Friday, March 27, 2015

Coffee Brake: Tales of a Tailgating Party

Welcome back to another edition of DT's Coffee Brake, where the pants are loose and the shoes are tight.  Today I am turning the mic over to K2 Mystery Car who is going do a guest post about tailgating. 

Tales of a Tailgating Party by K2 Mystery Car

As hardcore enthusiasts, we are the knights of the road. We follow a creed that pledges allegiance at the altar of the automobile. It’s our duty to uphold and demonstrate this creed. We are the few, the proud, the gearheads! What do you do when you've got somebody trying to ride in your trunk, trying to inspect the condition of your rear bumper paint? I like to employ various legal and less than life-threatening strategies for rascally road rapscallions, and today we discuss a few.


You’ve been here before; as you tool down the road at or above the speed limit, the Lexus LS behind you is so close that you can’t see the hood. In the rearview mirror, you can see the driver multitasking busily. Their world revolves around texting, eating, primping, smoking, playing with the gadgets foisted upon by carmakers and who knows what else.

Or maybe you’re the one riding the bumper of the fool in front of you. You’ve been maintaining a safe driving distance between you and the car in front of you on the freeway for the last half hour when this idiot jams an Avalanche in between. Unsafe at any speed indeed; you’ll show them. You flicker your high beams, honk the horn and floor the accelerator. Like a scene from The French Connection, suddenly its white knuckles and red mist time. Now you’re a crazed stunt driver, so you drop your beloved sports car down a gear and pass them on the right. As you slide past, you note that sitting in your car, your head is lower than the top of the bed of the pristine truck that has clearly never worked a day in its life. At just the precise moment, you wrench the wheel to the left, cutting that moron off.

Glancing in the mirror, you see that the driver is a senior citizen who can barely see over the dash, much less have a sense of where the corners of the monstrosity they’re driving are. That doesn’t stop them from gesturing rudely at you in the vain attempt to show you who is the boss.


In another scenario, you’re tooling along and you see a driver looking to turn onto the road you’re on. Making eye contact, you’re sure they’re not going to pull out right in front of you. The distance closes and there’s still no sign that they’re going to emerge out into your path. What feels like an eternity passes and at the very last moment, they pull out directly in front of you slowly, forcing you to slam on your brakes. You feel the ABS pulsing under your foot and you resist the impulse to just allow your car to smash into the back of their car. Conveniently, the driver decides that they should do twenty miles an hour under the speed limit and you’re stuck behind them for the next infuriating miles, flashing your lights, honking the horn and gunning your engine in an attempt to get them to pull over and let you pass. Somehow, your car seems to have been cloaked with an invisibility device because your new pal is completely oblivious of you and your antics.

Admit it; you’ve been there, done that - me too, though you’ll never catch me admitting it to my loved ones unless they’re sitting in the passenger seat witnessing the shenanigans. There’s no denying that we’re all willing and instantly able to do some very dangerous things cocooned in our high-speed metal conveyances. What would make a person act accordingly, especially when they would never be so dangerously aggressive at any other time? How can drivers maintain their licenses when public and personal safety is so clearly at stake? What makes a bad driver and when are we guilty of the same? How do we deal with the frustration and inevitable mistakes?


Let’s analyze the other guy first; mainly because he or she isn’t here to defend themselves. Driver distraction must surely be at an all-time historical high, especially factoring in technology. We’re encouraged to multi-task, consume liquids and indulge in any and all activities other than driving in our cars. Given that, it comes as no surprise that people who probably weren’t very good drivers in the first place would be even worse today. And even when they aren’t distracted, their reactions, decision making and other skills are generally poor. They’re neglectful, inconsiderate, egomaniacal, narcissistic, reactionary, spaced out zombies that have no business being in the driver’s seat in the first place.

And sometimes those derogatory terms can be aimed at us. We must strive to rise above, to be better and to drive defensively. Before you start your car, remind yourself of the risks and go in with a game plan; if you make a mistake, pull over and let the other driver go by. If you’re the recipient of the bad driving, you could again pull over, calm down and gather yourself. Is there another route that would reach your destination but also get you away from that idiot? Remind yourself that it’s not vital to arrive at your destination less than alive.



My methods are not necessarily your methods; what are some of the great ways that you safely and legally deal with tailgaters? What do you do when you make the rare mistake and cause someone to tailgate you? If those don’t float your boat, tell us your scariest tailgating story!

Ed: Big thanks to K2 Mystery Car for this special guest post.  

58 comments:

  1. The two tailgating moves that I've seen on the road that definitely make the point on the offending driver's windshield have regional variations:
    Michigan - home of the "I really need to wash my windshield right now, about 5x",
    Colorado- "ooops did I just wander onto the shoulder where all that icky gravel and sand from the snow plows collects'

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    1. Good idea Hunsbloger, using the surroundings and road conditions for a good purpose like that.

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  2. On the highway, my method is "well, it is a speed LIMIT". I don't brake check, I just slow down gradually and pretend to be completely clueless about it until I'm 5mph under. If I'm passing someone at the speed limit and someone wants me to go faster, I typically stay at a speed 1mph faster than the person in the right lane, and take my time moving out of the way.

    As they blast past angrily at the first opportunity, I find the single thing that pisses them off / confuses them more than anything else is to smile and wave and do the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ thing when they flip me off.

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    1. +1! As you pointed out RyanM, there's great satisfaction in any confusion that you can cause them. Sometimes I motion to something on their car, knowing full well that there isn't anything there. When they finally reach their destination, they'll leap out and look at their car as if something bad had happened to it. What had I been pointing at? Was there some sort of damage to their car that they can't see?

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    2. i call this "The Box" - it's for the guy weaving and cutting people off in fairly heavy but still moving traffic, usually on 3 lanes - with patience i can often gradually work my way in front of him, move forward just in front of a slower moving car to my right, then hang there matching speed with the slower car - dude would have to slow down to get out of it, which he never wants to do, and usually by that time there's someone up *his* butt completing the box - i don't think it's dangerous, as i never do anything extreme to make it happen, only normal sensible awareness of what's happening ahead, expectation that lanes move at varying speeds, and patience

      best case is they finally get out of it, blast past as Ryan says, then get picked off for speeding - i've seen that a couple of times - premium schadenfreude

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  3. K2 - first up, great story. I have to admit to being a bit of a lead foot (when I don't have kids, wife, or screaming people in the car) so I typically don't have people riding my bumper, but when I do, I normally try and get out of the way so that they are the ones who get the ticket from the motorcycle cop hiding in the bushes. However, I must admit I've used a rear wiper squirt (or two) on cars that get so close you don't see the driver's face in the rear view mirror on my wife's mom car.
    -Vince

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    1. Ha ha! Doesn't a mother in-law's car have reckless driving freedoms similar to a rental? Thanks for posting my article!

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  4. I've always been amazed at how velocitized/territorial people become about being 'the fastest'.
    I'm as guilty as Vince in that I'm not usually being tailgated, however, my pet peeve is people who start speeding up as I approach to pass them on the left; or they squirt out in front of me and then pace the car that I was about to overtake.
    I'm with Vince, in that you never want to be 'that guy' who's brake checking a clueless driver, but I'm always amused by how fast some people are willing to go to prevent being passed on a multi-lane road! Seriously, when I'm in a playful mood, I'll start to overtake them with only a 5mph advantage and I'll watch them go an additional 25 mph faster to keep from being overtaken. Then, the fun part, when they look down and realize ther 'new' speed is faster than they've ever been in a car. As soon as they finally lift, I'm always careful to immediately get into the right lane to demonstrate proper manners.
    I don't know about the rest of you, but I prefer to be in the middle lane whenever possible; gives you two lanes of escape should something bad happen especially in CA where lots of highways have no left shoulder.

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    1. In a slightly different scenario, my reptile mind sees a car driving fast in front of me, I have the urge to try to catch up to them. Which is just downright stupid. Like I'm a NASCAR driver or something, always turning left.

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    2. The "speed up to my speed" seems to be typical behavior here in western Washington nowadays when you catch someone and attempt to pass on the left. People seem to like to fly in formation at the same speed on the highways too, sometimes I feel like I've joined the Blue Angels and am flying #4 in the Diamond Formation.

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    3. Lemmings! And I'm not talking about the Motorhead singer.

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/PVTQZ4e.jpg?1[/img]

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  5. I've got to admit, I'd be thrilled to meet Holyfield under just about any other circumstances.

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  6. A move I use to do before kids and the loss of all of my masculinity was to lead people into corners when being pushed and tailgated.

    I always have owned cars with built up suspension, brakes, tires ect. My favorite thing to do on twisty roads was to not use my brakes (showing brakelights) into corners and gradually keep building speed. Just look into the rearview mirror and wait and see when the Ford Explorer with 160,000 mile monroe shocks and firestone tires starts to oversteer and fishtail.

    I know it's a dick move

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    1. But thanks for sharing! We all wish we could do exactly as you described.

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    2. I don't see it as a dick move. They are in control of their own car, and should know their limits. Much better than purposefully slowing down, or passing at micro-speed. That just pisses people off and increases the risk of a stupid move and an accident.

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    3. I've done this exact move, unfortunately the victim was a motorcyclist (idiot, I know her). To level the playing field I was, however, driving a '91 Civic hatch. The stripper base-model kind with vinyl seats, only one side-view mirror and no rear wiper or 5th gear.

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  7. Speaking to the regional point, I had a bit of a culture shock going from SoCal to the NorthEast. In SoCal, if you're on the freeway and spot a 10 foot space between cars traveling on the freeway at 70 mph, you're expected to put your 9 foot, 10 inch vehicle in that spot. Try that on the East Coast and you'll inspire much road rage.

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/3g1K5t8.jpg?1[/img]

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    1. You've apparently excluded Boston from your tour of the NE! First, you throw away your turn signal, then you scuff up your front bumper to let people know you mean business. You drive with your window down when its 25-degrees out, so that your always able to point to the spot you're going to occupy, or flip the bird. Then, when you complete your slide into the spot they all thought was too small for your car, you give them a condescending "Thank You" wave, just to really irritate them!!
      Many years ago, before the big dig, getting from the Tobin Bridge onto Storrow Drive required a 6 lane change in less than 1/8th of a mile accross a double Interestate merge. The easiest way to do it, light a fire under your tires, throw a little smoke without moving forward, they all figure you're on a suicide mission and will part for a lunatic.
      Then, there's the tailgating. People get so close to your rear bumper they have to move 2 wheels onto the shoulder to be able to see around your car.

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    2. You are correct, Hunsbloger! NY and Boston require special skills, for sure. Every time I've been in either, I took public transport and avoided the entire issue. I actually enjoy driving and I wouldn't call either of those cities enjoyable to drive in. I used to drive into Jersey City once a month and that was enough for me, frankly.

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  8. If I am coming up to a slower driver in the left lane, I'll get up to about 3 car lengths and put on the left blinker. Turn it off. Turn it on again. It indicates intention and is not as antagonistic as the whole light flash, which I'll do if there is no response. If the middle lane is clear, I'll just wait briefly to make sure they're steady and then just go for the right lane pass. I drive in NY and NJ. It's not so impolite to do so over here. If someone is faster, I just pull over as soon as possible and keep them in sight.

    And, as Huns states above, I often encounter people whom I catch up with, and they feel so affronted that they'll speed up to a ridiculous speed to escape up the road. I will maintain the same pace. Eventually, I catch them as they slow down to sanity or feel their masculinity is sufficiently asserted. What is really surprising is that these activities are not specific to a class of enthusiasts' cars. I caught an Outlander (of all things) on the NJ turnpike while I was going perhaps 20 over the limit. He speeds up to at least 110, steaming into the distance along the chemical coast before wildly veering off to EWR. A Ford Escape (an older model) also recently pulled the desperate-to-stay-ahead maneuver. Something about small SUVs and the need to combat the feminine semiotic associations? I like to keep a constant pace and run a V1. Stay left only to pass. And just shake my head and try to wait when we have the 3 abreast at the same speed situation. Very NJ.

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    1. Reminds me of the RX-7 "flash to pass" feature. That was pretty clever, I thought.

      [img]http://project.r.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/.pond/fc-010.jpg.w300h452.jpg[/img]

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    2. I always enjoy seeing how quickly they disappear in the rear view mirror after one of those. Then there's Florida! (Doc you'll have to back me up on this).
      I've driven in Florida enough to recognize how comical it can be. I set my cruise control and am amazed at how frequently a car that I pass like they're going backwards, suddenly shows up 15 minutes later to pass me like I'm going backwards. Twenty minutes or so later, I pass the same car which is now going 5 mph under the limit, another half hour later, here they come like they just got word grandma's on her last legs and they've gotta get there before she passes.

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    3. Oh heavens: Florida drivers... Where does one start?

      Okay, keeping with the tailgating topic, my favorite Florida phenomenon would absolutely have to be the "Law of Acceptable/Understood Rear-Ending". Speaking from (multiple) personal experience(s) from my time commuting up and down US-1 where I-95 terminates, that stretch of road running through Coral Gables and on to Kendall gets backed the hell up. And no one would ever be willing to give a micrometer of space to the car in front of them, for fear that someone in the next lane may nudge the nose of their car in front of them, thus lengthening their commute by 9 seconds, oh no. Of course, maintaining a gnat-shit sized distance between bumpers allows for slightly less reaction time than the frenetic and wholly unpredictable habits of Miami drivers requires. Hence: the Law of the Acceptable/Understood Rear-Ending. The first time it happened to me I wasn't really surprised, given my observations of Florida driving over my first few years here (universal ignorance of turn signal function ((or, amnestic of their location??), regarding one-way signs as mere suggestions, treating fire lanes as personal parking spots, unusually high incidence of red-green color blindness, etc) so it didn't really bother me, the impact. But, when my eyes met hers in my rear view mirror, my inquisitively furrowed forehead was met with a double-arms-up shrug and a smile, with zero effort to exchange insurance info or even offer an apology. Bizarre? Kind of. But, over the next four years, each time I was bumped from behind on US-1, it went down pretty much the same way. Honestly, there was never any more damage than a scratch on my Jetta's bumper so...no harm, no foul. I guess.

      As for the freeway behavior y'all lament, Huns' right: God help anyone who actually ALLOWS someone to pass them. I-95 is pretty much the same freeway experience as found in Jamaica, Brasil, Colombia, etc; basically completely unpredictable and every car for themselves. But the Turnpike...oh the Turnpike! Here you will travel along two lanes with a posted speed limit of 60-70mph, but 90 is an acceptable left lane upper pace, at least from my perspective. But invariably you will go to slowly pass a car doing 85 in the right lane, only to have them speed up to about 95-98, just so you won't pass them in the left lane!! I'll watch them speed down the 'pike, my cruise set on 90, until I come up on them again, where the episode repeats itself. Combine this silliness with the pair of unrelated vehicles that refuse to alter their (always insufficient) speeds once they are two-lane abreast, causing a dual lane backup of 16 cars a piece, and getting to The Happiest Place on Earth may safely be ranked with finding Nemo for all its danger and frustration.

      Of course, my absolute favorite Florida driver story came from my time when we lived on South Beach. My (now) wife and I were stopped at a stop sign, behind a new A4, waiting our turn to cross the street. An opening in traffic leads the A4 driver (a young exotic looking lass) to remove her foot from the brake. But...ah ha!...the A4 is apparently equipped with three pedals, and it starts to ever-so-slowly drift back towards me. I figure "she's gonna hit the brake, right?" and I cannot back up anyway, for the car behind me. Well, she doesn't hit the brake and drifts right into my front bumper, giving us both a minor jolt. The funniest part though? The righteous indignation she displayed with her words and gesticulations towards me, blaming me for the contact. It was like something from the twilight zone. I guess since she clearly didn't know how to drive stick, that she just assumed I would back up to give her room until she figured that shit out. Now, for the crazier part: after I just smiled at her and she refocused on crossing the street once more, she did the exact same thing, accidentally. Again.

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    4. Nuts. My RX-7 image went belly up. It's too cool not to post.

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/UpzbxwW.jpg[/img]

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  9. Fresh sub-topic. Lane Splitting. I haven't ridden as my daily commute in quite some time, but I too was a lane splitter, however; its up to the motorcycle rider to protect themselves. I still don't get how some guys will ride between cars that are going 70 and pass them with a 20mp advantage.
    It only takes one inattentive moron on their cell phone to totally end your life. That and the pick-up drivers who love to crowd the lane when they see you coming so that their mirrors serve as toll-gates that you have to work around. They're usually the same guys you find in a ditch after a snow storm cause they've got 4wd. Lane splitting, when done responsibly, is a great tool to ease traffic congestion. Thank God early motorcycles were prone to overheating in stop-n-go traffic!
    The person I used to fear the most on the highway when riding... the woman in a Volvo Station wagon. She is totally convinced she is in an impenetrable cage of safety and needs to pay no attention to what she's doing. (That is a gross stereotype which ignores that I know of at least 2 wives of DT Staffers who are excellent drivers and who occasionally pilot Volvos)

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    1. I'm also a biker, though I haven't ridden in years now. I used to lane split all the time and it works well if people are used to it, like in SoCal. Other places, where drivers aren't used it is just plain suicide. I actually think it's a great idea in a traffic jam. It gets more people through an area than otherwise. So I'm all for it, if it's done with smarts and skill. Doing 50 mph through a jam is asking for trouble.

      Ha ha! I think I'd want to swap the words "Volvo Station wagon" for "SUV" these days. The bigger the better too, I often see a mom in a Suburban with one kid strapped into the back and wonder...why?

      Just to be clear, I drive a Volvo stationwagon.

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  10. Its an unofficial race. Its not a sprint, its long distance enduro. Pick your pace cars and keep track of them. Especially when you're driving solo and they have access to the HOV lanes. It is a personal competition to see how quickly you can get from point a to point b. You want to do it safely, but you also want to do it best and fastest. Lane choice is everything, especially when you grew up in the era of crappy driving arcade games which had predictable patterns of cars or spaceships to get around.

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  11. I think a real brake check is dangerous, but I'll ride the brake pedal just enough to light the brake lights without actually slowing down the car. A couple of applications will usually get the point across.

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    1. Instead of "brake checking" why don't you clowns simply move over into the slow lane where you belong? In case you don't know the rules of the road.... it's "keep right except to pass". If you ain't passing, move over. See? No reason to jam on your brakes. No reason to light up your brake lights. If another driver wants to overtake you, what is the problem? Does it hurt your itty bitty ego to be passed by another? You and "Ryan M" are dangerous when you play self-appointed-speedcop. It's not your job to interfere with the passage of others. How do you know they're not on their way to a hospital with a kid choking on a Cheerio?

      How fast I (or anyone else) chooses to drive is really none of your business. Half the time the "left lane glommers" are texting, talking on their phones, or have simply fallen asleep. I have active cruise control in my car.... and you'd be amazed at how inconsistent most left lane glommers are at keeping an even speed. Very often, the reason that I close in on you is simply due to the reason that I run with cruise control and morons haven't learned that they have to push the go pedal a tad harder when they go uphill.

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    2. Anonymous --Mercedes or BMW?

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    3. While your delivery is a little rough Anon, you most definitely have a point. I wouldn't agree that it isn't my business if you're endangering everyone around you on the road, though, cruise control is not a license for dangerous behavior. That being said, I agree that people need to get in the correct lane. Folks that clog the left are just plain stupid. And there's always one, that's for sure. I got behind a car with a clever bumper sticker on it the other day. It went something like this:

      <-----------FAST
      REMEMBER?
      SLOW--------->

      If you're saying you act like you do to people who are in the right-hand lane...well then, you got issues mister. I can't fix broken.

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    4. Don't forget you also endanger everyone around you if you hold them up, and probably to a greater degree. They WILL make a stupid move to get by you, and that is where it can really backfire. Just move over and let them go! Much safer. The cops will rout them out eventually. That's their job, not yours.

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    5. Very true, M5. The problem becomes when they do it in all lanes and you can't escape no matter what. When that happens, the tailgater is giving you no choice between doing what you're currently doing or changing to something more potentially dangerous.

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    6. Whoa, Anonymous, WTF? I was talking about when you have no way to get out of some tailgater's way, as on a two lane road or I-95 between Baltimore and D. C. If I'm stuck in the left lane with no place to go and some jerk is up my tailpipe, then a simple lighting of the brake lights might make it safer for all concerned, if it gets him to back off a little.
      I hope you're more measured in your responses on the road....

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  12. Anon- I think these guys are talking about those instances where they're in the fast lane, going as fast as they can, yet there is still someone behind them hoping to get through every car, by intimidating each successive car in front of them by riding their rear bumper until they yield their spot in the left lane. This happens frequently in dense urban settings. If you've driven for any period of time, you know the syndrome I'm describing.
    The only reason you're not going faster in the 'showoff' lane is because you're being impeded by the guy in front of you, whose impeded by the guy in front of him, and so on for the next 1,000 cars in front of you. There's no sense in moving to the right, because that lane is already occupied by a driver who is going slower than you are. I can't imagine anyone brake checking, I think they are expressing the very real frustration with 'what do you do with "that guy" who will just not get off your bumper when there's no place to go'. Hence the topic...tailgating. We're operating from the assumption that everyone whose reading this would yield to a faster car, if there's room to the right. Gotta love Georgia for implementing the law which sites people for not yielding to faster traffic for exactly the reason you're talking about; that self-righteous Prius driver that sees themselves as the self-appointed regulator of speed and fuel efficiency.
    Observation: In California, it seems that the right lane is the least used lane on most freeways, use it and enjoy the open spaces.
    Observation: In Michigan, when there's construction and there's a sign indicating that the lanes will be squeezed together, there will be those who will pull over 2-miles before the construction and start straddling lanes to prevent other cars from passing them on either lane. When, you get within about 1/4 of mile of the lane squeeze, you will find that no one will give you eye contact and all are welded to the car in front of them because 'you didn't get over 1.5 miles ago when the rest of us did'. But, invariably, there will be one who drives 90mph on the closing lane and kamikazes his way into the split at the last second, to prove that 'the zipper' can work.
    Observation: When driving to LA from San Diego, there is no sense in speeding north of Oceanside as you're going to get real familiar with all the cars around you at the 'checkpoint'. Again, the right lane will frequently move 4x quicker than the left lanes.

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    1. It's funny, there was a Peter Egan column a few years ago where he said in his lifetime he has witnessed the fast lane shifting from the left most lane to the right most lane. Unfortunately it seems to be true here in Washington as well. I think it's the d@mn Californians that have moved here an brought it with them ;-)

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  13. That's a whole lotta judgement going on there, Anon. Have you considered those daily circumstances where there is no right lane to move into? Tailgating a car that has no lane options is just, well, jerky.

    I'm all for saving the left lane for those of us (and them) who are able to safely navigate a vehicle at a slightly higher rate of speed than the posted limited. But, between construction, traffic patterns, shoulder characteristics and...oh...probably 7 million other factors unique to the specific stretch of specific road being travelled at that specific time, sometimes moving over just ain't possible.

    So, if you come across me or my family, please don't tailgate us, especially if you can safely get around me; I promise to move over when I safely can :)

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  14. HORRIBLY RACIST COMMENT WARNING! Please don't read if you're insulted easily.

    The point made about specific cities requiring special skills is a good one. I grew up in an area of SoCal that was freshly (re)populated by Vietnamese refuges, straight off the boat. These folks were used to what I can only describe as "third-world driving". The lines in the road? Not there and unimportant. Speed limits? Not applicable. And on and on and on. You get the picture. The fact was, these were ABSOLUTELY LOVELY PEOPLE who could not drive to save their lives. They were all effectively brand new drivers who'd already learned extremely bad habits. That was a real adventure.

    But it taught me something that a lot of people either never learned or forgot - to be patient, drive defensively and not worry so much about beating the other driver. Those sort of antics were reserved for dark back streets late at night with my friends, out by the oil pumps near PCH and in the dry storm drains...or so I've heard. ;-)

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    1. Garden Grove?

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    2. Fersure! Westminster, to be specific. I lived in HB as an adult for several years too. For those of you that have never been there, it's named Little Saigon. If you're in the mood for Vietnamese food (pho!), it's the place to go. All of the signs are in Vietnamese - I loved it. I went back about a year ago and went straight there off the plane.

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/xXRYNhw.gif[/img]

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  15. If you are prone to tailgating, I have your personalized plate: T1 3VOM

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    1. ...and the one I got for my elderly mother here in NY:
      W8A60SEC

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  16. Maybe it's a sense of fast approaching mortality on my part, but I steadily lose more and more interest in driving fast when other people are on the road. Sure, on a deserted stretch where I can see what's up ahead and to the sides, I enjoy driving quickly. But nowadays, if there are other cars present, I don't drive quickly. Smooth and steady as she goes.

    But I don't have a horrific commute like a lot of people do, either. I don't even go near a free/highway to get back and forth from work and most other places. That's by design and it allows me to drive for enjoyment instead of necessity. I know most people can't live like that. It's just not feasible.

    There's a wonderful book that (among other things) touches on the subject of folks driving to and from their homes to work that I highly recommend; A Scientist in the City by James Trefil. Some of you might know his book Sharks Have No Bones. I got a chance to meet him once; he's a very interesting person.

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/OowLj6r.jpg?1[/img]

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  17. Thought provoking article, K2MC.

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  18. I remember a skit from the Red Green Show from about 20 years back that addressed just this subject. Red took an old hoopty and rigged it so that the rear bumper could fall off on command from the driver's seat. He had some sort of rope and pin system that would jettison the bumper at just the right time.

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    1. Love his stuff, especially his 4wd forward/backward car made from the front halves of two fwd cars welded together.

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    2. I don't know how many Americans were exposed to The Red Green Show. I'd guess not many. It never really clicked with me, but one of my all-time favorites television shows is Due South.

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    3. Michigan has Canada to the North and South and East, Red was about the only tv our little rabbit ears could receive at our place 'up north'. Alas, he was a victim of digital tv, now all we have is youtube.

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    4. For anybody curious about the show...

      https://youtu.be/FUXPuYZ4DEQ?list=PLB90DDA45E8C2EF45

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    5. K2 -- Due South -- that was a great show! When it came out on DVD, my wife and I binged watched all 4 (?) seasons. That Buick Riviera driven by Det Vecchio was awesome.
      [img]http://www.imcdb.org/i007282.jpg[/img]

      Delete
    6. The green Rivs! Awesome cars. Man I love that show. I'm so glad you guys caught it. Just spectacular. We also own it on DVD and I make it a policy to never buy anything on DVD - I've got enough crap as it already is. Still, we break it out every couple of years. Fantastic soundtrack(s) too, which I listen to all the time.

      Have you ever tried Life? Some great car stuff going on in that show too.

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/vRif8Hq.jpg?1[/img]

      Delete
    7. My SSO (Significantly Smarter Other) reminded me that Ray had an MB in the first episode.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpR888g7f9A

      Delete
  19. If you're in a hurry to get somewhere in your car, you can cut down your travel time by doing this simple technique. It costs nothing and anyone can do it.

    Just lean forward. You'll get there faster. And don't worry about the air bag or that shifter piercing your leg. You're welcome.

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/GI3NLVN.png?1[/img]

    ReplyDelete
  20. Not tailgating, but a video of somebody utilizing the surroundings to alert a bad driver to their lack of skills and manners on the road.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQFlnIE9ejI

    ReplyDelete

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