

If you're talking about doing the same in an automatic, I'd actually agree, but unless it's an electric car, any car I own will have the correct # of pedals.


I never have a diesel, so I didn't know down shifting in a diesel behave differently than down shifting in a gas engine.

Your (b) sounds a lot less dangerous than your initial description. I though you're talking about going 70 and down shift to 3rd or 4th gear and just let go of the gas. Now, that's dangerous. Doing that can easily slow you down 20+MPH very quickly.

Submitted by an on June 29, 2012 - 4:33pm.

spdrun wrote:
See my response above. If you're driving a stick correctly, downshifting doesn't have to make you slow down hard, since the engine is already spooled up before you re-engage the clutch. Once you're running at 4000 rpm or so, you can basically control speed with the gas pedal alone.

Again, it might be different in a diesel, but with a gas engine, at 70MPH, down shifting to 3rd or 4th gear will put you at near red line. Which will slow you down hard. At least with my car, it would slow me down hard. There's no way my RPM would be at 4k in 4th gear going 70MPH. It would probably be around 5k+. That would force the car to slow down 10-20MPH in a very short period of time, unless I'm stepping on the gas. What's the point of down shifting 2 gears if you're going to keep your foot on the gas? Why not just leave it in the same gear and just let go of the gas? Unless you're trying to piss someone off?

Submitted by spdrun on June 29, 2012 - 4:35pm.

Yeah, the point was to put the car in a position to control speed without flashing the brake lights. This control can be very precise, whereas just letting go of the gas in top gear will cause the car to sort of roll along. Note that I did say "gradually slow down" not "put it in 3rd and dump the clutch at 70" :)

Submitted by an on June 29, 2012 - 4:38pm.

spdrun wrote:
Yeah, the point was to put the car in a position to control speed without flashing the brake lights. I did say "gradually slow down" not "put it in 3rd and dump the clutch at 70" :)

You said down shift 2 gears. That, in my mind is the intention of drastically slowing down using the engine vs the brake. You don't have to dump the clutch to engine brake. Again, it might be different with a diesel.

However, engine braking will give you no more control than you tapping on the brake. At least with tapping on the brake, the person behind you can see you slowing down, vs engine braking.

Submitted by spdrun on June 29, 2012 - 4:42pm.

I said "a gear or two." The point is to vary distance by a foot or two, making the tailgater uncomfortable without him knowing exactly WHY he's uncomfortable. It generally works.

Submitted by an on June 29, 2012 - 4:48pm.

spdrun wrote:
I said "a gear or two." The point is to vary distance by a foot or two, making the tailgater uncomfortable without him knowing exactly WHY he's uncomfortable. It generally works.

Exactly, a gear or two, which to me, means if you wanna be a real punk ass, you'll down shift 2 gears, let go of the gas, and slow down 10-20MPH w/in a few seconds. That's what would happen if you did that with my car. Down shifting 2 gears will NOT vary the distance by a foot or two. To do that, I just let of the gas.

Submitted by spdrun on June 29, 2012 - 4:52pm.

Try this.

Push the clutch. Downshift a gear. With the clutch still pushed in, rev the engine to roughly where it would be revving if it were in the "new" gear. Let go of the clutch pedal with the engine still revving.

No braking effect at all until you start letting go of the gas. Unless you want the clutch to last 30,000 miles, that's the way a downshift should be done.

Double-clutching to save on synchros is optional (my first car has no synchro on 1st gear) :)

Submitted by an on June 29, 2012 - 4:55pm.

spdrun wrote:
Try this.

Push the clutch. Downshift a gear. With the clutch still pushed in, rev the engine to roughly where it would be revving if it were in the "new" gear. Let go of the clutch pedal with the engine still revving.

No braking effect at all until you start letting go of the gas. Unless you want the clutch to last 30,000 miles, that's the way a downshift should be done.

Double-clutching to save on synchros is optional (my first car has no synchro on 1st gear) :)


Thanks for describing to me rev-matching. Just so you're aware, I rev-match 100% of the time I down shift. I also do heal-toe as well.

Of course there won't be braking effect if you step on the gas. Why would you expect there would be brake effect if you're stepping on the gas?

Submitted by spdrun on June 29, 2012 - 4:58pm.

I don't.

That's the point - that the braking effect is very controllable and can even be zero. But at least in my car, it almost doesn't exist unless you downshift.

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