19 April 2016

Tailgaters and aggressive drivers… WHY?

| Steven Bailey
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road-rage-091214

Believe it or not, I’ve never received a speeding ticket, lost a demerit point or been penalised for the conduct of my driving. At this early stage in the article, I am resisting with all my might not to flounder into a tirade about parking tickets in the ACT. I won’t… I promise. Luck has certainly played a role in my near-perfect record but the central impetuous for my general good behaviour is that I simply don’t want to die or worse, kill someone else.

As the holiday season happily happens upon many of us, like many Canberrans, I fear for the lives of us all in the knowledge that some families will be devastated by another Christmas tragedy. Whether it is the roller coaster race to the coast or the hot-headed rush to Sydney, we know that some people will sadly not return. I can understand occasionally putting the foot down to overtake, and dare I say it, I am quite sympathetic towards people who get caught for a low range drink driving offence. But what I cannot understand is people who tailgate at high speeds or wilfully drive aggressively.

My fiancé and I were driving home from Sydney last weekend, and I was astounded by the number of people who actually think that if you drive up someone’s arse you will in fact arrive at your destination sooner. We were pretty much sitting on 115km/h most of the way, and during that time we saw the aftermath of what looked like two horrific accidents. I wondered what caused them. I wondered how frightened the people must have been, if they were stuck in their cars for very long, or if anyone died. And I wondered if it will ever happen to me or someone I love. For me, that is all the impetuous I need to drive safely.

We can put speed cameras on every corner; we could waste precious police resources by drug testing every daggy looking teenager who might have had a joint or two on the weekend; we can defect any car that looks over ten-years old; we can hit people with stupidly excessive fines for driving unlicensed or unregistered. Most of these measures simply penalise people for being poor. I understand the sad reality that we will never completely stop people from dying on our roads – unless of course we lower the speed limits to zero which is what the Greens would like us to do.

The problem is idiots. We have too many idiots on the roads. I support less punitive measures imposed on those who can least afford to pay them and more undercover police on the roads pulling over people who tailgate and drive aggressively. Please drive safely during this holiday period everyone and if you come across a maniac, don’t aggravate him, and just think about your family. Oh, and Simon Corbell, I haven’t forgotten about those parking tickets!

According to the Federal Government’s Australian Road Deaths Database, eight people have died on ACT roads this year. Out of the eight deaths, seven were male, and five were males under the age of thirty-one. The only female was a pedestrian, and the male aged in his late forties was a cyclist.

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PlasticScene3:11 pm 29 Jun 20

Many drivers cite people driving “slowly” (usually it’s at or close to the speed limit) as the justification for aggressive tailgating and other bullying and dangerous actions on the road. This especially takes place when one is driving at a reasonable and safe speed in the right-hand lane.

An important point to remember, however, is that many “slow” drivers are in the right-hand “fast” lane due to an upcoming right-hand turnoff! Today, while driving nearly the speed limit and with a SMALL gap in front of us, getting ready for our right-hand turn we had an aggressive driver tailgate us, overtake, and cut in front of us dangerously close to our vehicle. All because we were committing the cardinal sin of driving in the correct lane for our right-hand turn! How DARE we not drive faster to the liking of the car behind us?! How dare we “hog” the fast lane for a turn off just blocks from our home?!

There is no excuse for this aggressive, dangerous, and bullying behaviour that I see daily on Canberra’s roads. If adequate space is kept between vehicles there is near-zero possibility of having a collision with another vehicle, so it’s completely nonsensical that other drivers expect you to speed up to fill all gaps in the road. THAT is a recipe for disaster. Leaving space between cars is essential for safety, and it gets more essential the higher the speed due to the simple laws of physics.

Fair enough if you are in the right lane with no cars in front of you to get tail-gaited; but annoys the **** out of me when a moron tail-gates and there’s a car “the 3 second” in front of you.

Queen_of_the_Bun11:27 pm 16 Dec 14

gazket said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

gazket said :

Why worry about whats behind you , you’ve already passed it. Keep an eye on whats in front.

Hand your driver’s license back to a Canberra Connect shopfront if you really believe this. You need to see what is coming from behind you so that:
– you won’t pull out in front of a vehicle moving faster than you when merging or changing lanes
– you can move aside and give way when emergency vehicles are coming from behind.
– you can keep an eye on the load of your trailer or utility
– you can ensure your children are not jumping all over the back seat instead of being securely strapped in
Mirrors aren’t just to hang fluffy dice or dream-catchers on, to put on makeup or to fix your hair.

really ? Did I say I ripped the mirrors out of my car and never use them. Of course I use my mirrors you bone heads. what has has one of your points have to do with a tailgater.

You were the one who said drivers shouldn’t be concerned about who’s behind them. Which most drivers use mirrors to discern.

You do sound like you have more sympathy with tailgaters than with people doing the speed limit.

wildturkeycanoe said :

gazket said :

Why worry about whats behind you , you’ve already passed it. Keep an eye on whats in front.

Hand your driver’s license back to a Canberra Connect shopfront if you really believe this. You need to see what is coming from behind you so that:
– you won’t pull out in front of a vehicle moving faster than you when merging or changing lanes
– you can move aside and give way when emergency vehicles are coming from behind.
– you can keep an eye on the load of your trailer or utility
– you can ensure your children are not jumping all over the back seat instead of being securely strapped in
Mirrors aren’t just to hang fluffy dice or dream-catchers on, to put on makeup or to fix your hair.

really ? Did I say I ripped the mirrors out of my car and never use them. Of course I use my mirrors you bone heads. what has has one of your points have to do with a tailgater.

Holden Caulfield1:34 pm 16 Dec 14

Turns out GrumpyMark is not so grumpy after all, rather he is SensibleMark.

I wonder if safety cameras could be set up to fine tailgaters by calculating the plate1 to plate2 time relative to the speed of the vehicles. It could easily be a significant revenue raiser, although being cut off at the check point could also result in a fine.

Nonetheless, tailgating is easy to spot and easy to measure for both humans and machines. Given the holistic increase in third party risk associated with this behaviour I am appalled it does not get called out more often as a contributing factor if not direct causation of many multi-vehicle traffic incidents.

We need to focus on this issue more as a community and call on police to take greater action reminding people to keep a safe following distance rather than perpetually banging on about speed limits.

I have been following this thread with interest and I am dumbfounded by the number of posters who seem to believe that tailgating is justifiable.

While another driver may, for whatever reason, decide to drive under the speed limit on a single lane carriageway or “block” the right hand lane on a two lane carriageway there can never be an excuse for turning an inconvenience into a dangerous driving situation.

The Tuggeranong Parkway is a tailgater’s paradise and I constantly see drivers aggressively sitting little more than a car’s length behind another driver trying to force them to speed up. To what end? So, as an earlier poster calculated, the tailgater can arrive at their destination a full 90 seconds earlier?

I, like many others, despise the arrogance of those who decide they will stay in the right hand lane simply because they can. However, I do not allow my annoyance to distract me from the all important task of driving safely. Rather I bask in the warmth of my moral superiority and pull over to the left lane (when safe to do so) and continue on, mindful that this person could wake up at any time and decide to move to the left. In situations such as this, it is far more important that at least one driver remains aware of the situation and adjusts their driving habit accordingly, for not to do so only increases the chances of an unfavourable incident.

Tailgating on a single lane carriageway is even more nonsensical. We need to remember that vehicle speedometers are not all correctly graduated. So while a driver may believe they are doing the speed limit, according to their speedometer, they may in reality be travelling a couple of k’s under the speed limit. And at the end of the day, that is fine.

I’m sure many of those posters who admit to tailgating would rank their driving ability quite highly on a scale of 1 to 10. They would be wrong. Driving is not only about demonstrating good physical skill but also about maintaining concentration and adjusting your driving to suit the conditions.

wildturkeycanoe5:03 am 16 Dec 14

gazket said :

Why worry about whats behind you , you’ve already passed it. Keep an eye on whats in front.

Hand your driver’s license back to a Canberra Connect shopfront if you really believe this. You need to see what is coming from behind you so that:
– you won’t pull out in front of a vehicle moving faster than you when merging or changing lanes
– you can move aside and give way when emergency vehicles are coming from behind.
– you can keep an eye on the load of your trailer or utility
– you can ensure your children are not jumping all over the back seat instead of being securely strapped in
Mirrors aren’t just to hang fluffy dice or dream-catchers on, to put on makeup or to fix your hair.

Queen_of_the_Bun11:37 pm 15 Dec 14

gazket said :

Why worry about whats behind you , you’ve already passed it. Keep an eye on whats in front.

Yes, who needs to keep an eye out for emergency vehicles coming up from behind which might need to pass you?

Little tip – there’s this crazy thing inside your car on the windscreen called a rear view mirror. Plus ones outside the car on either side. When people learn to drive, they are taught to check them regularly. Because you never know where danger may come from.

Queen_of_the_Bun11:32 pm 15 Dec 14

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Maya123 said :

watto23 said :

Evilomlap said :

Maya123 said :

magiccar9 said :

Evilomlap said :

Dothemo said :

I’ve been guilty of nasty driving in the past when in a hurry but now in my middle thirties I figure if I don’t want to be the victim of this conduct I must not do it to others. So I am a very calm passive driver and resist the temptation to get angry at others. If I make a mistake like accidentally cut someone off I always wave and apologize loudly and you watch it diffuse the situation. I have never tailgated others ever so when it happens to me I drop maybe 5 km under the speed limit and stay there – often the person will back off because perhaps they weren’t aware they were doing it to you? My advice is just let the anger go, it makes it worse for you. Just be the best driver you can be, be nice.

We need more drivers like you on the roads. I do exactly the same thing when tailgated and 9 times out of 10 the person simply backs off, either because like you said they haven’t realised they are doing it or because they realise their tailgating me is *not* going to make me speed up. The longer they tailgate me, the slower I go.

This is only fueling the situation… Why bother going even slower? Sure you might think you’re being a warrior of safety, but in actual fact you’re doing yourself a disservice. Not only are YOU now breaking the law by unnecessarily impeding traffic and traveling at an unsafe speed, but how many times has the tailgater actually backed off? Probably not often because you slowing down only means they’re even closer to the back of you. Then they get even more enraged at you, you get on your high and mighty soapbox and you have 2 distracted drivers instead of 1 tailgater. People like you need to stop playing games on the road and just concentrate on what’s in front of you. Grow up!

You wouldn’t be someone who tailgates by any chance? Your anger reads like you might be. Angry drivers are also a danger to themselves and others about them.
Dropping ones speed by a few kms per hour does not necessarily make for “an unsafe speed”. Driving at 95 rather than 100 for instance, or as possibly more likely, driving at 100 rather than 105. Please quote the law that says driving say at 95 in a 100 speed zone is breaking the law. The traffic that is being impeded according to you, is likely you who wants to speed. And damn it, those other drivers are on your road, in your road and you will show them by driving up their rear. Not you! Then why are you so angry?

I lightly touch my brakes several times. This passes the message on and is usually successful to get the silly twerp to back off. Because if I had to seriously apply my brakes, they would end up in the back of my car and knock my car down the road and likely into the trouble I was trying to avoid. Better to give that driver, who is possibly demonstrating they lack the intelligence to anticipate what can happen, a mild fright, than a big fright all round when they can’t stop before they plough into my car.

Great reply and thanks. Was my thoughts exactly. I love that these people think that driving slightly under the speed limit is somehow illegal and/or dangerous. It’s called a speed *limit* for a reason. For me, ‘driving to the conditions’ includes safely slowing down when tailgated by morons.

Again you are creating a more dangerous situation, so why the hell would you do that and stay in the situation. Ok I think a tap of the brakes is fine because the person may be a bit unattentive and it helps remind them, they are driving badly. But if they keep doing it, you are staying in a dangerous situation on the road and putting your life at risk. The person tailgating is a moron, but you aren’t exactly showing signs of intelligence by staying in a dangerous situation either.

I’m a amazed at how people will do all sorts of things to avoid risk off the road, yet on the road, act in a fashion that puts their lives at risk.

You say, “Again you are creating a more dangerous situation, so why the hell would you do that and stay in the situation.”

But you don’t make suggestions how to get out of it. It’s dangerous to slow and pull off the road, if that is at all possible, because that involves slowing and there is a good chance the tailgater will run into the back of the car in front. So that’s not a solution. And speeding up beyond the legal road speed limit is also dangerous (and illegal), and doesn’t guarantee the tailgater will stop tailgating anyway. So that’s not a solution. Your suggestions please.

Just spitballing here, but how about indicating left then slowing gently and moving over?

That only works if there are two lanes. Tailgaters are not restricted to terrorising right lane hogs. Plenty of drivers tailgate on one lane each way roads.

watto23 said :

Tenpoints said :

Watto23, if I had to pull over every time I got tailgated I may as well sell the car and walk. And while in some situations you’re right to take evasive action (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ao0v-vPHvs) the vast majority of people who commit tailgating offences are relatively low on the road rage spectrum and could simply benefit from a bit of retraining in driving etiquette and the consequences of accidents.

People should not be so scared of extremists as to go through life being bullied at every turn because they never stand up for themselves. This applies in all activities in life. In my opinion people should generally aim to be somewhere in the middle between absolute humility and complete self-righteousness.

I believe the safest way to respond to a tailgater in situations where you can’t pull over is to increase the gap to the vehicle in front such that you can accelerate and decelerate smoothly. Unless your moronic tailgater decides to deliberately ram you, the smooth and predictable driving you demonstrate will reduce both the likelihood and the severity of any rear end collision as the speed differential between the front and back cars will remain low.

I agree with you. The problem is there were a lot of people on this thread with a high and mighty attitude saying screw them I’ll sit in the right hand lane. It happens all the time in Canberra, it means people also undertake which is also dangerous. I’m happy for a bit of brake tapping to get them off your tail, I do it in my car and definitely on the bike because tailgating a motorcyclist basically means you want to kill the motorcyclist, but I generally don’t have an issue as I always move back into the left hand lane after overtaking rather than just sit there. I’d rather pull over and let a threat to myself go by than to maintain a dangerous situation. Fortunately it rarely happens and usually the tailgating is on dual lane roads so when it happens I’ll tap brake lights to tell them to back off, and move over when I can, just to avoid an idiot. It also reflects the lack of police on the roads, the difficulty of enforcing and booking people for tailgating as well.

Finally agree, you can’t let bullies run your life, but there are times, methods and places to deal with it.

I’m a traveller and I’ve been to many places considered slightly dangerous. I’m off to Jordan next year. I’m not going to let terrorists ruin my hobby or the lively hoods of those who depend on tourism. That said I’m not going to visit Iraq or Afghanistan. There are times and places to deal with these issues and make stands.

I just find the attitude of screw you I’m blocking the right hand lane because you tail gated me is a bad attitude to have and does nothing to help the situation, creates a dangerous situation and makes the person no better than the tailgater themselves. Bad situations usually start from simple innocuous situations.

“I just find the attitude of screw you I’m blocking the right hand lane”
Really! Not how I have read this. I think this is all in your mind. Please quote where people have said, “screw you I’m blocking the right hand lane.”

gazket said :

Why worry about whats behind you , you’ve already passed it. Keep an eye on whats in front.

When I did my advanced driving course, (work requirement) the instructors stated there are 9 areas we need to worry about.
Immediately in front of your vehicle
Moderate space in front of your vehicle
Far ahead of your vehicle
Left hand side
Right hand side
Left hand mirror
Right hand mirror
Rear vision mirror
Dashboard (speedo)

Scan through these 9 points and maintain a crash avoidance space with each allows for a very safe drive.

justin heywood5:07 pm 15 Dec 14

watto23 said :

……The problem is there were a lot of people on this thread with a high and mighty attitude saying screw them I’ll sit in the right hand lane.

Show me one.

gazket said :

Why worry about whats behind you , you’ve already passed it. Keep an eye on whats in front.

Because whiplash is not a fun thing.

Why worry about whats behind you , you’ve already passed it. Keep an eye on whats in front.

Tenpoints said :

Watto23, if I had to pull over every time I got tailgated I may as well sell the car and walk. And while in some situations you’re right to take evasive action (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ao0v-vPHvs) the vast majority of people who commit tailgating offences are relatively low on the road rage spectrum and could simply benefit from a bit of retraining in driving etiquette and the consequences of accidents.

People should not be so scared of extremists as to go through life being bullied at every turn because they never stand up for themselves. This applies in all activities in life. In my opinion people should generally aim to be somewhere in the middle between absolute humility and complete self-righteousness.

I believe the safest way to respond to a tailgater in situations where you can’t pull over is to increase the gap to the vehicle in front such that you can accelerate and decelerate smoothly. Unless your moronic tailgater decides to deliberately ram you, the smooth and predictable driving you demonstrate will reduce both the likelihood and the severity of any rear end collision as the speed differential between the front and back cars will remain low.

I agree with you. The problem is there were a lot of people on this thread with a high and mighty attitude saying screw them I’ll sit in the right hand lane. It happens all the time in Canberra, it means people also undertake which is also dangerous. I’m happy for a bit of brake tapping to get them off your tail, I do it in my car and definitely on the bike because tailgating a motorcyclist basically means you want to kill the motorcyclist, but I generally don’t have an issue as I always move back into the left hand lane after overtaking rather than just sit there. I’d rather pull over and let a threat to myself go by than to maintain a dangerous situation. Fortunately it rarely happens and usually the tailgating is on dual lane roads so when it happens I’ll tap brake lights to tell them to back off, and move over when I can, just to avoid an idiot. It also reflects the lack of police on the roads, the difficulty of enforcing and booking people for tailgating as well.

Finally agree, you can’t let bullies run your life, but there are times, methods and places to deal with it.

I’m a traveller and I’ve been to many places considered slightly dangerous. I’m off to Jordan next year. I’m not going to let terrorists ruin my hobby or the lively hoods of those who depend on tourism. That said I’m not going to visit Iraq or Afghanistan. There are times and places to deal with these issues and make stands.

I just find the attitude of screw you I’m blocking the right hand lane because you tail gated me is a bad attitude to have and does nothing to help the situation, creates a dangerous situation and makes the person no better than the tailgater themselves. Bad situations usually start from simple innocuous situations.

Watto23, if I had to pull over every time I got tailgated I may as well sell the car and walk. And while in some situations you’re right to take evasive action (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ao0v-vPHvs) the vast majority of people who commit tailgating offences are relatively low on the road rage spectrum and could simply benefit from a bit of retraining in driving etiquette and the consequences of accidents.

People should not be so scared of extremists as to go through life being bullied at every turn because they never stand up for themselves. This applies in all activities in life. In my opinion people should generally aim to be somewhere in the middle between absolute humility and complete self-righteousness.

I believe the safest way to respond to a tailgater in situations where you can’t pull over is to increase the gap to the vehicle in front such that you can accelerate and decelerate smoothly. Unless your moronic tailgater decides to deliberately ram you, the smooth and predictable driving you demonstrate will reduce both the likelihood and the severity of any rear end collision as the speed differential between the front and back cars will remain low.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back1:20 pm 15 Dec 14

Maya123 said :

watto23 said :

Evilomlap said :

Maya123 said :

magiccar9 said :

Evilomlap said :

Dothemo said :

I’ve been guilty of nasty driving in the past when in a hurry but now in my middle thirties I figure if I don’t want to be the victim of this conduct I must not do it to others. So I am a very calm passive driver and resist the temptation to get angry at others. If I make a mistake like accidentally cut someone off I always wave and apologize loudly and you watch it diffuse the situation. I have never tailgated others ever so when it happens to me I drop maybe 5 km under the speed limit and stay there – often the person will back off because perhaps they weren’t aware they were doing it to you? My advice is just let the anger go, it makes it worse for you. Just be the best driver you can be, be nice.

We need more drivers like you on the roads. I do exactly the same thing when tailgated and 9 times out of 10 the person simply backs off, either because like you said they haven’t realised they are doing it or because they realise their tailgating me is *not* going to make me speed up. The longer they tailgate me, the slower I go.

This is only fueling the situation… Why bother going even slower? Sure you might think you’re being a warrior of safety, but in actual fact you’re doing yourself a disservice. Not only are YOU now breaking the law by unnecessarily impeding traffic and traveling at an unsafe speed, but how many times has the tailgater actually backed off? Probably not often because you slowing down only means they’re even closer to the back of you. Then they get even more enraged at you, you get on your high and mighty soapbox and you have 2 distracted drivers instead of 1 tailgater. People like you need to stop playing games on the road and just concentrate on what’s in front of you. Grow up!

You wouldn’t be someone who tailgates by any chance? Your anger reads like you might be. Angry drivers are also a danger to themselves and others about them.
Dropping ones speed by a few kms per hour does not necessarily make for “an unsafe speed”. Driving at 95 rather than 100 for instance, or as possibly more likely, driving at 100 rather than 105. Please quote the law that says driving say at 95 in a 100 speed zone is breaking the law. The traffic that is being impeded according to you, is likely you who wants to speed. And damn it, those other drivers are on your road, in your road and you will show them by driving up their rear. Not you! Then why are you so angry?

I lightly touch my brakes several times. This passes the message on and is usually successful to get the silly twerp to back off. Because if I had to seriously apply my brakes, they would end up in the back of my car and knock my car down the road and likely into the trouble I was trying to avoid. Better to give that driver, who is possibly demonstrating they lack the intelligence to anticipate what can happen, a mild fright, than a big fright all round when they can’t stop before they plough into my car.

Great reply and thanks. Was my thoughts exactly. I love that these people think that driving slightly under the speed limit is somehow illegal and/or dangerous. It’s called a speed *limit* for a reason. For me, ‘driving to the conditions’ includes safely slowing down when tailgated by morons.

Again you are creating a more dangerous situation, so why the hell would you do that and stay in the situation. Ok I think a tap of the brakes is fine because the person may be a bit unattentive and it helps remind them, they are driving badly. But if they keep doing it, you are staying in a dangerous situation on the road and putting your life at risk. The person tailgating is a moron, but you aren’t exactly showing signs of intelligence by staying in a dangerous situation either.

I’m a amazed at how people will do all sorts of things to avoid risk off the road, yet on the road, act in a fashion that puts their lives at risk.

You say, “Again you are creating a more dangerous situation, so why the hell would you do that and stay in the situation.”

But you don’t make suggestions how to get out of it. It’s dangerous to slow and pull off the road, if that is at all possible, because that involves slowing and there is a good chance the tailgater will run into the back of the car in front. So that’s not a solution. And speeding up beyond the legal road speed limit is also dangerous (and illegal), and doesn’t guarantee the tailgater will stop tailgating anyway. So that’s not a solution. Your suggestions please.

Just spitballing here, but how about indicating left then slowing gently and moving over?

Thanks again, Maya123. I hope I encounter sensible people like yourself when I’m out driving next as opposed to the ‘experts’ in both driving skill and personality assessment who have commented on this thread.

watto23 said :

Evilomlap said :

Maya123 said :

magiccar9 said :

Evilomlap said :

Dothemo said :

I’ve been guilty of nasty driving in the past when in a hurry but now in my middle thirties I figure if I don’t want to be the victim of this conduct I must not do it to others. So I am a very calm passive driver and resist the temptation to get angry at others. If I make a mistake like accidentally cut someone off I always wave and apologize loudly and you watch it diffuse the situation. I have never tailgated others ever so when it happens to me I drop maybe 5 km under the speed limit and stay there – often the person will back off because perhaps they weren’t aware they were doing it to you? My advice is just let the anger go, it makes it worse for you. Just be the best driver you can be, be nice.

We need more drivers like you on the roads. I do exactly the same thing when tailgated and 9 times out of 10 the person simply backs off, either because like you said they haven’t realised they are doing it or because they realise their tailgating me is *not* going to make me speed up. The longer they tailgate me, the slower I go.

This is only fueling the situation… Why bother going even slower? Sure you might think you’re being a warrior of safety, but in actual fact you’re doing yourself a disservice. Not only are YOU now breaking the law by unnecessarily impeding traffic and traveling at an unsafe speed, but how many times has the tailgater actually backed off? Probably not often because you slowing down only means they’re even closer to the back of you. Then they get even more enraged at you, you get on your high and mighty soapbox and you have 2 distracted drivers instead of 1 tailgater. People like you need to stop playing games on the road and just concentrate on what’s in front of you. Grow up!

You wouldn’t be someone who tailgates by any chance? Your anger reads like you might be. Angry drivers are also a danger to themselves and others about them.
Dropping ones speed by a few kms per hour does not necessarily make for “an unsafe speed”. Driving at 95 rather than 100 for instance, or as possibly more likely, driving at 100 rather than 105. Please quote the law that says driving say at 95 in a 100 speed zone is breaking the law. The traffic that is being impeded according to you, is likely you who wants to speed. And damn it, those other drivers are on your road, in your road and you will show them by driving up their rear. Not you! Then why are you so angry?

I lightly touch my brakes several times. This passes the message on and is usually successful to get the silly twerp to back off. Because if I had to seriously apply my brakes, they would end up in the back of my car and knock my car down the road and likely into the trouble I was trying to avoid. Better to give that driver, who is possibly demonstrating they lack the intelligence to anticipate what can happen, a mild fright, than a big fright all round when they can’t stop before they plough into my car.

Great reply and thanks. Was my thoughts exactly. I love that these people think that driving slightly under the speed limit is somehow illegal and/or dangerous. It’s called a speed *limit* for a reason. For me, ‘driving to the conditions’ includes safely slowing down when tailgated by morons.

Again you are creating a more dangerous situation, so why the hell would you do that and stay in the situation. Ok I think a tap of the brakes is fine because the person may be a bit unattentive and it helps remind them, they are driving badly. But if they keep doing it, you are staying in a dangerous situation on the road and putting your life at risk. The person tailgating is a moron, but you aren’t exactly showing signs of intelligence by staying in a dangerous situation either.

I’m a amazed at how people will do all sorts of things to avoid risk off the road, yet on the road, act in a fashion that puts their lives at risk.

You say, “Again you are creating a more dangerous situation, so why the hell would you do that and stay in the situation.”

But you don’t make suggestions how to get out of it. It’s dangerous to slow and pull off the road, if that is at all possible, because that involves slowing and there is a good chance the tailgater will run into the back of the car in front. So that’s not a solution. And speeding up beyond the legal road speed limit is also dangerous (and illegal), and doesn’t guarantee the tailgater will stop tailgating anyway. So that’s not a solution. Your suggestions please.

Evilomlap said :

Maya123 said :

magiccar9 said :

Evilomlap said :

Dothemo said :

I’ve been guilty of nasty driving in the past when in a hurry but now in my middle thirties I figure if I don’t want to be the victim of this conduct I must not do it to others. So I am a very calm passive driver and resist the temptation to get angry at others. If I make a mistake like accidentally cut someone off I always wave and apologize loudly and you watch it diffuse the situation. I have never tailgated others ever so when it happens to me I drop maybe 5 km under the speed limit and stay there – often the person will back off because perhaps they weren’t aware they were doing it to you? My advice is just let the anger go, it makes it worse for you. Just be the best driver you can be, be nice.

We need more drivers like you on the roads. I do exactly the same thing when tailgated and 9 times out of 10 the person simply backs off, either because like you said they haven’t realised they are doing it or because they realise their tailgating me is *not* going to make me speed up. The longer they tailgate me, the slower I go.

This is only fueling the situation… Why bother going even slower? Sure you might think you’re being a warrior of safety, but in actual fact you’re doing yourself a disservice. Not only are YOU now breaking the law by unnecessarily impeding traffic and traveling at an unsafe speed, but how many times has the tailgater actually backed off? Probably not often because you slowing down only means they’re even closer to the back of you. Then they get even more enraged at you, you get on your high and mighty soapbox and you have 2 distracted drivers instead of 1 tailgater. People like you need to stop playing games on the road and just concentrate on what’s in front of you. Grow up!

You wouldn’t be someone who tailgates by any chance? Your anger reads like you might be. Angry drivers are also a danger to themselves and others about them.
Dropping ones speed by a few kms per hour does not necessarily make for “an unsafe speed”. Driving at 95 rather than 100 for instance, or as possibly more likely, driving at 100 rather than 105. Please quote the law that says driving say at 95 in a 100 speed zone is breaking the law. The traffic that is being impeded according to you, is likely you who wants to speed. And damn it, those other drivers are on your road, in your road and you will show them by driving up their rear. Not you! Then why are you so angry?

I lightly touch my brakes several times. This passes the message on and is usually successful to get the silly twerp to back off. Because if I had to seriously apply my brakes, they would end up in the back of my car and knock my car down the road and likely into the trouble I was trying to avoid. Better to give that driver, who is possibly demonstrating they lack the intelligence to anticipate what can happen, a mild fright, than a big fright all round when they can’t stop before they plough into my car.

Great reply and thanks. Was my thoughts exactly. I love that these people think that driving slightly under the speed limit is somehow illegal and/or dangerous. It’s called a speed *limit* for a reason. For me, ‘driving to the conditions’ includes safely slowing down when tailgated by morons.

Again you are creating a more dangerous situation, so why the hell would you do that and stay in the situation. Ok I think a tap of the brakes is fine because the person may be a bit unattentive and it helps remind them, they are driving badly. But if they keep doing it, you are staying in a dangerous situation on the road and putting your life at risk. The person tailgating is a moron, but you aren’t exactly showing signs of intelligence by staying in a dangerous situation either.

I’m a amazed at how people will do all sorts of things to avoid risk off the road, yet on the road, act in a fashion that puts their lives at risk.

justin heywood said :

watto23 said :

….You are also teaching your kids to stay in a risky situation, just because you don’t want some bad driver to speed. I hope you feel guilty if something ever happens to them, with an attitude like this.

Thanks for the parenting advice there Watto, I’ll give your opinion the respect it deserves.

The rest of your post is so full of other accusations and assumptions I’m not going to address them all. But, FWIW, I don’t speed excessively but I’m usually at the speed limit, my speedos are generally pretty accurate and I stay in the left lane wherever practical.

To imply that people are being tailgated are probably doing something wrong could lead me to some assumptions about you and your driving behaviour, but then I don’t know you any better than you know me, so that would be stupid.

You didn’t even read my post clearly, because I never even suggested anything about speeding!
I’m not saying you are doing anything wrong other than to suggest p$ssing off someone tailgating is a good idea. Yeah its a bad behaviour and tailgaters should be fined, but they won’t get fined. All I can hope for is a speed camera down the road to catch them speeding.
However by staying in a dangerous situation you are putting your life at risk, so why do it? Maybe its because I’ve recently been through my motorcycle license training that I think like this, a big part of it is staying out of dangerous situations and creating a buffer zone.
Please all of you people who suggest staying in front of tailgaters and slowing down etc to p$ss them off is a good idea, please think of the consequences, if the idiot behind you also causes an accident. My point is you can argue all you want about how their bad driving was at fault but it means nothing if you or someone you love is injured seriously or killed. Especially when its a simple thing to pull over into the left lane if possible.

Maya123 said :

magiccar9 said :

Evilomlap said :

Dothemo said :

I’ve been guilty of nasty driving in the past when in a hurry but now in my middle thirties I figure if I don’t want to be the victim of this conduct I must not do it to others. So I am a very calm passive driver and resist the temptation to get angry at others. If I make a mistake like accidentally cut someone off I always wave and apologize loudly and you watch it diffuse the situation. I have never tailgated others ever so when it happens to me I drop maybe 5 km under the speed limit and stay there – often the person will back off because perhaps they weren’t aware they were doing it to you? My advice is just let the anger go, it makes it worse for you. Just be the best driver you can be, be nice.

We need more drivers like you on the roads. I do exactly the same thing when tailgated and 9 times out of 10 the person simply backs off, either because like you said they haven’t realised they are doing it or because they realise their tailgating me is *not* going to make me speed up. The longer they tailgate me, the slower I go.

This is only fueling the situation… Why bother going even slower? Sure you might think you’re being a warrior of safety, but in actual fact you’re doing yourself a disservice. Not only are YOU now breaking the law by unnecessarily impeding traffic and traveling at an unsafe speed, but how many times has the tailgater actually backed off? Probably not often because you slowing down only means they’re even closer to the back of you. Then they get even more enraged at you, you get on your high and mighty soapbox and you have 2 distracted drivers instead of 1 tailgater. People like you need to stop playing games on the road and just concentrate on what’s in front of you. Grow up!

You wouldn’t be someone who tailgates by any chance? Your anger reads like you might be. Angry drivers are also a danger to themselves and others about them.
Dropping ones speed by a few kms per hour does not necessarily make for “an unsafe speed”. Driving at 95 rather than 100 for instance, or as possibly more likely, driving at 100 rather than 105. Please quote the law that says driving say at 95 in a 100 speed zone is breaking the law. The traffic that is being impeded according to you, is likely you who wants to speed. And damn it, those other drivers are on your road, in your road and you will show them by driving up their rear. Not you! Then why are you so angry?

I lightly touch my brakes several times. This passes the message on and is usually successful to get the silly twerp to back off. Because if I had to seriously apply my brakes, they would end up in the back of my car and knock my car down the road and likely into the trouble I was trying to avoid. Better to give that driver, who is possibly demonstrating they lack the intelligence to anticipate what can happen, a mild fright, than a big fright all round when they can’t stop before they plough into my car.

Great reply and thanks. Was my thoughts exactly. I love that these people think that driving slightly under the speed limit is somehow illegal and/or dangerous. It’s called a speed *limit* for a reason. For me, ‘driving to the conditions’ includes safely slowing down when tailgated by morons.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back9:34 am 15 Dec 14

There are situations where vehicles have to travel below the legal speed limit, this is actually quite normal. Provided these vehicles stay left, and people overtake on the right, we don’t have a problem.

Once again, some basic common sense and courtesy and it will all work out just fine.

Problem fixed.

“If there’s a left lane it doesn’t matter if someone is going 10km under the limit. That’s what the right lane is for; overtaking.”

This is exactly the sort of attitude I was alluding to ! Yes – it does matter. Closing speed on someone doing 10-20K under the speed limit is dramatic. Unnecessarily changing lanes at 80KPH can be dangerous – especially in heavy traffic.

People who do 10K + under the speed limit are either inconsiderate of others, ignorant or want to slow the world down to their speed. If they can not or will not drive closer to the upper end of the speed limit, they should not be on the road.

Iike many others, I have spent many years driving in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perrth + other cities. In all my born days, I have never seen so many people driving so excessively slowlywell below the speed limit, as I see in Canberra. It is obvious the trouble/danger it causes.

You will never stop people wanting to drive on the speed limit – and some above it. People are time limited these days – and that pressure is getting worse. Treat the cause (ie. drivers going to slow in either lane) as well as the symptom (ie. tailgating and agressiveness).

rommeldog56 said :

Some of the comments in this thread are – well, scarey.

Its a 2 part solution.

Part 1 : Make the speed “limit” a more narrow band. ie

80kph – less 5 kph is legal. So, if you are going 70kph in an 80kph zone, you get booked for obstructing traffic – unless there is good reason for going slower eg. weather. The mobile, fixed speed and point to point speed cameras should issue the fines for that as well as going over the speed limit. Currently its “legal” to go 20kph under the speed limit – thats too much and causes trouble.

Part 2 : Keep left unless overtaking.

Needs part 1 to be enacted & policed though.

In short, if you are in the left land, and are doing 10kph or more under the speed “limit”, wake up and show some common courtesy and consideration for your fellow road users. Ditto speeders.

Problem fixed.

If there’s a left lane it doesn’t matter if someone is going 10km under the limit. That’s what the right lane is for; overtaking. Unless there is heavy traffic, in which case it is likely everyone is driving under the speed limit. Then who’s going to decide at what stage weather becomes considered bad and an excuse to slow down? What might be bad for one person is fine for another. One only has to witness the speeding cars on rainy days to see what some people consider is a ‘safe’ speed to drive. Should anyone driving 10kms under that speed be fined for hindering traffic? There’s logic missing in your idea about fining drivers for going 70kms in an 80km zone.
By the way, in case you are wondering; no, I am generally not a slower driver, but I do respect that others for various reasons, might not want to drive at, say, 80kms per hour. There does come a time though when a VERY slow driver can be a hindrance and rules already exist to deal with that. But not for the ridiculous idea of fining drivers for driving at 70kms in an 80km zone. Quoted from the NRMA:

“Driving slowly
According to the NSW Road Rules you cannot drive so abnormally slowly that you cause an obstruction. An example of driving ‘abnormally slowly’ would be, if you were travelling at a speed of 20 kilometres per hour on a road with a speed limit of 80 kilometres per hour, then you could be causing an obstruction to other drivers if there is no reason for you to drive at that speed on that road.”

So, no fines for 70kms in an 80km zone, but for 20km per hour.

Some of the comments in this thread are – well, scarey.

Its a 2 part solution.

Part 1 : Make the speed “limit” a more narrow band. ie 80kph – less 5 kph is legal. So, if you are going 70kph in an 80kph zone, you get booked for obstructing traffic – unless there is good reason for going slower eg. weather. The mobile, fixed speed and point to point speed cameras should issue the fines for that as well as going over the speed limit. Currently its “legal” to go 20kph under the speed limit – thats too much and causes trouble.

Part 2 : Keep left unless overtaking. Needs part 1 to be enacted & policed though.

In short, if you are in the left land, and are doing 10kph or more under the speed “limit”, wake up and show some common courtesy and consideration for your fellow road users. Ditto speeders.

Problem fixed.

Queen_of_the_Bun11:52 am 14 Dec 14

Tenpoints said :

That’s exactly right. All of those are reasons to be in the right lane. And if none of those apply in the situation, and the person is indeed breaking the law by sitting in the right lane without a valid excuse, then you still don’t have the justification to create a dangerous situation by tailgating. Report them to the police as you would any other traffic offence. Your aggressive attitude is no better than the so called right lane hogs, except this thread is not about them. It’s about tailgating as a widespread problem. Right lane hogs may be a catalyst in some cases but I would argue that the majority of tailgating incidents occur in situations where front driver is driving legally or not. Either or, it’s the same deal. Keep calm on the roads, stay away from clowns and you’ll have a better day as a result.

+1

That’s exactly right. All of those are reasons to be in the right lane. And if none of those apply in the situation, and the person is indeed breaking the law by sitting in the right lane without a valid excuse, then you still don’t have the justification to create a dangerous situation by tailgating. Report them to the police as you would any other traffic offence. Your aggressive attitude is no better than the so called right lane hogs, except this thread is not about them. It’s about tailgating as a widespread problem. Right lane hogs may be a catalyst in some cases but I would argue that the majority of tailgating incidents occur in situations where front driver is driving legally or not. Either or, it’s the same deal. Keep calm on the roads, stay away from clowns and you’ll have a better day as a result.

I copied this from a NRMA page, re driving in the right lane.

“5. KEEPING LEFT: On roads with a speed limit of more than 80km/h, motorists must not drive in the right-hand lane unless overtaking, turning right or making a U-turn, avoiding an obstacle or driving in congested traffic. If a ‘Keep Left Unless Overtaking’ sign is displayed, then you must keep left regardless of the speed limit.”

Tenpoints said :

Right lane hogs are a separate issue, and not a safety risk. You create the issue with your short tempered impatience and poor anger management skills. There are plenty of valid reasons to be in the right lane around Canberra. Also, it’s a speed limit, not a target. People have every right to slow down if you’re creating a hazard by tailgating them.

If you’re driving in the right lane without ovetaking, being about to turn right or because the traffic is so heavy that both lanes are running below the speed limit, then you are part of the problem.

Get over yourself, and think about others.

Right lane hogs are a separate issue, and not a safety risk. You create the issue with your short tempered impatience and poor anger management skills. There are plenty of valid reasons to be in the right lane around Canberra. Also, it’s a speed limit, not a target. People have every right to slow down if you’re creating a hazard by tailgating them.

Queen_of_the_Bun12:30 pm 13 Dec 14

magiccar9 said :

This is only fueling the situation… Why bother going even slower? Sure you might think you’re being a warrior of safety, but in actual fact you’re doing yourself a disservice. Not only are YOU now breaking the law by unnecessarily impeding traffic and traveling at an unsafe speed, but how many times has the tailgater actually backed off? Probably not often because you slowing down only means they’re even closer to the back of you. Then they get even more enraged at you, you get on your high and mighty soapbox and you have 2 distracted drivers instead of 1 tailgater. People like you need to stop playing games on the road and just concentrate on what’s in front of you. Grow up!

You are missing the point – that having someone following dangerously close behind distracts drivers and often makes them slow down, unconsciously or not.

Good (grown-up) drivers don’t just “concentrate on what’s in front” – they pay attention to what’s behind and beside them as well.

I find that when I’ve got someone’s front bumper a bee’s d$ck away from my rear numberplate, my focus tends to be on how to survive the situation until I can get out of their way. Which involves trying to work out how quickly I can safely pull into the left lane while factoring in the chance that the tailgater may try to undertake.

A few years ago I watched an absolute knob tailgate an L-plater for at least 3km in the left lane of Adelaide Ave, despite the learner doing the speed limit and the tailgater having numerous opportunities to overtake, including other drivers backing off to give him room to get into the middle lane. He just clearly enjoyed intimidating a vulnerable road user.

His car had vanity plates with his company name on them. By the time I got to work and looked up the said printing company’s phone number, the boss had already received three calls alerting him to his employee’s driving behaviour.

Don’t know what happened in the end but it sounded like company car privileges were about to be severely curtailed.

Queen_of_the_Bun12:10 pm 13 Dec 14

Maya123 said :

magiccar9 said :

Evilomlap said :

Dothemo said :

I’ve been guilty of nasty driving in the past when in a hurry but now in my middle thirties I figure if I don’t want to be the victim of this conduct I must not do it to others. So I am a very calm passive driver and resist the temptation to get angry at others. If I make a mistake like accidentally cut someone off I always wave and apologize loudly and you watch it diffuse the situation. I have never tailgated others ever so when it happens to me I drop maybe 5 km under the speed limit and stay there – often the person will back off because perhaps they weren’t aware they were doing it to you? My advice is just let the anger go, it makes it worse for you. Just be the best driver you can be, be nice.

We need more drivers like you on the roads. I do exactly the same thing when tailgated and 9 times out of 10 the person simply backs off, either because like you said they haven’t realised they are doing it or because they realise their tailgating me is *not* going to make me speed up. The longer they tailgate me, the slower I go.

This is only fueling the situation… Why bother going even slower? Sure you might think you’re being a warrior of safety, but in actual fact you’re doing yourself a disservice. Not only are YOU now breaking the law by unnecessarily impeding traffic and traveling at an unsafe speed, but how many times has the tailgater actually backed off? Probably not often because you slowing down only means they’re even closer to the back of you. Then they get even more enraged at you, you get on your high and mighty soapbox and you have 2 distracted drivers instead of 1 tailgater. People like you need to stop playing games on the road and just concentrate on what’s in front of you. Grow up!

You wouldn’t be someone who tailgates by any chance? Your anger reads like you might be. Angry drivers are also a danger to themselves and others about them.
Dropping ones speed by a few kms per hour does not necessarily make for “an unsafe speed”. Driving at 95 rather than 100 for instance, or as possibly more likely, driving at 100 rather than 105. Please quote the law that says driving say at 95 in a 100 speed zone is breaking the law. The traffic that is being impeded according to you, is likely you who wants to speed. And damn it, those other drivers are on your road, in your road and you will show them by driving up their rear. Not you! Then why are you so angry?

I lightly touch my brakes several times. This passes the message on and is usually successful to get the silly twerp to back off. Because if I had to seriously apply my brakes, they would end up in the back of my car and knock my car down the road and likely into the trouble I was trying to avoid. Better to give that driver, who is possibly demonstrating they lack the intelligence to anticipate what can happen, a mild fright, than a big fright all round when they can’t stop before they plough into my car.

If I’m in a situation where I can allow a tailgater to pass, I do. If I’m not, and it’s daylight, instead of touching the brake I turn my headlights on. For a moment, the tailgater mistakes the tail light coming on for a brake light. They back off, I maintain my speed, and for about three seconds there’s a nice safe distance between our vehicles. Only temporary but it does make them think.

It can be frustrating to be stuck behind someone who is not going as fast as you would like to be going, but there is generally no excuse for tailgating. Just dangerous and unproductive for everyone involved.

I let them pass then catch up with them at the next set of lights.

magiccar9 said :

Evilomlap said :

Dothemo said :

I’ve been guilty of nasty driving in the past when in a hurry but now in my middle thirties I figure if I don’t want to be the victim of this conduct I must not do it to others. So I am a very calm passive driver and resist the temptation to get angry at others. If I make a mistake like accidentally cut someone off I always wave and apologize loudly and you watch it diffuse the situation. I have never tailgated others ever so when it happens to me I drop maybe 5 km under the speed limit and stay there – often the person will back off because perhaps they weren’t aware they were doing it to you? My advice is just let the anger go, it makes it worse for you. Just be the best driver you can be, be nice.

We need more drivers like you on the roads. I do exactly the same thing when tailgated and 9 times out of 10 the person simply backs off, either because like you said they haven’t realised they are doing it or because they realise their tailgating me is *not* going to make me speed up. The longer they tailgate me, the slower I go.

This is only fueling the situation… Why bother going even slower? Sure you might think you’re being a warrior of safety, but in actual fact you’re doing yourself a disservice. Not only are YOU now breaking the law by unnecessarily impeding traffic and traveling at an unsafe speed, but how many times has the tailgater actually backed off? Probably not often because you slowing down only means they’re even closer to the back of you. Then they get even more enraged at you, you get on your high and mighty soapbox and you have 2 distracted drivers instead of 1 tailgater. People like you need to stop playing games on the road and just concentrate on what’s in front of you. Grow up!

You wouldn’t be someone who tailgates by any chance? Your anger reads like you might be. Angry drivers are also a danger to themselves and others about them.
Dropping ones speed by a few kms per hour does not necessarily make for “an unsafe speed”. Driving at 95 rather than 100 for instance, or as possibly more likely, driving at 100 rather than 105. Please quote the law that says driving say at 95 in a 100 speed zone is breaking the law. The traffic that is being impeded according to you, is likely you who wants to speed. And damn it, those other drivers are on your road, in your road and you will show them by driving up their rear. Not you! Then why are you so angry?

I lightly touch my brakes several times. This passes the message on and is usually successful to get the silly twerp to back off. Because if I had to seriously apply my brakes, they would end up in the back of my car and knock my car down the road and likely into the trouble I was trying to avoid. Better to give that driver, who is possibly demonstrating they lack the intelligence to anticipate what can happen, a mild fright, than a big fright all round when they can’t stop before they plough into my car.

OpenYourMind11:25 pm 12 Dec 14

magiccar9 said :

mr_wowtrousers said :

magiccar9 said :

Can the OP also define ‘tailgating’? What defines when someone is actually tailgating you, or just too close for your comfort level?

I think standard thinking is at least 3 seconds gap at 100km/hr and more if you are at 110km/h and, well, blow me down, probably more if you are blasting along at 150km/h.

But let me guess, you are an excellent driver with the reflexes of a V8 Supercar driver, right? And your car is in 100% mechanical condition. And the road surface is a like well groomed circuit. And everyone is going the same direction. And you have a four point harness, neck brace and helmet? And you have trained for years at the elite level, rising up the ranks to be where you are today?

Or you drive an average Falcadore that is probably overdue for a brakes/tyre replacement and you just got pumped after watched the Mercedes team win a GP.

Look, if you are holding up traffic at any point, get out of the way. Have some courtesy. Going 150km/h up someone’s tailpipe and flashing your lights and tailgating someone is not really courtesy either now, is it? Both of them are likely to cause frustration and potentially accidents.

Basically, most avoidable issues on the road come down to selfishness:

Speeding: I want to get where I need to go faster than you so I am more important than you
No indicators: Why should I bother to indicate? I know where I am going.
Cutting in: Why should I wait?
No lights when dark/raining: It’s still light enough for me to see in front of me, why do I need lights? (bonust points if you drive a dark colour car).
Driving too slow in any line, esp the right: I am being safe, you should be safe too.

It all comes down to thinking that somehow you are more important than everyone else on the road. You’re not. Everyone wants to get where they are going alive and preferably on time. Some people make that harder than others . . .

The 3 second rule is a flawed theory. Around town, if you leave 3 second gap either someone is likely to fill that space with their car, thus making you slow down further, or you’ll be travelling ~10km/h less than the car in front – likely causing you to be holding up those behind you.

I do agree however that all the problems come down to selfishness. However the card plays both ways, those who are being tailgated also need to consider why someone is doing it to them, and perhaps try to correct the problem.

You sound like part of the problem. If you leave a reasonable space and shock horror, someone squeezes into that, just ease off a little. Everyone will get to where they are going.

I’ve seen some science behind traffic jams. Part of the cause is the lack of space between cars. A little extra space allows cars to flow more easily.

It’s amazing how quickly a normal driving situation can transform into an emergency stop. You are setting yourself up to eventually have an accident if you don’t leave a decent gap. You’ll also find yourself a lot more relaxed when you aren’t sitting 10cm off the bumper of the car in front.

Evilomlap said :

Dothemo said :

I’ve been guilty of nasty driving in the past when in a hurry but now in my middle thirties I figure if I don’t want to be the victim of this conduct I must not do it to others. So I am a very calm passive driver and resist the temptation to get angry at others. If I make a mistake like accidentally cut someone off I always wave and apologize loudly and you watch it diffuse the situation. I have never tailgated others ever so when it happens to me I drop maybe 5 km under the speed limit and stay there – often the person will back off because perhaps they weren’t aware they were doing it to you? My advice is just let the anger go, it makes it worse for you. Just be the best driver you can be, be nice.

We need more drivers like you on the roads. I do exactly the same thing when tailgated and 9 times out of 10 the person simply backs off, either because like you said they haven’t realised they are doing it or because they realise their tailgating me is *not* going to make me speed up. The longer they tailgate me, the slower I go.

This is only fueling the situation… Why bother going even slower? Sure you might think you’re being a warrior of safety, but in actual fact you’re doing yourself a disservice. Not only are YOU now breaking the law by unnecessarily impeding traffic and traveling at an unsafe speed, but how many times has the tailgater actually backed off? Probably not often because you slowing down only means they’re even closer to the back of you. Then they get even more enraged at you, you get on your high and mighty soapbox and you have 2 distracted drivers instead of 1 tailgater. People like you need to stop playing games on the road and just concentrate on what’s in front of you. Grow up!

justin heywood8:06 pm 12 Dec 14

watto23 said :

…You are also teaching your kids to stay in a risky situation, just because you don’t want some bad driver to speed. I hope you feel guilty if something ever happens to them, with an attitude like this.

What are you talking about? Should I tell my kids to speed up whenever they are being tailgated? Would THAT be good parenting in your knowledgeable view?

I think you need to read my post again or turn down the arrogance.

Steven Bailey6:59 pm 12 Dec 14

A_Cog said :

Stevo, you were in the way, mate. It’s that simple. Why else do you think I was honking my horn, flashing my lights and waving my hands? Jeez, if I only had a nudge-bar, I coulda gotten home 7 minutes faster.

Sitting in the right hand lane slows people down who want to go faster. Just move into the left lane and let them past. Don’t try to be some [frustrated] public guardian stopping all people in the entire world from going any faster than you, snarkily insisting “the limit is 100, so I’m going 100, they’re not allowed to go any faster, nyah nyah nyah”. And don’t bother quoting the ‘Australian Road Rules’ coz that just shows up the people who don’t get it. Just move to the left and stay out of the way.

You wouldn’t block an escalator: everyone stands to one side and lets faster walkers past.

The same principle applies, just at +100kmh.

A Cogo! I agree. I sit in the left lane and let people past. No worries!

justin heywood6:45 pm 12 Dec 14

watto23 said :

….You are also teaching your kids to stay in a risky situation, just because you don’t want some bad driver to speed. I hope you feel guilty if something ever happens to them, with an attitude like this.

Thanks for the parenting advice there Watto, I’ll give your opinion the respect it deserves.

The rest of your post is so full of other accusations and assumptions I’m not going to address them all. But, FWIW, I don’t speed excessively but I’m usually at the speed limit, my speedos are generally pretty accurate and I stay in the left lane wherever practical.

To imply that people are being tailgated are probably doing something wrong could lead me to some assumptions about you and your driving behaviour, but then I don’t know you any better than you know me, so that would be stupid.

I saw an interactive sign once that would light up when sensors indicated the second car was too close to the first. “You are driving too close. Back off.” Or words to that effect.

Tailgaters are not going to dictate what speed i drive at. In fact with me it has the opposite effect, if i consider your to close i slow down because my full attention is no longer on the situation ahead. First to admit if i get the opportunity i let the tailgater by, not because the tailgater won but because I plan on being around for a while yet, if he is such a hurry to visit the everafter so be it.

Dothemo said :

I’ve been guilty of nasty driving in the past when in a hurry but now in my middle thirties I figure if I don’t want to be the victim of this conduct I must not do it to others. So I am a very calm passive driver and resist the temptation to get angry at others. If I make a mistake like accidentally cut someone off I always wave and apologize loudly and you watch it diffuse the situation. I have never tailgated others ever so when it happens to me I drop maybe 5 km under the speed limit and stay there – often the person will back off because perhaps they weren’t aware they were doing it to you? My advice is just let the anger go, it makes it worse for you. Just be the best driver you can be, be nice.

We need more drivers like you on the roads. I do exactly the same thing when tailgated and 9 times out of 10 the person simply backs off, either because like you said they haven’t realised they are doing it or because they realise their tailgating me is *not* going to make me speed up. The longer they tailgate me, the slower I go.

justin heywood said :

magiccar9 said :

What I was more implying is that if you’re being tailgated why get on a high horse about it? Even if you’re ‘in the right’ you have just as much power to alter the situation as the person tailgating

I don’t agree. The tailgaters are not the arbiters of what is a safe speed – why allow them to determine your behaviour? If you allow them to influence your driving behaviour, you’re just encouraging them to keep to doing it.

Both of my kids are currently on L plates (lucky me). Incredibly, we are sometimes aggressively tailgated when there is nothing the kids can really do about it.

Same goes for the regular idiots on one-man missions to clear the right hand lane of the Parkway every peak hour morning – they bully one car off to the left, move up and try to shift the next car to do the same. Apparently they believe everyone should crowd into the left lane, giving them the clear run they are entitled to.

I tell my kids to just stand their ground and stick to their limits; neither speed up or slow down because of somebody else’s aggression.

Yet by doing this you are being agressive back. All the people who complain about tailgaters seem to also be ones who feel its their right to be the citizens police of the roads as well. I always pull back to the left lane on all roads if i’m not overtaking, and I rarely ever get tailgaters. Also be aware your speedo might say 80, their speedo might say 80, but you could actually be doing 70. So in that case you are just being a selfish driver, because you think they are doing the wrong thing (as in speeding) when they are not. Tailgating is always wrong but I seem to avoid it, but i’m not a lane hog either. Drive in Europe and even those speeding pull back over to the right especially on the freeways. Then again if I see someone on the hume hwy to Sydney sitting in the right hand lane 90% of the time its got ACT plates. Its a bad habit to get into and to suggest its ok, just because YOU think someone potentially speeding but may not be needs to be slowed down.

WHY??? does anyone even think its a good idea to risk their lives on the road. If you are being tailgated, staying there or even slowing down puts you at greater risk of injury or death. Sure you will let the speeding driver go by, but at least you have preserved your life. If an accident occurs, you can blame the other driver all you want for being at fault, but it won’t help if someone has died or is permanently injured. Stupidity and stubbornness and its definitely not safe driving no mater how high and mighty you might feel.

You are also teaching your kids to stay in a risky situation, just because you don’t want some bad driver to speed. I hope you feel guilty if something ever happens to them, with an attitude like this.

A_Cog said :

Stevo, you were in the way, mate. It’s that simple. Why else do you think I was honking my horn, flashing my lights and waving my hands? Jeez, if I only had a nudge-bar, I coulda gotten home 7 minutes faster.

Sitting in the right hand lane slows people down who want to go faster. Just move into the left lane and let them past. Don’t try to be some [frustrated] public guardian stopping all people in the entire world from going any faster than you, snarkily insisting “the limit is 100, so I’m going 100, they’re not allowed to go any faster, nyah nyah nyah”. And don’t bother quoting the ‘Australian Road Rules’ coz that just shows up the people who don’t get it. Just move to the left and stay out of the way.

You wouldn’t block an escalator: everyone stands to one side and lets faster walkers past.

The same principle applies, just at +100kmh.

Yeah this applies unless you’re one of the people that flies past at 150km/h in the right lane. “Wanting to go faster” doesn’t cut it. Those people are put lives at risk and there’s no excuse for it. They end up stopped at the next rest stop anyway only to pass me again a few minutes later. This achieves nothing more than making them look like morons.

Madam Cholet3:49 pm 12 Dec 14

I experienced a great one today. Going along the Monaro towards the city, in the right hand lane as I my self was overtaking a stream of slower traffic in the left lane, I noticed a car coming rapidly up behind me. As we started passing the gaol, the guy behind me moved into the right turn lane which allows traffic to eventually cross the other side of the Monaro and proceed into the gaol and overtook me. He used a quite short turning lane to overtake.

The strange thing was he didn’t really floor it and keep speeding off in to the distance, he just stayed a constant distance ahead until I turned off at the Canberra Ave turn off. Bizarre. If he had waited about 100 metres I got back into the left hand lane so he didn’t have to endanger everyone after all.

I’ve been guilty of nasty driving in the past when in a hurry but now in my middle thirties I figure if I don’t want to be the victim of this conduct I must not do it to others. So I am a very calm passive driver and resist the temptation to get angry at others. If I make a mistake like accidentally cut someone off I always wave and apologize loudly and you watch it diffuse the situation. I have never tailgated others ever so when it happens to me I drop maybe 5 km under the speed limit and stay there – often the person will back off because perhaps they weren’t aware they were doing it to you? My advice is just let the anger go, it makes it worse for you. Just be the best driver you can be, be nice.

mr_wowtrousers said :

magiccar9 said :

The 3 second rule is a flawed theory. Around town, if you leave 3 second gap either someone is likely to fill that space with their car, thus making you slow down further, or you’ll be travelling ~10km/h less than the car in front – likely causing you to be holding up those behind you.

I do agree however that all the problems come down to selfishness. However the card plays both ways, those who are being tailgated also need to consider why someone is doing it to them, and perhaps try to correct the problem.

No, it’s not a flawed theory. It’s 3 seconds at 100km/hr and more if the speed is higher. That was the entire first paragraph. At 60km/h you adjust. Given that you aren’t going, say, 3 times slower, a 1 second gap wouldn’t be sufficient. You see it every time it rains in Canberra: multiple car pileups. Not just 2 cars by 5,6,7. They sure love their close driving in this city.

The idea is that you have to have room to move when things go pear shaped. People think they have the reflexes of a fighter pilot but most average folks are the same. They can’t process information that quickly and 1-2 seconds is the minimum you need to process what has just happened and do something effective, rather than just mashing the brakes and skidding into the back of someone, or something much, much worse.

My rule of driving is: You shouldn’t be driving in a way that makes other drivers (following the road rules) suddenly have to change how they drive.

I think it is a very rare time that tailgating is ever not an insanely dangerous thing to do. One split second and it’s all done for.

My advice: Be a motorcyclist for a bit. It builds your reflexes and survival instinct pretty quickly and now I just try and stay away from every one on the road. Having no one around me increases my chances of survival exponentially. If that means speeding up or slowing down to get away from dickheads, so be it.

After driving in Japan for two years, coming back here was a real eye-opener. So much genuine anger and aggressive behaviour. Yeah, Aussies are totally chilled and relaxed alright . . .

absolutely; maggicar describes exactly the attitude that is so wrong with so many canberra drivers.

and to add to the stupidity of it, imagine for a moment your leaving a three second gap in a 15 minute drive (say belco to kambah on the parkway) and that every thirty seconds someone pulls into ‘your’ gap. that would mean you have to leave three more seconds to this vehicle. thirty times, at three seconds a time – ninety whole seconds [a minute and a half] longer travel time. gosh, help, the world will end. and this is only if there is a rude mongrel every thirty seconds

ffs, grow up and stop defending rude arrogance and learn to be a considerate driver. is that really so hard??

I know it’s petty, but I have one little criterion when I’m deciding whether it’s too early to pull out into the right lane ahead of another car approaching from behind so I don’t get c*ckblocked by them as I look to overtake the car in front of me: if the car approaching from behind has been sitting in the right lane the whole time and hasn’t bothered to pull back into the left when not overtaking, then clearly the left lane is sub-standard and I shouldn’t be in it.

justin heywood10:38 am 11 Dec 14

magiccar9 said :

What I was more implying is that if you’re being tailgated why get on a high horse about it? Even if you’re ‘in the right’ you have just as much power to alter the situation as the person tailgating

I don’t agree. The tailgaters are not the arbiters of what is a safe speed – why allow them to determine your behaviour? If you allow them to influence your driving behaviour, you’re just encouraging them to keep to doing it.

Both of my kids are currently on L plates (lucky me). Incredibly, we are sometimes aggressively tailgated when there is nothing the kids can really do about it.

Same goes for the regular idiots on one-man missions to clear the right hand lane of the Parkway every peak hour morning – they bully one car off to the left, move up and try to shift the next car to do the same. Apparently they believe everyone should crowd into the left lane, giving them the clear run they are entitled to.

I tell my kids to just stand their ground and stick to their limits; neither speed up or slow down because of somebody else’s aggression.

Actually, the trip to Sydney is becoming increasingly hairy. I’m a vehement advocate for not sitting in the right hand lane unnecessarily even when it is legal to do so. However, I should be given the right to overtake another vehicle, and leave a sufficient gap so as not to cut that vehicle off when moving back to the left, without being tailgated through the whole maneuver.

… and this occurs regularly, after I have sped up to much more than the speed limit even, in order to pass the other vehicle as quickly as possible.

….. and don’t forget that trucks and other heavy vehicles need MUCH more than a three second gap in front of them – although I rarely get the opportunity to give them two seconds even before I am forced to move to the left by the tailgater behind me. Recently, I had one tailgater pass me on the left even as soon as there was barely a car space between me and the truck I had just passed and even though I had my left hand indicator on as soon as I had passed the truck. And I often wince watching other cars cut back in front of trucks far too soon after passing them.

dkNigs said :

Is there some kind of attitude adjustment that comes with buying a 4wd also btw?

The same one that comes with a tradie’s ute.

justin heywood said :

magiccar9 said :

….those who are being tailgated also need to consider why someone is doing it to them, and perhaps try to correct the problem.

The ‘problem’ is invariably the fact that the driver being tailgated is not going as fast as the self-absorbed idiot behind believes he should be.

Nobody should have their speed determined by somebody else menacing them from behind. There is no excuse for tailgating. None.

What I was more implying is that if you’re being tailgated why get on a high horse about it? Even if you’re ‘in the right’ you have just as much power to alter the situation as the person tailgating. You’re rarely going to be able to correct their behaviour, however you can avoid personal angst by simply letting them past. That way they’re free to go and be a tool somewhere else. Simple. Instead Canberra drivers constantly try to be do-gooders by brake testing, deliberately slowing down etc which doesn’t solve the problem (in fact it only enrages the tailgater further). People can argue that the person behind is always in the wrong, but in the end, you have a busted up car too – so is it really worth it in the end just to make a point?

Rear enders are the most common type of accident I believe. I had a woman in an SUV abuse me after running into the back of my crappy car when I had to do a quick stop at a roundabout due to a driver decided to turn right without indicating. Luckily no damage to my crappy car but a significant attitude adjustment, because how can somebody be so ignorant of road etiquette? The mind boggles.

Tailgating should be called out more as a contributing factor in multi vehicle collisions. Police should book people driving with less than two car lengths to the next vehicle. People need to stop blaming others for own issues. Out.

mr_wowtrousers7:25 am 11 Dec 14

magiccar9 said :

The 3 second rule is a flawed theory. Around town, if you leave 3 second gap either someone is likely to fill that space with their car, thus making you slow down further, or you’ll be travelling ~10km/h less than the car in front – likely causing you to be holding up those behind you.

I do agree however that all the problems come down to selfishness. However the card plays both ways, those who are being tailgated also need to consider why someone is doing it to them, and perhaps try to correct the problem.

No, it’s not a flawed theory. It’s 3 seconds at 100km/hr and more if the speed is higher. That was the entire first paragraph. At 60km/h you adjust. Given that you aren’t going, say, 3 times slower, a 1 second gap wouldn’t be sufficient. You see it every time it rains in Canberra: multiple car pileups. Not just 2 cars by 5,6,7. They sure love their close driving in this city.

The idea is that you have to have room to move when things go pear shaped. People think they have the reflexes of a fighter pilot but most average folks are the same. They can’t process information that quickly and 1-2 seconds is the minimum you need to process what has just happened and do something effective, rather than just mashing the brakes and skidding into the back of someone, or something much, much worse.

My rule of driving is: You shouldn’t be driving in a way that makes other drivers (following the road rules) suddenly have to change how they drive.

I think it is a very rare time that tailgating is ever not an insanely dangerous thing to do. One split second and it’s all done for.

My advice: Be a motorcyclist for a bit. It builds your reflexes and survival instinct pretty quickly and now I just try and stay away from every one on the road. Having no one around me increases my chances of survival exponentially. If that means speeding up or slowing down to get away from dickheads, so be it.

After driving in Japan for two years, coming back here was a real eye-opener. So much genuine anger and aggressive behaviour. Yeah, Aussies are totally chilled and relaxed alright . . .

justin heywood10:54 pm 10 Dec 14

magiccar9 said :

….those who are being tailgated also need to consider why someone is doing it to them, and perhaps try to correct the problem.

The ‘problem’ is invariably the fact that the driver being tailgated is not going as fast as the self-absorbed idiot behind believes he should be.

Nobody should have their speed determined by somebody else menacing them from behind. There is no excuse for tailgating. None.

Tailgating is common amongst NASCAR enthusiasts as a racing tactic or those in too much of a hurry. I set engine brakes if I find the driver behind is tailgating especially if it is necessary to drive close to the speed limit. There should always be braking distance between the driver and vehicle in front. Rear end collisions are often inexcusable. The distance can be determined by noting landmarks ahead while travelling ahead, such as reflector posts.

magiccar9 said :

Nailed it!

Can the OP also define ‘tailgating’? What defines when someone is actually tailgating you, or just too close for your comfort level? I regularly have people giving the good old ‘wave to sit further away from them’, not because I am close to them, but because it isn’t comfortable for THEM.

You sound like one of those toolbags who sits so close you can’t see their numberplate, but think you’re in the right. A three second gap is actually a considerable gap, nobody thinks your tailgating them if you keep a three second gap.

Is there some kind of attitude adjustment that comes with buying a 4wd also btw? Every 4wd I see on the highway is speeding, no matter the conditions, as well as tailgating. I was overtaken by a 4wd doing about 30kmph over the speed limit in fog with a visibility for 10-20m on the clyde today.

Hot tip, your 4wd handles worse than a car, stops worse than a car, but because you sit higher it gives you the illusion of safety. Slow the hell down.

Tenpoints said :

To my mind tailgating is the most senseless form of illegal road behaviour that exists, for the following reasons:.

.
.
.
6) It’s your fault if you go into the back of someone.

I think that a 3 second gap (at any speed) is your threshold for a safe following distance given average reaction times, environmental conditions and brake performance. Under 3 seconds (or 4 in the wet) and you are putting yourself in unnecessary danger.

To my mind tailgating is the most senseless form of illegal road behaviour that exists, for the following reasons:
1. You have less time to react if the vehicle in front stops or slows suddenly. You also tend to panic more when any sudden changes do occur, which causes a cascading disruption to traffic behind you.
2. You have to concentrate harder on not running into the car in front, which means you have less focus on detecting hazards around you.
3. You have less visibility of the road ahead due to being right behind the next vehicle. This especially applies when tailgating large vehicles.
4. You have a harder time overtaking as you have to start from right behind the vehicle. On a single lane road, when you have a gap, you can speed up in your own lane and spend less time in the opposite lane.
5. It pisses off the person in front of you, which has a chance of escalating the agression aka road rage.

Personally, as a form of intimidation it just does not work. I don’t change my behaviour for tailgaters other than increase the gap to the vehicle in front (by slowing down) to balance out the hazards. The sooner they go around me the better.

Yes people will cut into your gap. Set a good example and adjust pace, don’t make an ass of yourself by tailgating.

watto23 said :

While its easy to pick on speeding and tailgating, there is also failure to give way to traffic on a roundabout. Drivers seem to think if you are in one lane they can enter the other lane which is in fact illegal. Of course if done correctly its not a problem, but I know on numerous occasions I see people who don’t even slow down they just speed through, making it difficult/dangerous for someone who wants to get into the other lane.

That is not quite right. The law says you must give way to all vehicles already on the roundabout, this doesn’t make it illegal to enter. Imagine if it were, you would only get one vehicle on the roundabout at a time. But do agree the case where you enter a roundabout quite legally with a fast travelling vehicle coming from your right who seems to think you should be giving way to them is amazing. Of course this is exactly what I do, just not worth the risk of being in the right, but with a car or truck implanted into my side of the car.

Solidarity said :

The lack of fines and/or accidents is in no way an indication of whether you’re a competent driver or not. Half of the issue is that people simply do not understand the capabilities of what they’re behind the wheel of, simple due to either ignorance or lack a lack of interest.

I’d love to have everybodies airbag replaced with a giant spike in the middle of the steering wheel – that’ll slow people down.

Nobody seems to understand such concepts as braking distance or buffer zones these days. Back in the day, before cars had powerful brakes, you NEEDED to know these things. These days, nope.

Indeed. I think bad drivers cause accidents rather than have them …

mr_wowtrousers said :

Both of them are likely to cause frustration and potentially accidents.

As a driver on the road in the real world, I can’t control what the drivers around me do, but I can control what happens inside my car. The reality is that every day, I’m going to encounter people who are going slower than I would prefer to travel or who are inconsiderate to the road users around them. I can’t stop that, but I can certainly stop myself from getting frustrated, as I know full well that a frustrated or angry driver is more likely to make a bad decision.

Anybody who allows themselves to get frustrated or angry when they’re driving a car should have a good hard think about their attitude towards driving and perhaps whether or not it’s appropriate for them to drive a car at all.

Felix the Cat6:47 pm 10 Dec 14

mr_wowtrousers said :

[Both of them are likely to cause frustration and potentially accidents.

Collisions is the word you are looking for not accidents.

mr_wowtrousers said :

magiccar9 said :

Can the OP also define ‘tailgating’? What defines when someone is actually tailgating you, or just too close for your comfort level?

I think standard thinking is at least 3 seconds gap at 100km/hr and more if you are at 110km/h and, well, blow me down, probably more if you are blasting along at 150km/h.

But let me guess, you are an excellent driver with the reflexes of a V8 Supercar driver, right? And your car is in 100% mechanical condition. And the road surface is a like well groomed circuit. And everyone is going the same direction. And you have a four point harness, neck brace and helmet? And you have trained for years at the elite level, rising up the ranks to be where you are today?

Or you drive an average Falcadore that is probably overdue for a brakes/tyre replacement and you just got pumped after watched the Mercedes team win a GP.

Look, if you are holding up traffic at any point, get out of the way. Have some courtesy. Going 150km/h up someone’s tailpipe and flashing your lights and tailgating someone is not really courtesy either now, is it? Both of them are likely to cause frustration and potentially accidents.

Basically, most avoidable issues on the road come down to selfishness:

Speeding: I want to get where I need to go faster than you so I am more important than you
No indicators: Why should I bother to indicate? I know where I am going.
Cutting in: Why should I wait?
No lights when dark/raining: It’s still light enough for me to see in front of me, why do I need lights? (bonust points if you drive a dark colour car).
Driving too slow in any line, esp the right: I am being safe, you should be safe too.

It all comes down to thinking that somehow you are more important than everyone else on the road. You’re not. Everyone wants to get where they are going alive and preferably on time. Some people make that harder than others . . .

The 3 second rule is a flawed theory. Around town, if you leave 3 second gap either someone is likely to fill that space with their car, thus making you slow down further, or you’ll be travelling ~10km/h less than the car in front – likely causing you to be holding up those behind you.

I do agree however that all the problems come down to selfishness. However the card plays both ways, those who are being tailgated also need to consider why someone is doing it to them, and perhaps try to correct the problem.

mr_wowtrousers5:18 pm 10 Dec 14

magiccar9 said :

Can the OP also define ‘tailgating’? What defines when someone is actually tailgating you, or just too close for your comfort level?

I think standard thinking is at least 3 seconds gap at 100km/hr and more if you are at 110km/h and, well, blow me down, probably more if you are blasting along at 150km/h.

But let me guess, you are an excellent driver with the reflexes of a V8 Supercar driver, right? And your car is in 100% mechanical condition. And the road surface is a like well groomed circuit. And everyone is going the same direction. And you have a four point harness, neck brace and helmet? And you have trained for years at the elite level, rising up the ranks to be where you are today?

Or you drive an average Falcadore that is probably overdue for a brakes/tyre replacement and you just got pumped after watched the Mercedes team win a GP.

Look, if you are holding up traffic at any point, get out of the way. Have some courtesy. Going 150km/h up someone’s tailpipe and flashing your lights and tailgating someone is not really courtesy either now, is it? Both of them are likely to cause frustration and potentially accidents.

Basically, most avoidable issues on the road come down to selfishness:

Speeding: I want to get where I need to go faster than you so I am more important than you
No indicators: Why should I bother to indicate? I know where I am going.
Cutting in: Why should I wait?
No lights when dark/raining: It’s still light enough for me to see in front of me, why do I need lights? (bonust points if you drive a dark colour car).
Driving too slow in any line, esp the right: I am being safe, you should be safe too.

It all comes down to thinking that somehow you are more important than everyone else on the road. You’re not. Everyone wants to get where they are going alive and preferably on time. Some people make that harder than others . . .

magiccar9 said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Can the OP also define ‘tailgating’? What defines when someone is actually tailgating you, or just too close for your comfort level? I regularly have people giving the good old ‘wave to sit further away from them’, not because I am close to them, but because it isn’t comfortable for THEM.

I’m not the OP, but I think that a 3 second gap, which is the threshold for a safe following distance given average reaction times and brake performance. Under 3 seconds (or 4 in the wet) and you are tailgating.

To my mind tailgating is the most senseless form of illegal road behaviour that exists, for the following reasons:
1. You have less time to react if the vehicle in front stops or slows suddenly. You also tend to panic more when any sudden changes do occur, which causes a cascading disruption to traffic behind you.
2. You have to concentrate harder on not running into the car in front, which means you have less focus on detecting hazards around you.
3. You have less visibility of the road ahead due to being right behind the next vehicle. This especially applies when tailgating large vehicles.
4. You have a harder time overtaking as you have to start from right behind the vehicle. On a single lane road, when you have a gap, you can speed up in your own lane and spend less time in the opposite lane.
5. It pisses of the person in front of you, which has a chance of escalating the agression aka road rage.

So don’t tailgate, you idiots!

If there’s a tailgating problem in this town, why do so many people also leave more than a car length between them and the car in front when held at lights? Especially when it blocks me from using left (or right) turning lanes.

Holden Caulfield3:49 pm 10 Dec 14

A_Cog said :

You wouldn’t block an escalator: everyone stands to one side and lets faster walkers past.

If only “everyone” was observant and/or considerate enough to stand to the left on escalators. I often see people in their own little world in shopping malls–walking in front of people, blocking pathways–and think to myself, these people drive on our roads too.

wildturkeycanoe3:42 pm 10 Dec 14

“The problem is idiots. We have too many idiots on the roads. I support less punitive measures imposed on those who can least afford to pay them and more undercover police on the roads pulling over people who tailgate and drive aggressively.”

I agree totally with the first statement, but the idiots aren’t always the ones who tailgate and drive aggressively. More often it is the ones who drive extremely slowly, have terrible depth perception and drive like they are in a 1920 Crossley 20/25. These are the people who change lanes without looking, even though they are doing 65 in an 80 zone, who slow to 20km/h about 500 meters before the green traffic light ahead in case it changes and who sit in the right hand lane for 10 kilometers because they don’t want to miss their turn. Pension day [Thursday] is the worst, you can tell because their reaction time is so slow they have to drive at half the speed limit.
Then you get the ones who will overtake you to drive at 70km/h in a 60 zone but maintain that 70 whilst in the 90 zone after it, making you wonder if they have any clue at all. If one can not simply follow a speed sign, they shouldn’t hold a license.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

People get cranky when they get stressed, and they get stressed because some of our road rules don’t make sense, and also because there is a wide range of skill levels out on the roads. Add in piss-poor driver training and testing standards, political rhetoric about speeding being the root of all evil and lack of visible police presence and sometimes things don’t go so well.

Observing a few basic driving courtesies would go a long way towards making driving less stressful for everyone.

Nailed it!

Can the OP also define ‘tailgating’? What defines when someone is actually tailgating you, or just too close for your comfort level? I regularly have people giving the good old ‘wave to sit further away from them’, not because I am close to them, but because it isn’t comfortable for THEM.

I think the main reason people ‘tailgate’ is because of someone around them is being inconsiderate. It doesn’t excuse it by any means, but if someone is travelling outside the flow of traffic, or just being overly cautious, or failing to maintain a regular speed, it can indeed cause other people to feel enraged.

There needs to be less focus on following the road rules to the letter, and more focus on the flow of traffic. If we focused less on sitting exactly on the speed limit (and watching our speedos) and more on maintaing the speed of those around us everyone would get where they’re going faster and with less stress.

“unless of course we lower the speed limits to zero which is what the Greens would like us to do.”

I would go one further, and reduce the speed limit to -10km/h.

Reverse should be the only gear allowed in this town.

Stevo, you were in the way, mate. It’s that simple. Why else do you think I was honking my horn, flashing my lights and waving my hands? Jeez, if I only had a nudge-bar, I coulda gotten home 7 minutes faster.

Sitting in the right hand lane slows people down who want to go faster. Just move into the left lane and let them past. Don’t try to be some [frustrated] public guardian stopping all people in the entire world from going any faster than you, snarkily insisting “the limit is 100, so I’m going 100, they’re not allowed to go any faster, nyah nyah nyah”. And don’t bother quoting the ‘Australian Road Rules’ coz that just shows up the people who don’t get it. Just move to the left and stay out of the way.

You wouldn’t block an escalator: everyone stands to one side and lets faster walkers past.

The same principle applies, just at +100kmh.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back1:13 pm 10 Dec 14

People get cranky when they get stressed, and they get stressed because some of our road rules don’t make sense, and also because there is a wide range of skill levels out on the roads. Add in piss-poor driver training and testing standards, political rhetoric about speeding being the root of all evil and lack of visible police presence and sometimes things don’t go so well.

Observing a few basic driving courtesies would go a long way towards making driving less stressful for everyone.

My driving philosophy is “Everyone on the road is an idiot except me . . . and I’m not real sure about me.”

It’s worked exceptionally well for decades – touch wood.

The lack of fines and/or accidents is in no way an indication of whether you’re a competent driver or not. Half of the issue is that people simply do not understand the capabilities of what they’re behind the wheel of, simple due to either ignorance or lack a lack of interest.

I’d love to have everybodies airbag replaced with a giant spike in the middle of the steering wheel – that’ll slow people down.

Nobody seems to understand such concepts as braking distance or buffer zones these days. Back in the day, before cars had powerful brakes, you NEEDED to know these things. These days, nope.

justin heywood11:11 am 10 Dec 14

watto23 said :

To be honest its got worse because of the reliance on speed cameras which are useless in catching dangerous drivers who speed all the time, because they often slow down for a camera. We need more police need to focus on bad driving in general, or we should be making it harder to get and keep your license.
While its easy to pick on speeding and tailgating, there is also failure to give way to traffic on a roundabout. Drivers seem to think if you are in one lane they can enter the other lane which is in fact illegal. Of course if done correctly its not a problem, but I know on numerous occasions I see people who don’t even slow down they just speed through, making it difficult/dangerous for someone who wants to get into the other lane.
Also merging is a skill many Canberrans could improve, plus keeping left, regardless of the speed limit is a courteous thing to do.

Also please don’t confuse, no speeding tickets with being a good driver. I’ve been with many in a car with many “good drivers” who have never got a ticket, but failed to understand many of the road rules, failed to indicate and give way on many occasions.

But unless there are police to catch these people who can’t drive, or license tests every say 10 years (after all many road rules now, didn’t exist when a 60yo driver got their license), nothing will really improve.

Hit the nail completely. The only solution I can see is to invest less in speed cameras and more in police patrols willing to pull over these idiots (but what are the chances, given the income stream).

It might give some of the hoons pause if occasionally they aggressively tailgated an unmarked police car, and got pulled for it.

To be honest its got worse because of the reliance on speed cameras which are useless in catching dangerous drivers who speed all the time, because they often slow down for a camera. We need more police need to focus on bad driving in general, or we should be making it harder to get and keep your license.
While its easy to pick on speeding and tailgating, there is also failure to give way to traffic on a roundabout. Drivers seem to think if you are in one lane they can enter the other lane which is in fact illegal. Of course if done correctly its not a problem, but I know on numerous occasions I see people who don’t even slow down they just speed through, making it difficult/dangerous for someone who wants to get into the other lane.
Also merging is a skill many Canberrans could improve, plus keeping left, regardless of the speed limit is a courteous thing to do.

Also please don’t confuse, no speeding tickets with being a good driver. I’ve been with many in a car with many “good drivers” who have never got a ticket, but failed to understand many of the road rules, failed to indicate and give way on many occasions. But unless there are police to catch these people who can’t drive, or license tests every say 10 years (after all many road rules now, didn’t exist when a 60yo driver got their license), nothing will really improve.

I’ve never had a speeding fine, never had an accident, in 20 years of driving in Canberra. I’d agree luck plays a big part in both, especially as everyone speeds, all of the time!

As for highway driving, I have this cutting edge, brand new, almost magical technology that nobody else seems to have. It’s called “cruise control”. I set this “cruise control” at the speed limit – and then I’m entertained for hours with cars overtaking me at 140 – 150kmh, only for me to overtake them 10 minutes later when they’re inexplicably doing 90-100… then 5 mins later they’re back, way over the limit…

Have had a few very scary experiences on the drive from Canberra to the far North coast of NSW – and we’ll be buckling up for another go next week…

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