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Dashes for safety.

  1. Jul 24, 2010 #1
    Following to close while driving is a deadly mistake. Two seconds, I think we all deserve them, plus it is the law. For those of you who don't know how to tell, at sixty five miles per hour it works out to be about one of the dash lines that separate the lanes per half second between vehicles in the same lane.

    I try to give my wife one second, two dash lines, between her and I while riding our motorcycles, of course I am not following directly behind her, we ride staggered in our lane. Two dash lines, one second, may seem like a large area to people within a cage of steel, but on a bike it is not. Please think about it, even "if" you and your cage can fit between us, please do not.

    While you may think I am waving because of how friendly I am, be assured the two fingers I am waving are to remind you of the two second rule and please use it, after all the life you save may be mine.


    This is a letter I wrote to the editor of my local paper and I don't know whether to laugh or cry but the most common response I have received to date is "you can't use the dash lines you need a stationary landmark". :rofl: :cry:
     
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  3. Jul 24, 2010 #2

    Danger

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    My personal rule is that I use three seconds while following a regular vehicle or four seconds if it's a bike in front of me. 33" Trail Handler tires on an El Camino present a ridiculous amount of rotational inertia that just curls its lip up at the concept of 'brakes'. I need that extra second to downshift.
     
  4. Jul 24, 2010 #3
    I hate people who tailgate me. It's counter-productive. Do they think I'm going to speed up? I'll go the maximum speed limit, but when they get on my tail like that, it becomes minimum speed limit time.
     
  5. Jul 24, 2010 #4
    This is one my my biggest pet peeves while driving. I can't stand tail gaters. When I have one behind me I always take my foot off the gas and coast even to the point of going only 40 in a 65. As soon as they get out from behind me I speed up again and try to make sure to give them the national gesture of disapproval so they realize I was slowing because of them.

    When I am in the car with friends who tail gate I get on their case about it. Most of my family tail gate too but none of them would take kindly to me telling them how to drive.
     
  6. Jul 24, 2010 #5

    lisab

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    One of my brothers got his first ticket for tailgating...a cop! When he was asked about it, he said, "Well, the cop was driving too slow!" Yep, he was a bit...cheeky.
     
  7. Jul 24, 2010 #6

    turbo

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    There was a rather large young lady with vanity plates that used to tailgate me on my way to work at least once a week. She followed so close that I couldn't see her front license plate, and as I glanced to the rear-view, I'd see her eating, talking on her cell, applying makeup etc. It was ridiculous. When I rode my bike to work instead of taking a car or truck, I would pull over into the break-down lane so I could get her in front of me. She would speed up and tailgate the next vehicle in front of her. It was pathetic.
     
  8. Jul 24, 2010 #7

    Office_Shredder

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    You're one of those guys who slows everyone down in their lane, and then when someone tries to pass you speed up to stop it! A pox on you demon!
     
  9. Jul 24, 2010 #8
    Lol. I slow down only when I am being tail gated. And I only speed back up to normal speed when the tailgater changes lanes. ;-)
    But seriously, I have no idea what the person in front of me might do and if they suddenly break for some reason, and I have some idiot riding my tail, someone is going to get rearended. Slowing down gets plenty of distance between me and the person ahead of me just in case so I and the jack*** both have plenty of breaking room.
     
  10. Jul 24, 2010 #9

    lisab

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    Actually, that's just what I was taught in driver's ed (taken...wow, 30 years ago :surprised!). When you're being tailgated, increase the following distance, for just the reason you stated.
     
  11. Jul 24, 2010 #10
    Ever had someone tailgate you up to a green light? If that light turns yellow and I have to slow down fast, they're going to hit me. They're either trying to intimidate me into going through the light or they're just too stupid to realize the danger in what they're doing, and can't even think one step ahead (the light turning yellow).
    People need to start getting some jail time for this crap. They're allowed to roam the streets acting like this, then when they cause a disaster that kills a family, everyone is shocked. It's not shocking. I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often.
    Cars need to be treated like any other weapon. If you risk people's lives with a gun, you don't just get a ticket and get to keep your gun.
     
  12. Jul 24, 2010 #11
    The worst tailgaters are the ones who do it even though the lanes all around you are completely free. They could easily have gotten into another lane and passed you safely. Instead, they ride right on your bumper for no reason whatsoever.
     
  13. Jul 24, 2010 #12
    I never took drivers ed. Just seems like common sense to me.

    I remember that thread. It was the first one where I saw you and Dave get into it, and with me popping in here and there. I always remember good arguments. ;-)

    I have not had that happen to me so much though. I do not slow down terribly before a stop and avoid the tailgaters as much as possible.
     
  14. Jul 25, 2010 #13

    Danger

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    I couldn't agree more. Oddly enough, given the vast array of unbelievable morons with whom I've been forced to share the road for the past 40 years, I was rear-ended only once. That was about 6 years ago by a very sweet young lady (18-20) who was not exactly at fault. It was here in the town where I live, -30°, and the street was glare ice. The area is a 50 km/h zone, which is the maximum within town limits, but we were both doing a more prudent 20 or so due to road conditions. Also, she was maintaining a decent 4 second separation. The light went orange as I was approaching the intersection. Had I been going the speed limit, in good conditions, it would have happened without my being able to stop. As it was, I couldn't have made it through before it went red. So I downshifted to first, tapped the binders, and came to a reasonably acceptable stop. The poor girl behind me had no chance. Her vehicle blatantly refused to do more than slow down slightly. (Anti-lock brakes might have saved her, but she didn't have them.) Anyhow, she ploughed into me at a breathtaking 15 km/h. I barely noticed, but she was so distraught that I damned near cried out of sympathy for her. Her concern wasn't for her vehicle or her driving record; she was worried that she had caused me physical or vehicular damage, and that I might be mad at her. She was, in fact, the only victim of the incident. Her car went straight under the ***-end of mine, without even touching the bumper, and my skid plate crushed her hood down into the engine compartment. My car showed absolutely no evidence of the collision aside from a small shiny streak where some surface rust got scraped off of the skid plate. Her vehicle was still operational, and she drove the half dozen or so blocks home, but I'm sure that the body repairs ran to well over $1,000.
    Okay, I have more to say regarding the general topic, but I'll hold off for a while and just post this as-is.
     
  15. Jul 25, 2010 #14

    Borg

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    I guess that they think that the dashboard is a stationary landmark. :tongue:
    I responded to a post on a another forum once from someone who was complaining about driving on the freeway and having the car in front of them using their windshield washer. He was whining about how inconsiderate it was for that person to spray their freshly washed car.

    I wrote in my post that I will sometimes purposely do this when someone is tailgating me on the freeway and I asked if perhaps he was tailgating. For some reason, he never responded. :rolleyes: There were quite a few who loved that suggestion though...
     
  16. Jul 25, 2010 #15

    Danger

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    My high-school buddy deliberately set the washer nozzles on his Datsun 510 to fire over the roof rather that onto the windshield for that exact same reason. Filling the reservois with ink instead of washer fluid merely added injury to insult. :biggrin:
     
  17. Jul 25, 2010 #16

    Borg

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    Why am I not surprised? :rofl:
     
  18. Jul 25, 2010 #17
    I try not to slow down fast before a stop. Sometimes, however, the light will turn yellow and I'll think I can make it at first, but then I realize I'm too far away, then I think it's too late to stop but I end up stopping anyway. It's that little argument in my head that causes those fast stops at a light. It doesn't happen often.
    The primary time I'm worried about getting rear-ended is when I'm going down one of those on-ramps where you're going down in a circle and at an incline. If you have to yield for other cars, the person behind you may smack into you. I've seen that happen a lot. They're not looking ahead, they're looking behind them, speeding up to try to make it into traffic without realizing you stopped ahead of them because you were waiting for an opening.
     
  19. Jul 25, 2010 #18
    Tailgating is what you get for not hauling *** in the passing lanes. If you want to loiter do it near the shoulder. This is also the law.

    The 2~3 seconds worth of distance between cars is completely impractical in most any situation, just like the 50~150 yards rule between starting to signal and actually beginning to change lanes.

    What is practical and proper is to pay attention to the vehicle in front of the vehicle in front of yours so you don't have to react to its driver's reaction. Not leave football fields of chasm to the vehicle in front counting the dashes while inviting cars in adjacent lanes to switch.

    And this is why window tint should be outlawed and why land yachts and light trucks are a nuisance.

    If most people had any sense & decency there'd hardly be a need for law or enforcement.
     
  20. Jul 25, 2010 #19
    So it's what you get for not breaking the law in the passing lane? So to avoid breaking the law, you need to break the law? That makes a lot of sense.
    And it's not the law everywhere. Funny thing, laws change depending on where you are.
    Only because people will fill that gap, causing you to have to slow down even more, creating more spaces for people to fill the gap.
    Not always possible. If it's a UPS truck in front of you, you can't see in front of them. And it doesn't even have to be a truck, some people have tinted windows so dark, you can't see through them to see what's in front of them.
    I don't mind a slight tint, but when they have a black car and I can't tell where the metal ends and the window begins, it's obviously way too dark.
     
  21. Jul 25, 2010 #20
    1) I generally break the speed limit in the passing lane, and I still get tailgated. I guess I'm not passing people "fast enough." If your idea of the law is correct, it is illegal to drive in the left lane at any speed. If you go the speed limit or below, you're not yielding to traffic. If you drive above the speed limit, you're passing.

    I don't feel comfortable with the law saying it's always illegal to drive in the left lane, no matter what.

    Furthermore, as I alluded to in my previous post, some tailgaters will do it even in the middle lane, when the passing lane is completely free.

    Lastly, even if I decided to go 10 mph under the speed limit in the left lane, tailgating is still not excused. It's a danger not only to yourself, but everybody else nearby.

    2) The 2-3 second rule is almost always practical. It's only impractical during the transition period between "free flowing" traffic and "stop and go" traffic.

    3) 2-3 seconds does not leave "football fields" of distance. 60 mph is 88 feet per second. In 3 seconds that's 264 feet, or less than one football field.

    4) You say looking a few cars ahead is "practical," but then you give examples of how it is impractical. Good job.
     
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