Monday, June 23, 2014

Tailgating - you hate it, I hate it, we all hate it. But there's such an easy solution....

We all hate tailgaters - people who drive so close that you can see the sweat running down their forehead when you look in your rearview mirror. But there's such an easy solution : get out of the way.
Tailgating happens mostly on motorways, and mostly in the outside lane. Why? Because some drivers don't understand basic lane discipline, and they'll spear across the motorway from the on ramp and then sit in the outside lane just barely doing the speed limit. Result? A Tailback of people irritably trying to get past.
Many states and countries have laws in place now to try to prevent this - even if you're doing the speed limit, if you see a faster vehicle coming up behind you, it's your responsibility to get out of the way. The problem is that this is an unenforceable law, so it has very blunt teeth when it comes to attacking the problem in a real world situation.
Of course part of the problem is right there in the description - 'when you your mirror'. Between the rampant cellphone use, texting, watching videos, reading books and otherwise not concentrating on the matter at hand, it's almost unheard of to see anyone using their mirrors any more. If they're going to sit in the outside lane and block traffic, they're not going to use their mirrors.
Fun factoid : in a recent online survey, there was an unsurprisingly high correlation between the number of people who hated tailgaters and the number of people who admitted to driving in the outside lane no matter what the traffic. Cause, and effect.