Are some people jerks just because they can be?

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  • #26
Hurkyl
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Today, I had to make a trip to a nearby town. I found myself behind a conga-line of slow-moving vehicles that were applying their brakes again and again.
I know! I can't believe these people, tailgating like this. Not only is it stupid and reckless, but it's even counter-productive -- e.g. causing you to brake and accelerate more often, wasting gas and wearing out your brakes. And, of course, if the person tailgating because he is impatient, it is extremely counter-productive when he tailgates someone who responds to the dangerous driving habit by going 5 or 10 MPH less than what he would do under good conditions.
 
  • #27
dlgoff
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Use your winshield wiper spray to clean your windows. The overspray will land on the car behind you and they will go tailgate someone else 90% of the time. Of course, they usually think that I'm a jerk for doing it. :wink:
Excellent! I'll try this. :rofl:
 
  • #28
DaveC426913
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...it is extremely counter-productive when he tailgates someone who responds to the dangerous driving habit by going 5 or 10 MPH less than what he would do under good conditions.
One does not tailgate continually, one tailgates to intimidate.
 
  • #29
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One does not tailgate continually, one tailgates to intimidate.
Could be. I had one guy continue to tailgate me after the road widened to two lanes.
 
  • #30
turbo
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People weren't really tailgating the jerk. They were forced to keep tapping their brakes because he kept slowing down, creating a rolling roadblock. Driving conditions were perfect. Sunny, around noon, dry pavement, perfect visibility... It was a balance between staying close enough to be able to execute a pass when the on-coming traffic broke, but not too close, thus the off-and-on braking.
 
  • #31
Hurkyl
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One does not tailgate continually, one tailgates to intimidate.
Honestly, I think people simply don't know any better.

Your comment does confuse me, though -- I don't think I've ever seen someone tailgate, pass, then follow the next car at a reasonable distance. They always speed up and pull right up on the next guys bumper too.


Could be. I had one guy continue to tailgate me after the road widened to two lanes.
I can beat that -- I've had a guy tailgate me for 5-10 miles (I can't remember precisely) late at night on a three lane highway with essentially no other traffic on the road, even after I slowed down to 10 under the speed limit in response to the tailgate. :frown:
 
  • #32
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I can beat that -- I've had a guy tailgate me for 5-10 miles (I can't remember precisely) late at night on a three lane highway with essentially no other traffic on the road, even after I slowed down to 10 under the speed limit in response to the tailgate. :frown:
This is how I deal with tailgaters. But yours would make me think "serial killer." With drivers like these I usually pull an Immelmann. You change over a lane and then slow down to force them ahead of you.
 
  • #33
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It's late, I'm on a 3-lane highway and the road is empty. Why would anyone tailgate me? It's always dangerous, but one of my headlights is out adding an extra level of peril. But there he is, so close that one more coat of paint on my car and we'd crash. What's more, he's got his brights on, shining right in on me. As I always do with these creeps, I slow down, and hope he passes. But he won't. He slows down with me. Now we're going 5 mph below the limit, now 10. Doesn't he have a family to go home to? In for a penny, in for a pound, I slow down even more, 15 below, 20 below. I can't shake this zero off my tail. I slow way down, still there. I pull over to the shoulder and stop for crying out loud and there is my shadow stopped right behind me. I adjust my rear view mirror for a better look. Now I can see something I couldn't see when he was so close. Flashing red and blue lights. The officer comes round, hands me a warning for the headlights and I go about my lawful business, mystery resolved.
 
  • #34
turbo
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That probably wouldn't have happened in Maine (not noticing the cop) because most cruisers have electronics that flip the headlights alternately between high and low beam. Believe me, you notice that right off. When a car's headlights flip alternately between high and low beam, alternating left and right, you know that's not a civilian 'gating you.
 
  • #35
Hurkyl
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It was an older Ford van going from 5-10 mph under the speed limit with no rhyme nor reason to the speed variations.
I was thinking about it, and this reminds me of another driving tactic that could seem completely mysterious: occasionally, you can deal with someone following too closely with the following procedure:
  • Slow down
  • Wait for him to settle into the new speed
  • Speed back up
The net effect being that you've forcibly created more space between you. When the driver is just being inattentive to following distances, the created space can often last several minutes. A handful of drivers even understand what you're doing and will consciously back off to a reasonable distance and stay there.
 
  • #36
OmCheeto
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Could be. I had one guy continue to tailgate me after the road widened to two lanes.
I've experienced this also. I can think of multiple reasons why they would do this other than being jerks:

1. Some people don't seem to be able to drive independently.
2. They are on their cell phone and can't talk and drive at the same time, so they just zombie in on your car's butt, letting you take all responsibility for what happens. I think this type is sentient enough to recognize non-psychotic drivers that are safe to follow.
3. They are my sister. I once had to tell her, while she was tailgating someone in front of us, that the person in the merging lane might need more than 6 inches of space, in order to do that. :rolleyes:
 
  • #37
OmCheeto
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I was thinking about it, and this reminds me of another driving tactic that could seem completely mysterious: occasionally, you can deal with someone following too closely with the following procedure:
  • Slow down
  • Wait for him to settle into the new speed
  • Speed back up
The net effect being that you've forcibly created more space between you. When the driver is just being inattentive to following distances, the created space can often last several minutes. A handful of drivers even understand what you're doing and will consciously back off to a reasonable distance and stay there.
Hey! That's my trick! Though I've found that it only takes a variation of about 3 mph to make them crazy if you never hold a steady speed. The trick is to vary your speed imperceptibly slowly with just the accelerator. I love watching them do the braking dips over, and over, and over, and over again, until you can read on their lips; "Jerk!"

And then you smile back and mouth; "I'm in the slow lane doing 10 mph over the speed limit dork. The left lane is open. Why don't you get your head out of your *** and pass me like someone with a brain would do?"

Eventually they do. :smile:
 
  • #38
rhody
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Funny, all the angst has me thinking of pleasant memories usually in Vermont or on secondary roads in Nova Scotia a long time ago, I remember many times if there was a car pulling a trailer, or an older person at the wheel, as soon as a couple cars would start to "stack" behind them, more than 80 - 90% of the time they would pull over and wave you on by. You don't see that much anymore, simpler times I guess, people were not in a big hurry to get just about anywhere. No cell phones, no B.S. nice... That's they way I remember it anyway.

Rhody... :biggrin:

P.S. On either bike I own, as soon as I see someone at an unsafe distance behind me, I usually lower my right hand and make a gently back gesture, if that fails, or they speed up, as soon as it is safe to do so, I downshift two gears, and in about 5 seconds we have a safe 1/4 mile or more of separation, ok, on the monster bike, make that like 1/2 to 3/4ths of a mile. Usually that does the trick.
 
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  • #39
rhody
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Funny, all the angst has me thinking of pleasant memories usually in Vermont or on secondary roads in Nova Scotia a long time ago, I remember many times if there was a car pulling a trailer, or an older person at the wheel, as soon as a couple cars would start to "stack" behind them, more than 80 - 90% of the time they would pull over and wave you on by. You don't see that much anymore, simpler times I guess, people were not in a big hurry to get just about anywhere. No cell phones, no B.S. nice... That's they way I remember it anyway.

Rhody... :biggrin:

P.S. On either bike I own, as soon as I see someone at an unsafe distance behind me, I usually lower my right hand and make a gently back gesture, if that fails, or they speed up, as soon as it is safe to do so, I downshift two gears, and in about 5 seconds we have a safe 1/4 mile or more of separation, ok, on the monster bike, make that like 1/2 to 3/4ths of a mile. Usually that does the trick.
Remember how nostalgic my last post was, well forget it. I was on a bicycle on a secondary road, about 15 mph, no traffic in either direction, when out of the blue a mirror whizzes by my left arm no more than 3 feet away. I could have reached out and hitched a ride it was that close. The woman driving the car never swerved, moved so much as an inch. She was only going about 25 mph, but it scared me. I held up my arm as if to say, what were you thinking !?

I normally don't like to scare people on my monster bike (109 db) it is loud when hard on the gas, but if I for sure knew that same woman was on a windy road going say 50 mph with her drivers side window down, I would wait till she disappeared around a corner, then accelerate to about 80, pull in the clutch and coast till I was right along side of her in 2nd gear, and then let out the clutch at about 9000 rpm and hit the gas hard lofting the front wheel in the process The shock to her system and the look on her face would be priceless. I am sure she would be so shaken out of her stupor that she would probably pee her pants.

I just don't get some people. That is a first for me, other times people have come close is to scare me on purpose, and it is usually some punk kid. It takes all kinds in this world.

Rhody... :mad:
 
  • #40
Hurkyl
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The shock to her system and the look on her face would be priceless. I am sure she would be so shaken out of her stupor that she would probably pee her pants.
What a horrible thing to do. It's bad enough how many people are negligent, but you are actively being malicious and endangering people.
 
  • #41
turbo
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Funny, all the angst has me thinking of pleasant memories usually in Vermont or on secondary roads in Nova Scotia a long time ago, I remember many times if there was a car pulling a trailer, or an older person at the wheel, as soon as a couple cars would start to "stack" behind them, more than 80 - 90% of the time they would pull over and wave you on by. You don't see that much anymore, simpler times I guess, people were not in a big hurry to get just about anywhere. No cell phones, no B.S. nice... That's they way I remember it anyway.
That is still the norm here in Maine, rhody. Route 201 is the main north-south highway in this region and it is the only direct route to Quebec. A huge number of tractor-trailers use this road every day, transporting pulp-wood to pulp mills, logs to sawmills, chips to pellet-manufacturers and mills that have wood-fueled power boilers. Most Mainers are polite enough not to block the orderly flow of traffic on such a major road and will let faster traffic pass. Not our Tea-party jerk. He actively ran a rolling road-block by driving well under the speed limit, then accelerated to well over the speed limit when the PQ driver with the camper trailer tried to pass him, then jerked his vehicle into my lane directly in front of me and proceeded to hold me up for the next 5 miles. That is the antithesis of polite driving, and we don't often see stuff like that here.
 
  • #42
rhody
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What a horrible thing to do. It's bad enough how many people are negligent, but you are actively being malicious and endangering people.
Ok, I was venting, we all vent now and then don't we, the scenario I described was possible I did not say that I would actually do it, It's just when someone comes damn close to taking you out of this world through pure ignorance and inattention, I think I deserve to vent a little, What would you do given the same situation ?

Rhody... :frown:
 
  • #43
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Hell! My father is 85+ and he is a great driver. He uses the cruise control in his Forester so he won't get picked up for speeding. Since I was a kid, he owned a series of pretty peppy cars - GM was making some pretty hot stuff in the '50s and '60s. He should never have trusted me with that Impala SS when I got my license. :eek:
Your dad is a lucky man, more power to him.
 
  • #44
Hurkyl
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I had a conversation with an older woman once who said she would gladly hold up traffic if everyone around her seemed to want to go faster than she was comfortable going. If she didn't feel they needed to be going that fast, she felt it was her prerogative to slow them all down. I was amazed.
Eh? I suspect you completely misinterpreted her -- it sounds like you think she's going out of her way to slow people down.

But it sounds like she simply doesn't feel pressure to go out of her way to accommodate unreasonable driving.
 
  • #45
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Eh? I suspect you completely misinterpreted her -- it sounds like you think she's going out of her way to slow people down.
How do you get that from what I wrote?

But it sounds like she simply doesn't feel pressure to go out of her way to accommodate unreasonable driving.
This is certainly what she felt she was saying.
 

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