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Driving Tips:

Dealing with Tailgaters

Tailgaters, there are several reasons to dislike them.  I believe lumping all reasons into one, the keyword would be:  Dangerous.

Before listing tips on how to deal with it you should know some important facts.  A 10 months survey was done on thousands of lane changes by NHTSA*.  They found the average lane change occurred every 2.8 miles on average.  83% of the time the vehicle changed just one lane, and there was not one accident reported from any of the lane changes.  91% were considered to be safe.  The number one reason people changed lanes accounted for 37% of all of the lane changes.   The reason we change lanes 37% of the time is because we are trying to get around a slow lead car.  I like to call these people knuckle draggers.  Now we know why many people tailgate, lets look at ways to avoid it. 

  • Pay Attention.
  • Be ready and willing to move out of the way.  This rule will eliminate tailgaters, at least for you.
  • Be willing to speed up to create a clearance.  Your job is not to block tailgaters.  Creating a problem for tailgaters by slowing down creates a problem for other responsible drivers behind you.
  • Do not use hand jesters.  By using them you will most likely only close the gap between your rear bumper and their front.
  • Do not brake.  Tempting, but really the best thing to do is just simply move out of the way.  You will forget him, and braking only enrages them.

A few things I firmly believe in in regards to tailgating:  

  • Move out of the way.
  • Tailgating and rude jesters rarely occur when you drive in the slow lane.  You allow fasters vehicles room to pass.
  • If you are getting passed on the right you are in the wrong lane.
  • By increasing the space between you and the driver in front of you to 5-10 car lengths can eliminate 75% of all your driving frustration.  It's hard to hate someone so far away.

* Information provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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