View Full Version : Road Rage/ Tailgating

Lance Murdoch
21st Aug 2005, 10:20
On Friday evening I was on the receiving end of what could have turned into a very nasty road rage incident.
Briefly, some idiot in a pickup truck was driving about 2 feet (no exaggeration) from my bumper so taking exception to this I dabbed the brakes. A bit later on scrote aggressively overtakes and pulls in front of me (if I hadnt have let him in he would have gone into the central reservation, something I would view with mixed feelings) and a bit further down the road at a roundabout he waits for me to go past and then is shouting and obviously wanting me to pull in so he can 'remonstrate' with me. I just drove off.
Although I accept that I was a fool to provoke him in the first place and I probably did the right thing by avoiding the confrontation (the outcome of which would either be me on the wrong end of a good kicking (or worse) or an assault charge). What would others have done in the same situation and how do you deal with tailgaters?

21st Aug 2005, 10:29
Tailgating is the biggest cause of accidents and probably roadrage, anywhere. I don't think enough police time is alocated to bring the morons to justice that do this.

The 2 second rule to me is sensible and 4 seconds behind the car ahead in on a wet surface.

To me it seems the bigger the car the smaller the brain, in most cases.

21st Aug 2005, 11:06
... how do you deal with tailgaters?
Get out of their way in a hurry. They are giving you clear signals (by the fact that they're tailgating) that they are irrational and dangerous. The situation is already unsafe and you need to take control to prevent matters becoming worse. Move out of the way as quickly and smoothly as possible.

21st Aug 2005, 11:21
Apart from following BDs good advice, taking a few pictures of them in the act and passing them on to the police works a charm. :E

21st Aug 2005, 11:41
The closer they get, the slower I go. Then, if its a van or pickup and we get to an uphill bit, I accelerate away into the space I have allowed to build up ahead of me, and leave them floundering.

Sometimes they actually get the message.

21st Aug 2005, 11:49
I agree that if you can you should just let them go by and not get involved, either in their inevitable impending road accident or in their personal character deficiencies. Pull over and wave them goodbye - you will often get a cheery wave back from them, which is far preferable to a bunch of fives at the next set of traffic lights.

I try to think of the times when I have been absolutely desperate to get somewhere in a great hurry and felt obliged to drive like there was no tomorrow - for example when my son was critically injured at boarding school and the hospital needed me to be there to sign a permission to operate on him. I would have possibly have been guilty of tailgating if such a situation had arisen; I might have been oblivious. As it was at 03:30 am the roads were deserted and I managed 47 miles in 35 minutes from getting the message from the policewoman knocking on my door. (Once I got going I wouldn't have stopped for a flashing blue light or anything).

The driver behind you MIGHT just be in a similar situation; who knows? Forget your ego and let him go...

Same with motorcyclists splitting lanes on dual cariageways and motorways; move over and let them go on their way. If they were in a car they would quite possibly have set off earlier and would be holding YOU up.


21st Aug 2005, 12:03
If I remember rightly, the official advice given in the driving handbook is to ease off your speed if someone is following too closely behind you. I think this can be great fun as they get frustrated with your decreasing speed.

However, provoking some idiot and possibly becoming the victim of a road-rage incident is not sensible and I guess it's best just to ignore them and continue as if nobody was behind. With any luck, they turn off or manage to get past without causing an accident. I'm afraid pulling over to let them past is impractical on many roads in UK.

The truth is that there are some out-and-out maniacs on the road and there's not much can be done about them - just hope you are not involved in any of the accidents they inevitably cause. :rolleyes:

21st Aug 2005, 12:07
Happened to me about a year ago, the idiot tried to overtake me and did end up in the central reservation despite all his efforts to brake hard. I just drove off quietly laughing to myself

21st Aug 2005, 12:26
Problem about tailgating is that when you're in a rush hour configuration and try to leave a reasonable distance between your car and the one ahead, inevitably, some :mad: hole will sneak into the space.
But in different configs, the "very gradual slowdown procedure" is one of my favs..
The braking procedure is not recommended since tailgaters are usually unaware of the presence of brakes on their vehicles. They're aware of the horn, but not of the brakes, for some reason..

21st Aug 2005, 12:49
While the official (and sensible) advice is to get out of their way, doesn't that just encourage them to keep on doing it until their luck runs out and they injure or kill someone? of course, if the time, money and effort spent catching those doing 80 on the motorway at night or parking five minutes longer than they should were spent on the real idiots we might get some manners on the road.

I'm not holding my breath. :mad:

Lance Murdoch
21st Aug 2005, 13:17
Bluediamond, it was a single track road so I couldnt pull over, if it was a dual carriageway I would have pulled in to let him go for reasons stated by other people on this thread.

21st Aug 2005, 13:27
Understood. If you are trapped that way, the best thing is to decrease your speed slowly and keep moving until you are in a place where you can get out of the way. This serves the purpose of minimising the damage to your car/injury to you in the event that something happens requiring you to brake heavily. There is not much else you can do in that sort of situation to put the safety odds in your favour, so it's just a question of reducing the risk as far as possible

21st Aug 2005, 13:31
Mate of mine loves tailgaters, but he has an advantage, he is a traffic officer in the police and often drives unmarked cars on motorways.
He says it is amazing to see the change in attitude when he hits the buttons for the blue flashing lights on the rear parcel shelf

21st Aug 2005, 13:57
There is one exception to the law on using a mobile phone whilst driving. that is "There is an exemption for calls to 999 (or 112) in genuine emergencies where it is unsafe or impractical to stop.

If it is the case that you feel a punch up 9or worse), occuring if you stop, and you can't pull over, You would probably be justified in calling the police before anything serious happens.

21st Aug 2005, 14:41
Was driving the Renault 5 through the mountains in traffic with Mrs. Rbf and the little Master aged one when an elk weighing about same as said R5 came bounding diagonally across the road towards us.

Heavy application of braking brought blast of horn from w:mad::mad:ker behind who obviously was not bothered to look past my rear bumper.

I go for easing off the gas slowly to persuade them to pass, especially those at night who insist on filling my mirrors with glare and messing up my night vision but seem to prefer to have me in front to find the way.

A few days ago I was tailgated on an expressway in heavy traffic and had to stomp the brakes when I saw the brake lights beginning to flash several cars ahead. It seems the Missus of the tailgater had some comment to make on the situation as the tailgater decided to hang much farther back.

Then a week ago in rush hour traffic was aggressively tailgated when well over the limit. Once clear of overtaken traffic, signalled lane change and sloooowly changed lanes. Said T/Ger last seen glued to next chap's rear bumper as I turned off.
Full personal description, car details, plate number and narrative faxed to Roadwatch which puts them on notice, especially if owner not driver.

Roadwatch (http://www.roadwatch.ca/recent_news.htm)

Gingerbread Man
21st Aug 2005, 15:05
how do you deal with tailgaters?

Quite simple. If you have a passenger, get them to crawl into the back, open the rear window and wang a half-brick into his windscreen :E . Most tend to ease off the gas afterwards, and some are so ashamed that they crash into hedgerows.

Ginge ;)

21st Aug 2005, 15:09
About two years ago I was waiting to get on to the main road at a peak time after finishing work. Doesn't happen often where I am, but it can be frustrating. I finally took a gap, knowing that my car had sufficient punch that the following driver wouldn't even have needed to take his foot off the accelerator.

Not good enough for the troglodyte in the company vehicle; he accelerated to justify his belief that I had taken his precious one car length, then flashed lights, blew his horn etc. I could feel the testosterone flying in my back window as he sat as close as possible to my bumper. I slowed down, which he took as an offer to overtake, and when he was level with me levelled a string of abuse. I shrugged my shoulders (ok, I may have flipped him a disinterested finger) and that was the signal for him to swing in front of me and slam on the brakes.

Me, I'm the coward of the county when it comes to violence. I really like the idea of hanging on to my teeth. So when the troglodyte got out of his truck breathing fire, I reversed and took off. It annoyed me that I couldn't do a Billy Jack and leave him gasping on the street, but I know and am quite happy with my limitations. I knew I could outrun him in the car, which I did, heading all the time towards the nearest police station.

It was a disturbing episode, but the thought that occurred to me when I shook him off was that he probably went home and took his repressed violence out on his wife.

Most of us don't come into daily contact with those for whom violence is the natural response to any situation. Road rage is the one time when it could happen to anyone.

21st Aug 2005, 15:32
I had an incident with a tailgater that has left me with a particular loathing of them.

I'm 23 and my pride and joy is my 1983 Jaguar XJ6. I'd not long had her on the road for long, when a tailgater found me. I'm not a very experienced driver (only been on the roads a year), so I just ignored him. As I got to a 30 limit, I slowed, he didn't.

He didn't hit the back of the car... he hit the front. As I slowed he gave me a long blast on the horn, pulled out around me and then back in. But he misjudged it, and caught the front offside of my car.

It made a mess of the wing, front bumper and the bonnet hinges, but did that bother him? No.

He took of like the devil himself was chasing him.

It stunned me for a couple of minutes, but I had sufficient fuel so I followed him until he stopped. Mentioning the police, and the fact I had his details was enough to shut him up (strangely he went quiet when I mentioned insurance... probably should have rung the plod anyway)

He went home with a badly damaged car, I repaired mine using bits off my spares car.

As a result I now slow them down as much as possible, if they are going to hit me they are going to do it at a slow speed. Flashing lights and beeping the horn, blatantly doesn't bother me. I'll dip the mirror and turn the stereo up.

I don't care if they have to be somewhere in a rush. There are no excuses for putting other peoples lives in danger through sheer impatience.



21st Aug 2005, 15:45
As a light hearted aside, I live in Riyadh and all the incidents described on this thread seem to be the acts of police trained, very responsible, considerate drivers compared to the incredibly reckless, stupid, W$*&%ers you see on the roads here. And I'm not exagerating. I've just come back from leave in the UK and was watching "Police, Camera, Action" you all know the type of show, and after about 25 mins I could'nt see any problems with the criminal drivers, that is a tame version of normality here!!

2 feet from my bumper....luxury....try 2 inches!!

P.S. They hate it when you block them in and slow down. Just hope they have'nt got a gun or a muzzie tendency to kidnap and saw off your head on tv saying Allah oo akhbar or whatever!!

21st Aug 2005, 15:51
May I suggest...

The very fact the "nitwit" is tailgaiting is a good indication that he may have had a few beers or whatever.

As an earlier poster commented you are entitled to call the Police pass on his plate number as you have every indication he is driving under the influence.

There's never a police car around when you need one but his chances of getting pulled over just went up bigtime.

I let a tailgater go past me on doble yellow lines, called the local constabulary and about 5 miles up the road there he was pulled over getting the royal treatment.

Spalsh one nitwit!

Tonic Please
21st Aug 2005, 15:58
I'm in France and drive a company car about 4 times a week to as far as 1.5 hours away. The french in my experience never indicate on roundabouts and love to tailgate. Me, being ENglish, have a bit of fun with them. Slowing down is a favourite. Sometimes, on single lane "D" roads, in the middle of nowhere, they tailgate me for maybe a mile, with many chances to overtake, so obiously in no rush as traffic is 3 a minute. Depending on the mood, i slow down a little from about 90KpH (france, remember) and then they go to overtake, so I drop into third and parallel them. I normally have the more nippy car, and they always seem to get the idea that when they go back behind me, to stay a distance away.

Not roadrage on my part. Infact, far from it. I've got my J. Coltrane CD or D. Krall CD blasting out, bopping away, without a care in the world.

I wont even start on about roundabouts.

I'm off to Flunch with the other half. Wish me luck. :suspect:

21st Aug 2005, 17:56
Surely if you are being tailgated on a multi lane road, you are in the wrong lane? Alot of tailgating is caused by irritable drivers in a rush, however alot is caused by inconsiderate drivers who sit in the wrong lanes. The AA did a study on this and concluded that if drivers used the lane system correctly over 700 miles of the UK's motorways would empty.

The amount of drivers who pull into the next lane to overtake, then proceed to overtake at 1/2mph faster then the car they are overtaking, even though they have a reasonable amount of power on tap, is just frustrating.

If I see a car travelling in one of the outside lanes at a fair speed, I just wait for him to pass before making my overtaking manouver.

The problems not going to improve either as the amount of traffic continues to increase and everything has to be done yesterday, and the simple fact that learner drivers aren't allowed on motorways, to be shown how to use the lanes correctly (ie the outer lanes are all overtaking lanes only, once you complete your manouver, pull over )

Here\'s an extract from the highway code -

Lane discipline
238: You should drive in the left-hand lane if the road ahead is clear. If you are overtaking a number of slower moving vehicles it may be safer to remain in the centre or outer lanes until the manoeuvre is completed rather than continually changing lanes. Return to the left-hand lane once you have overtaken all the vehicles or if you are delaying traffic behind you. Slow moving or speed restricted vehicles should always remain in the left-hand lane of the carriageway unless overtaking. You MUST NOT drive on the hard shoulder except in an emergency or if directed to do so by signs.
MT(E&W)R regs 5, 9 & 16(1)(a) & MT(S)R regs 4, 8 & 14(1)(a)

Obey this and its pretty hard to be tailgated on a multi-lane road


21st Aug 2005, 18:26
I didn't think we were talking about tail-gating on a multi-lane road.

That's another topic/thread entirely isn't it?? ;)

21st Aug 2005, 18:30
From re-reading the first page of posts, it seems that people are talking about multi lane roads, as there is plenty of talk of moving out of peoples way. :hmm:

21st Aug 2005, 18:43
I was with a certain plumber of my acquaintance on the Hammersmith flyover back in the seventies. He was so pissed off with the tosser behind him that he put his brakes on. This was back in the days when few cars had discs. The bugger behind went into the Armco. He tried it again some time later with another tailgater. It turned out to be Plod in a jam sandwich. Said plod was a bit incenced and plumber managed without his licence fir six months. Mind you the police car was in the wrong and definately exagerated the proscecution. Still, a lesson learnt.:rolleyes:

21st Aug 2005, 18:48
A lot of posters talk of " putting the brakes on" etc.

The only problem with this, is that if you tried it a few years ago, and it turned a bit physical later on, you might have ended up with a bloody nose.

Nowadays, you'd be more likely to end up with a knife in your guts, or a jacking handle on your head. A lot of the scrotes who carry knives wouldn't even think twice about using them.

21st Aug 2005, 18:51
I would say be very careful, you just don't know who the tailgater is and they could be a total nutter.
Obviously on a multi lane road you should be in the correct lane anyway and they can go past. On a single track road there's not much you can do, personally i do the gradual deceleration thing, or just carry on at the same speed. Once they're gone, they're out of your life.

21st Aug 2005, 18:53
A lot of posters talk of " putting the brakes on" etc. IMO this makes you no better then the tailgater. In fact its you who is at this point reducing the seperation. Two wrongs don't make a right. If your on a motorway or dual carrigeway, just get out of the way. Its much safer :cool:

21st Aug 2005, 18:53
Yes Cosworth, I have just read back and maybe you're right.


But I think that tailgating on a single carriageway road with no opportunity to pull in is a much more difficult problem to solve. On a dual carriageway or a motorway, most potential tailgaters will just overtake on the inside - they don't care for the rules of the road. :eek:

21st Aug 2005, 19:01
I'm not saying it's right, but overtaking on the inside should never be possible.... someone else is in the wrong first, usually a pensioner in a Micra. :rolleyes:

21st Aug 2005, 19:06
I take the view that if said scrote wants to travel a few feet off my back bumper, then I will lift off and let the speed reduce until it is safe for the distance that he is allowing.

I have before now let the speed drop below 10 mph before the stupid f***ker got the idea.

Now if bjcc were here, he could probably tell us what the correct and authorised way was to f**k (deal) with them;)

21st Aug 2005, 19:20
Apart from following BDs good advice, taking a few pictures of them in the act and passing them on to the police works a charm.
Good idea flugholm, unfortunately in the uk you'd be done for driving without due care and attention, not having both hands on the wheel. It takes a minimum of two people to call the police to complain about a car for them to take action on the complaint. Call the cops then phone a friend who is nearby to also complain!! They need to be in the vicinity obviously.

21st Aug 2005, 19:26
I was once driving in Washington, D.C. on the main drag, Wisconsin Boulevard, when I got a feeling that there was something wrong with the picture. A look in the mirror showed 'FORD' written backwards and up reeeal close. Some 'biker' had his big red pickup truck about one foot off my bumper in heavy traffic.

I gave him a couple of flashes of the brake lights with no change, so that I then pulled up rather smartly, leaving the two of us parked mid-block, bumper-to-bumper. Then I just waited until I saw him begin to reverse, when I split. Try as he might he couldn't manage to overtake my Volvo Turbo, so that he finally peeled off to find someone else to bother, I assume. Not smart, of course, but hey, it was a borrowed car!

21st Aug 2005, 19:34
Hi I am 23 Years old drive a micra and i drive at 30 MPH maybe strtching it to 31 and when people get up my rear end all i can think is they don't give a shi*t about the lives of innocent children or adults if they came running out of the driveway they would stand a chance if a car is doing 33+ and any driver who does over them speeds in a built up residential area are either evil or mental or kids that are not aware of the dangers they have on people. but more often than its adults in business suits in sports cars.

An execption which happened to me the other week

A 60+ male in a nissan micra doing 40MPH in a built up area get's right behind me then tries to pull out. well i get very annoyed so he finds it hard to overtake for certain reasons as i was annoyed then in addition i beep my horn flash my lights. friend takes pictures with my camcorder for the police. and the 60 year old sticks 2 fingers up.

No regard for the safety of pedestrians or anyone driving at them speeds.

21st Aug 2005, 19:39
I had some idiot following me, upset that I had moaned at him for pulling out of a junction on a dual carriageway when I was doing 70 (I still don't know how I didn't run into the back of him).
He followed me for some time, shaking his fist and trying to get me to pull over. So I waited until it was my exit and turned off at the last minute. He obviously thought that that we were going to have words and followed me. Naturally, I didn't stop and it was sometime before he realised that I wasn't going to. After taking him serveral miles out of his way he had to slam on his brakes (I saw the smoke) and retrace his steps. Still, it gave him time to think about his actions....

21st Aug 2005, 19:41
Really glad I have read this thread. In the past I have always benn wound up by this, dabbed the brakes, not braked hard, but can see how this would be provoking and is really rather stupid.

From now on I will follow the line of reducing speed gradually to really being that old dodder in the Volvo, turn the radio up and releax! Probably much more irritating for them and hey why should I get stressed.

Thanks everyone, one Ppruner helped!

21st Aug 2005, 19:42
"Brake testing" is not a good idea - as previously stated, it sends them into a frenzy (why is it so many of them drive 4x4s? No disrespect to the farmers here, I'm talking urban situations...). The fact that they're up your bumper (you ever noticed how they back off when a Plod car is in sight) suggests they're totally sociopathic, and they probably have less to lose than you...

What really bugs me is when they do it on a single lane in traffic, when you obviously can't go any faster regardless... This can only be down to some kind of deep-seated anger / psychological disorder.

A couple of years ago, I drove home for around 4 miles (at rush hour, ave. speed around 25mph) with a Volvo 2 inches from the bumper - I couldn't figure out why he was doing it, as it was a procession of traffic all the way in a single lane. It turned out that the scrote lived / lives (alas) about 4 houses along from me... Why?? Any psychologists here? It's purely a means of exacting aggression for the sake of it IMO...you should pity them... I still feel tempted to pour brake fluid on his car.

Gating raises the gated person's adrenaline levels, and is likely to precipitate errors of judgement later in the journey - as previously suggested, the only way to prevent this is to slow down, take deep breaths, and crank up the stereo.

If you wanted to photograph them, what kit could you buy? Would the Plod actually take the evidence seriously? How could you prove the speed? For it to be dangerous gating they'd have to do upwards of say, 15/20mph - how do you prove that to Plod? If the camera has to link to the speedo it would strike me as considerable outlay to get even with pyschos...still I'm tempted...I live around London y'know

edit: The most worrying time is when there is ice on the roads - I have sticky Bridgestone rubber on both my motors - how are they going to avoid my rear in their banger?

21st Aug 2005, 19:56
Two observations:

Firstly, tailgating is predominately a "male thing", probably driven by ego. Most males find it near-impossible to not engage in competition when faced with someone close to their rear bumper.

Secondly, the sport of baiting tailgaters has been diluted somewhat for me. The A303 had a set of wonderful roadworks speed cameras set up on the stretch approaching the A36 turnoff. One had endless pleasure from engaging testosterone-driven w*nk*rs (usually driving BMWs) in combat before the speed camera at the end of the downhill approach to the road works. The trick was accelerate and then brake hard (whilst still on the inside lane), allowing said w*nk*er to sail past into the clutches of the speed camera at well over the limit

Sadly, the local court has just decreed that the said camera was set up wrongly, so all those that I bluffed into getting a very satisfying double-flash have now been let off...............

21st Aug 2005, 20:01
VP959: I have to disagree with you about it being a 'male thing'.

I have many a time noticed that it is a woman driving 10mm from my rear bumper and I have been surprised and dismayed by this. I thought women were less aggressive than men but i'm not sure this is true any longer. :ouch:

21st Aug 2005, 20:08
Not so long ago tailgated by a young woman in a Ford Ka, flashed the tailights tried to make her drop back but as I turned off she shouted abuse out of the window and did the obligotary sign.

trouble was the companies name was written all over the car with the phone number .... interesting call that!

Shaggy Sheep Driver
21st Aug 2005, 20:11
(why is it so many of them drive 4x4s? No disrespect to the farmers here, I'm talking urban situations...).

Because a major reason for people to buy 4X4s for non-offroad use is agression; the 'get out of my way, little man' syndrome. That is why a lot of 4X4s are driven aggressively. Tailgating is one example, another is forcing their way through on 'your' side of the road if vehicles are parked on 'their' side of a narow road.

It's why they love those 'bull bars'. It's all part of the agressive stance they take when behind the wheel. People who drive like that are often not rational, not happy, certainly immature, and sometimes very dangerous. More speed cameras at the cost of fewer traffic police won't help in reducing their numbers.

Oh, and it's by no means a 'male only' thing. Increasingly, some of the msot aggressive drivers seem to be female.


21st Aug 2005, 20:42
Point taken. I do recall, when living in Scotland, that the female of the species tended to "take no prisoners" when driving. One adopted a "spot the sex" routine when seeing cars at junctions; if the driver was female one assumed that they'd just pull out regardless........

As for the car type being associated with driving style, I suspect that it's the car that affects the driver, rather than the other way around. When I drove Shoguns, I found that I turned into a right bullying sh*t, simply because the vehicle gave one a feeling of being near-invincible.

Similarly, when I owned a BMW 325i years ago I found that I constantly wanted to exploit the performance in the outside lane of the motorway, and woe betide anyone who got in the way. The same was true of my recently departed Merc.

Now I drive an "eco-mobile", I find that I'm more relaxed, as getting the average mpg graph up over my personal best on the daily commute entails refraining from any sort of driving aggression..............

21st Aug 2005, 20:49
Tailgaters? Here's a suggestion. At the next set of red lights and you're in front, kill the engine. Get out, pop the bonnet/hood, fart around pretending to look over things. The light turns green. Continue to faff around under said bonnet/hood. The f*ckface tailgater is right up yer a*rse and can't move. Continue faffin with engine until next red then get back in and crank her up. Fecking brill.


Hanse Cronje
21st Aug 2005, 20:59
Classic Ozzy! There is great strecth on the A41 where i might just do that next week. TVM for the suggestion.

21st Aug 2005, 21:19
Bit of advice only do this if you havent given the v signs:p

21st Aug 2005, 21:59
SSD wrote
Because a major reason for people to buy 4X4s for non-offroad use is agression; the 'get out of my way, little man' syndrome. That is why a lot of 4X4s are driven aggressively. Tailgating is one example, another is forcing their way through on 'your' side of the road if vehicles are parked on 'their' side of a narow road.

Your sentiment mirrors my own experience - I've often felt "people" buy these things in order to ignore the rules of the road.

THIS Press-release from Admiral Insurance (http://www.admiral.com/pressOffice/pressReleases/130705.phtml) would tend to concur...

I read somewhere that Urban SUV owners are 7x more likely to hold a criminal record (well, I guess their patron-saint is Kenneth Noye). If the National felon average is 1 in 30 people, that means 1 in 4.3 SUV owners hold a record... Do be careful if a 4X4 gates you...:yuk:

21st Aug 2005, 22:18
A very interesting article.

Ceri Assiratti, continued: "There are good and bad drivers of all types of car but our research suggests that as a group 4x4 owners have a worse record than other motorists. However we have no intention of raising their premiums based on this. We look at every driver's own circumstances."

but, if you get 2 drivers (one male, one female) with the same driving history, both with the same vehicle type, all insurers are happy to charge the male driver more, because they say male drivers are more likely to have an accident. "We look at every driver's own circumstances" when it suits them maybe.

21st Aug 2005, 22:28
WG774: "I've often felt "people" buy these things in order to ignore the rules of the road."

As a 4x4 owner for many years (in addition to more sensible forms of transport) I'm pretty sure that it's the vehicle that drives the behaviour, rather than people of that particular type choosing the vehicle.

I'm of the view that being seated in a higher than average position, surrounded by over 2 tonnes of sturdy steel, makes people behave differently.

I'll freely admit that when driving the 4x4 I tend to adopt the "I can drive anywhere" attitude, which invariably leads to me parking on grass verges etc in the thing.

21st Aug 2005, 22:30
Personally I think if you are on a multi lane highway and someone behind wants to go faster than you then why not pull over to a slower lane.
I agree that tail gating is dangerous, but there is nothing more irritating than some arrogant **** sitting in the fast lane at 70 mph with a smug look on their face because they're at the legal limit. The same goes for people who try and block motorbikes from passing them. I was nearly run off the road the other day trying to pass a car and the idiot tried to block me even though by passing it would make absolutely no difference to the car driver.
Speeding in built up areas is highly dangerous, dawdling on motorways is too.


Onan the Clumsy
21st Aug 2005, 22:31
Interesting thread, but it appears that only Cosworth has stepped into the dark side and suggested that there might take two people to create a road rage incident.

Sure Road Rage is wrong, dangerous, stupid and something that we probably all do. but... how many times is the offender the one commiting the act of rage and how many times is the real offender the one who caused him to commit the act.

In other words, it's ok to talk about tailgating, discuss strategies and recount tales, but we need to also look at our own actions and ask how innocent we are.

21st Aug 2005, 22:33
Down a mates road leading to his livery, loads of total eejits cut through it far above the 30 limit as a shortcut. Anyway, take one tractor, max speed 15mph, 1730 and a big trailer full of hay (we were delivering it anyway), this went on, regularly, for half a wek, by the last day, no-one was getting held up behind us.

Of course, now having had all the hay brought in for a while, they're all back.

You wait till we have to shift in the straw.....

Maple 01
21st Aug 2005, 22:35
sitting in the fast lane at 70 mph with a smug look on their face

err, how can you see a smug look if it's in front of you?:confused:

21st Aug 2005, 22:39
When I had a fast car, the best way I found of dealing with tailgaters was to pull in, let them pass, then catch them and drive and inch off their bumper for a while. They dont like that

Also, why do we have to let bikes pass? why should I pull over to allow a motorcycle to fly past a foot or so from my wing mirror, whilst breaking the speed limit, so he can get in front?

Shaggy Sheep Driver
21st Aug 2005, 22:53
Also, why do we have to let bikes pass? why should I pull over to allow a motorcycle to fly past a foot or so from my wing mirror, whilst breaking the speed limit, so he can get in front?

It's called 'filtering', and provided it's done at relatively low speed when other traffic is either stopped or moving very slowly, it's quite legal in UK and many other countries.

Some don't want him to 'get in front'. Why? He isn't holding them up at all by so doing. Most drivers do not obstruct filtering bikes. Some move aside to ease the bike's passage. Most never even know the bike is there (but the savvy biker who is aware of his vulnerability is well aware of that). A small. mean-minded minority move over to block the bike. It's a 'dog in the manger' attitude of "I'm being held up so so should he", and is purile.


21st Aug 2005, 22:54
I will be corrected if I am wrong. But 419 made what I think is a valid point, and since tailgating is both dangerous and against the law and it is placing you in a position of extreme risk. You are allowed to call the police on a mobile. You can report the incident and where you are on the motorway and the police will intercept the culprit.

This happened to a friend of mine who did just as he described it as above. The police pulled the idiot over and he was later charged and fined £500.

White van drivers are sometimes even worse!

21st Aug 2005, 22:56
Tailgating is for sure more likely on single or double lane roads, but the worst I had to me was 10pm on a Sunday night in North Yorkshire, just before the A1(M) splits to form the M1, where it is 6 lanes wide. Ok if road was very busy, but apart from the fact there were only me him and car I was overtaking within about 600yards his behaviour was a bit odd. As soon as I overtook car on inside and pulled in he just shot off in same lane.
Must be allergic to the outer lanes?

BTW is the Stretch of the M1 between Nottingham and Liecester the 'Malcolm/Mahesh/Mildred in the middl'e, capital of the country?

21st Aug 2005, 22:56
It's called 'filtering', and provided it's done at relatively low speed when other traffic is either stopped or moving very slowly, it's quite legal in UK and many other countries.

I'm thinking more of every trip on the motorway, with all traffic doing somewhere between 70 and 80, and bikes attempting to fly past you any side they see fit

21st Aug 2005, 22:59
Maple 01

"err, how can you see a smug look if it's in front of you?"

He was probably so damned close he could see the smug look in the drivers rear vision mirror.

Sums it up really. What gives anyone the right to drive at a dangerously close distance behind another car??

Been tempted to have my car "plumbed" in order to give a squrt of some sort of liquid rearwards, like used oil, black ink or brake fluid but on reflection it would be lowering myself to their level.

21st Aug 2005, 23:06
err, how can you see a smug look if it's in front of you?

The majority of cars have a rear view mirror. A large proportion of drivers don't use them.

Also, why do we have to let bikes pass? why should I pull over to allow a motorcycle to fly past a foot or so from my wing mirror, whilst breaking the speed limit, so he can get in front?

No one said you have to let bikes past, if you continue driving normally they will pass you when a gap becomes available.

What I said in my post was why do people feel the need to block motorbikes. As SSD said they're being petty and small minded because they have to sit in traffic why shouldn't motorbikes.

The reason I ride a bike is so I don't have to sit in traffic, what I do have to put up with is the increased vulnerability and bad weather. Oh! and idiot drivers trying to kill me.


21st Aug 2005, 23:27
I have two stories - one as a victim of tail-gating the other as one being threatened by someone who wouldn't/couldn't accelerate!

First, 15yrs ago, mom and I driving down A2 towards her home - I overtake car, totally normally, then find same car right behind me, so I am fine, pull over and car overtakes but slows down almost immediately. I, trained in the "maintain constant, smooth drive" school, indicate, pull out and overtake, then back in after ... same car overtakes and slows in front ... this happens three more times until road splits and ... I am in lane for my continuing route and he is in lane turning off - mom said he looked really mad and did the two-finger thing! :ok:

Second, I am driving home late from airfield, maybe 5yrs ago. Its about 11pm or so and I turn left at lights, accelerate up hill - partway up is a cut-through, a black Capri springs outta cut-through and ... DOESN'T accelerate! I slow, assuming that whoever is driving has messed up changing gear, but ... Capri still fails to accelerate - I am now about 15' away ... slowing ... Capri now stops .. guy (black) in hoodie gets out - points at me (now stationery), draws finger across throat ... I am TERRIFIED ... so accelerate, overtake and then realise, as capri is rapidly catching me up, that I don't want car following me home (there were three other hoodies in the car) ... so I take a couple local turns, switch off lights and watch Capri drive slowly by ... after 15mins (I timed it) with Karma (my dog) beginning to fuss, I pluck up courage, put on lights and then drive home ... was a very unfunny experience!!! :(

So these days? I drive even more defensively than I was trained, do my utmost not to be a challenge to anyone and pray that I don't inadvertently become a victim to road-rage!!! :ok:

21st Aug 2005, 23:41

I take it you aren't a traffic policeman (or you would not have ever posted that).

It is highly inadvisable to attempt to impose a personal interpretation of traffic law on others if you are not entitled, you have no right to do so. As someone has already said, it often takes TWO to cause a road rage incident or an accident. You are admitting to deliberately tailgating a "guilty" car driver yourself to perhaps teach them a lesson? For goodness' sake; how much more provocative of a road rage incident do you want to be? If said driver slams on HIS brakes and you ram him from behind, how do you think that will look in court? You were somehow justified? I think not.

Also, if a motorcyclist IS involved in an accident caused by clipping someone's wing mirror, falling off and being run over by following traffic, don't let it be on a conscience that one contributed to it by trying to block him because of some ill-conceived idea of what is right and what isn't. If one were to get involved in such an accident, believe me, it will result in a far longer delay for oneself, possibly for a number of years "at Her Majesty's Pleasure". It would only take one witness who noted that the car driver appeared to do it deliberately.....

If a car driver doesn't care about causing injury or death to a bike rider just because he was able to go through a gap that said individual couldn't, then who has the REAL attitude problem?

BTW, as you might have concluded, I do ride motorcycles as well as drive a car (have been riding them for 34 years on the road and a good few more off road). I don't split lanes when traffic is moving because I consider it too dangerous (and it can provoke jealous idiots into doing stupid things, such as deliberately trying to close the gap). I might nip past between cars if I consider it safe to do so when the traffic is stopped. I cannot see why anyone would want to prevent this.

As I said in my earlier post, if the chap on the bike coming past you was driving a car instead, he could well be in the queue ahead of YOU causing YOU to be delayed even more. So why not let him go through? A motorcycle will NOT ever delay a car driver, he will be through and GONE.

21st Aug 2005, 23:53
What is just as irritating is when cruising on a freeway with the cruise control appropriately set and being overtaken (just) by something like a Ka. When they pull in front of you and inevitably slow down, you need to pull out and pass them; and it starts all over again without ever needing to brake or accelerate.

My best was overtaking (on cruise) the same car six times within 50 kilometres.

22nd Aug 2005, 00:07
The question is, when do you become a tailgater on a single carrige highway?

Some drivers are just so impatient and dangerous, no matter what you do you are too slow.

Then you have the driver who obeys the laws, and drives suitably for the conditions, he holds no rational man up, and everyones happy.

But what happens when you get the driver who simply doesn't have the confidence and ability to drive a car at the suitable speed for the conditions?

What im getting at is tailgating is often a by product of inadequate drivers. Their excuse is safety, but the truth is it is that they do not have the confidence or ability to mingle with other drivers on the road. How many of us have limitless patience? I dont, I often find the majority of people who curse tailgaters fall into the profile of driver I have just described.

On a single carrige highway, you set the speed of the traffic behind you, and if you think that no one you hold up will judge your ability and speed if its unreasonably slow, you are dreaming.

22nd Aug 2005, 00:54
I dont know how 4 x 4 vehicles crept into the thread. Could it be that people buy them to tow over boggy ground or be able to go through snow or other not so nice climes?

It is also interesting that several people are Volvo drivers on here!

Are you not aware that Volvo drivers, hat wearers, pipe smokers, red car owners are a "Number 1" target by Police as potential problems... Yep thats a fact!

Romeo Charlie
22nd Aug 2005, 01:03
As a one time (and now occasional) HGV driver I can quite often 'tailgate' unintentionally. This usually occurs when some dopy idiot waiting at a junction spots a 44tonne Volvo coming and pulls out in front of it not wishing to be 'held up' by the lorry. In the normal course of events this would be no bad thing PROVIDED said dozy idiot made use of the pedal on the right and accelerated up to a decent speed. However, they usually don't and tootle up to the dizzy heights of 40mph leaving me with a rapidly shortening distance bewixt my front bumper and said idiot. Now because they can read the word OVLOV in their rear mirror at close range they get frightened despite it being their fault and usually slow down because they feel intimidated. Hence the word OVLOV gets bigger so they dab the brakes sending the message to back off. What they don't realise, however, is that the OVLOV driver is trying desperately not to ram them whilst giving due regard to the state of his/her load and handling of his/her vehicle.
Having successfully avoiding hitting these idiots the poor OVLOV driver is now doing 30mph, has lost all momentum, and is invariably left struggling along trying to regain speed. Having regained speed several aeons later he/she now finds themselves catching up the annoying (usually small & French) car, which, upon seeing the lorry approaching again, slows down.........................
I've no objection to people pulling out in front of me, but if you do, please accelerate and whatever you do don't slow down when I'm trying to keep turbo boost pressure up to climb the approaching hill.

/rant over

22nd Aug 2005, 04:35
A couple of years ago I was descending Greenmount on the Gt Eastern (Perth, WA) with this fecking big semi right on my bumper. I was doing slightly over the speed limit of 110kph and this clown is supposed to be speed limited to 100kph. I was in the inside lane and had obviously p*ssed off this guy big time. He gave me a flash on his lights and I could feel the heat on the back of my neck he was that close.

I then flicked on my rear fog lights and accelerated at the same time. Rear fogs are still a novelty in WA and are usually mistaken for brake lights.

For a brief moment I saw him in the rear view with copious amounts of smoke emanating from all 36 tyres!

22nd Aug 2005, 06:16
A matter of semantics I know, but nonetheless, an illustration of mindset.

On multi-lane highways, there is no "fast lane" or "slow" lanes, as one poster referred to. They are overtaking lanes, or more correctly, referred to as Lane1, Lane 2, etc.

22nd Aug 2005, 07:30
Had a tailgater last evening coming along the A27 at Havant - me in lane 3 overtaking slower traffic - VW Polo (white/beige) is close behind - lane 2 is quite busy so took a minute or 2 to find a suitable gap into which I pulled over - Polo goes past me, realises that he/she wants the next exit (having missed the countdown markers, signs etc), cuts straight across me and lane 1 traffic up the slip road.

22nd Aug 2005, 07:44
I use the 6 feet 6 19 stone method of dealing with roadrage. That and the starting handle! Yep it's part of the cars tools so it is not a weapon as such.
I had some fool try and sort me out in my kit car once. It is LOW so I must have looked quite small till I got out. The sheepskin jacket added a few feet to my girth and when MR tiny !!!is wound down I looked him up and down and asked "Are you standing in a hole?"

22nd Aug 2005, 07:47
i used to have a diesel powered hilux, when someone insisted on driving a foot behind me i just used to leave it in second gear and give it a good 5-6000revs a nice big cloud of blake sooty diesel smoke would come out the back and said car would get the message ( made more of an impression if the car was white)

22nd Aug 2005, 09:21
Here's one for you. a person who is hesitant at the lights, by the way that isn't the problem but its the fact that they get upto 40mph in a 30 in other words if they're slow at the lights then they shouldn't be doing 40 in a 30 because of reaction speeds.

Next time your doing 35 imagine a kid running out of a driveway on target to the front of your bumper and see if you could stop in time.

22nd Aug 2005, 09:24
i was the victim of road rage this weekend!

i was parked, about to pull off when two cars stopped alongside. All occupant jumped out and started to beat freely on each other, i noted a crowbar and a metal pipe as being instruments of choice. 3 vs 2, the 2 got hurt and i mean hurt.

my car also has a 35cm tear (not dent) on its fender thanks to a missed overhead sweep by a crowbar swing...

and all this while i was sitting in my car! (note, i did not get out to stop it!!)

two things i have spent a LOT of time thinking about this weekend.
1) The cop insisted i had no case, as the damage to my car was not intended, and was a civil affair. He changed his mind when i asked if i drew a gun, aimed it at him, missed and killed his partner behind him, i was not liable as i didnt mean to kill his mate...
2) How do i protect myself against an assailant with a pretty hefty weapon? guys carry things like knives and crowbars these days. I had no way to get out, i was parked in!

Suggestions please!


22nd Aug 2005, 09:40
I can't beleive there's still bad around. is the rate of bad people going up or something. i live near an estate but there's no problems although near heald green there are some dodgy people around. And i've never ventured through certain parts of manchester at night

22nd Aug 2005, 09:52
On the way to work today, I stopped at the end of our street and waited for a gap in the traffic. The traffic lights up the road to the left turned red and traffic flow from the left ceased, so I pulled out and drove onto the main road with no-one behind me. A chap waiting at the next junction fifty yards along then pulled out directly in front of me and proceeded down the road at 40 kph. Having jammed on the brakes to avoid ramming him when he pulled out, I found myself tailgating this old chap while waiting for him to speed up. He didn't, so I pulled back to the two second gap and followed him at 40 kph for three kilometers, until we reached the point where the road widens into two lanes. By then he had quite a long tail and nothing in front of him for as far as I could see. A fair number of those behind me in the tail were clearly going potty about it and there was some scary driving after we reached the two lane stretch. Quite annoying no doubt, but what can you do? I didn't want to tailgate him, I doubt if he even noticed the tailback anyway and I don't think beating up an elderly grandfather would make anyone feel any better. He only delayed us by 90 seconds at most so what did it matter? I spend longer than that in the security check queue, getting into the airport.

Lance Murdoch
22nd Aug 2005, 10:17
bigflyingrob, the 6ft 6 19 stone method would be a good way of dealing with said scrote except Im 5ft 11, 12 stone and recovering from an ankle operation so Im not really in a position to have a fight with anyone!

I appreciate the point that it can take two to cause a road rage incident and in my first post I did state that I was a fool to provoke said idiot but jabbing my brakes would not have been provocative if he'd been a reasonable distance behind me! I think that generally people in 4X4's and pickups do tend to be more aggressive, whether this is the effect of the car or the type of person that buys these cars is hard to say.
I think the thing is that you have to try and rise above the provocation and try to relax when driving, people such as my 'friend' are an accident waiting to happen, it is perhaps just best to let them go and happen to someone else!

22nd Aug 2005, 10:19
Any Chief constables reading take note. We need "Roadwatch UK".

I volunteer to be Chief Snitch.

22nd Aug 2005, 10:28
Wouldn't it be great to have cars equipped by insurers for cctv back end and front end in cars connected to gps. one to stop speeders and bring insurance down or at least keep it the same due to cost of camera and solve more crimes.

simon brown
22nd Aug 2005, 11:07
I dont much care for the idea of banging on the brakes and potentially causing an acident. My car gets bent just to prove a point to someone who probably has a company car and couldnt care less. Not only that, others my be involved injured or even killed pulling the stupid stunt...just maintain your speed and flash all and sundry out in front of you , then when its safe to do so pull over. If youve got something a bit tasty , floor it and give them a hard time trying to overtake ...then forget the whole thing and give em a honk as you pass at the next contraflow/accident/jam.

What I cant abide is during a contraflow situation where there is a 3 mile jam, all you want to do is move across to get off the motorway and somejocker decides that they are going to keep speeding up to fill the gap even if you are indicating.

I had the situation this weekend, until I got so pi$$ed off I levelled up with him, wound the window down and asked him why the 20' infront of him was so important bearing in mind the jam is 4 miles long. I then doubted his parentage and cast aspersions as to his penis size....all credit to the chavs girlfriend she laughed at him, gave a small hand jesture backing up my theory and told him to stop being such a wan**r.

22nd Aug 2005, 11:17
Well said Cosworth211!

What im getting at is tailgating is often a by product of inadequate drivers. Their excuse is safety, but the truth is it is that they do not have the confidence or ability to mingle with other drivers on the road.

I spent a frustrating half hour last Monday following a line of traffic who insisted on sitting behind the Artic that was crawling up hill and down dale, when the were plenty of safe opportunities to over take. Not content with causing a traffic jam, one idiot tried to drive me off the road, when I went to overtake him! Presumably because he didn't think it was safe!

Most drivers do not use their eyes or think ahead, and should hang back if they are not capable of overtaking when others are.

Mr Chips
22nd Aug 2005, 13:00
I think that generally people in 4X4's and pickups do tend to be more aggressive, whether this is the effect of the car or the type of person that buys these cars is hard to say.
Well Lance, an interesting sweeping generalisation, especially from someone who almost (by your own admission) caused a pile up. I drive a 4x4, and I would not say that i am aggressive, i don't tailgate, and i am probably a safer driver because of my elevated driving position.

Why do i own a 4x4? Well, apart from simply liking it (are porsches only owned by racing drivers?) I have used it twice as a safety vehicle at scout camps, once to escort an ambulance to a suspected spinal injury.

By the way, if I do ever tailgate you, and you brake hard, it is unlikely I will even feel the bump... want to take that chance?

simon brown
22nd Aug 2005, 13:41
I was on the M42 one day about 4 miles from my junction , in lane 2 overtaking traffic and doing about 85 . This guy decided he wants to commit the automotive version of bu**ery and puts himself a fag packets distance from my rear bumper. I,m not going to put my foot down and I cant pull over as the next lane is full so I just sit there for a bit.

About a mile from my exit I notice a few lorries and one starts indicating ...so a flash him out and the one behind him also.

I move over and exit motorway and tailgaiter is left behind 2 lorries trying to overtake several others on a hill....the next junction is 5 miles away and hes now doing 52 MPH instead of 85...

22nd Aug 2005, 15:28
Also, why do we have to let bikes pass? why should I pull over to allow a motorcycle to fly past a foot or so from my wing mirror, whilst breaking the speed limit, so he can get in front?

No one said you have to let bikes past, if you continue driving normally they will pass you when a gap becomes available.

But why is that the majority of times. just as you have a large enough gap to move to the nearside and start to move into it, the impatient tw*t on a motorcycle is just blasting past on your inside?

Don't they teach these p*llocks that the rule of the road in UK is that we normally overtake on the offside?

22nd Aug 2005, 16:42
The tailgating thing is a problem and I agree with all that a dab on the brakes only makes things worse and is probably just as dangerous as the tailgating itself. What is needed is a relatively normal driving action that causes the said tailgater to drop back without realising that the action was deliberate. The answer of course is to operate the windscreen washers; even better if you have those nice high powered headlight washers as well. Try it, it works.

Biggles Flies Undone
22nd Aug 2005, 17:01
I used to train at martial arts with a farmer who was bloody good at looking after himself and had a notoriously short fuse. Got him talking over a few beers one night and he told the story of being tailgated in his old Landie by a guy in a Mondeo constantly flashing his headlights and weaving about. Came to a red light, stopped and considered having a word in his ear - then had a better idea. Moved forward a few feet then reversed hard into the Mondeo. Called police on his mobile saying that he believed he'd been hit by a drunk driver. He was only trying to teach the guy a lesson but it turned out that he was drunk. Served him right.

22nd Aug 2005, 17:18
When I join a busy circuit pattern, I have a very good look at the overhead before descending, and try and slot in neatly without carving anyone up. If thereís a faster aircraft in the pattern Iíll change course to get in behind him. If I get stuck behind a student flying a space shuttle-sized circuit in a C152, I donít try and nip in front of him, but follow him round and give him loads of space. If someone crosses the hold while Iím on short finals itís an immediate go-around; I wouldnít dream of missing them by 10 feet while giving them the finger. If someone gets a bit close to me downwind, I donít drop full flaps and slow right down.

So why then, when I get into my car, do I huff and puff about people doing 40 in a 60 limit, and deliberately wind-up tailgaters by gradually slowing down? And if some numpty pulls out on me or cuts me up, why am I so tempted to sit on their bumper and use my lights and the horn to rebuke them?

Is there anyone else like me? Is there a psychologist in the house? :confused:

itchy kitchin
22nd Aug 2005, 17:32
You chaps should try driving in Lusaka!
Driving licences seem to be available from corn-flakes packets.

Lance Murdoch
22nd Aug 2005, 19:08
Mr Chips, it is a generalisation and I am sure that there are many more good 4X4 drivers like yourself around, but my observation would be that there is far more aggressive driving proportionately from 4x4 owners.
I did not almost cause a pile up, the cretin tailgating me would have been at fault. I only lightly touched the brakes albeit probably not a wise thing to do.
If you tailgate me and I have to brake hard for a genuine reason, say a child running out into the road, Id have to take a chance wouldnt I!
By the way 4X4's are not that great in an accident because they tend to roll.

22nd Aug 2005, 21:10
Had a cracker the other week....I was towing a caravan along the A49 at 39mph.......'cos there was a tractor and trailer in front of me.....Mr BMW steams past [on a crest] giving me a dirty look, THEN he sees the approaching lorry. Fortunately [for him] I was applying the 2 sec rule :ok:

22nd Aug 2005, 21:59
well it will not be long before you can buy a car with an option for a built in camera to record your progress, similar to those used by the police, to record the dangerous driving of others. It will be on a 30 minute loop like the CVR's. It will then be standard and then compulsory to get insured ! In the meantime, you can just velcro a small Handycam to the dash !Ī


22nd Aug 2005, 22:44
Recently I was out riding with my daughter when we had to go single file to traverse a very narrow path.
My horse took this opportunity to tailgate my daughters lady horse and give it's butt a good sniffing over, daughters horse took exception to this unwarrented intrusion and promptly kicked my horse square in the nostrils.

That's the way to deal with tailgating, (if you have a horse with you).

22nd Aug 2005, 22:47
I was driving my open topped kit car back from the west country last week. There was a major tailback on the M42 due to a closure further along. Traffic was nose to tail in all three lanes for miles and no-one was able to proceed more than a few yards before stopping again. The driver of a Volvo estate driver behind me was obviously not concentrating because every time I slowed, the nose of it got closer and closer to my spare wheel on the back of the car, literally only inches on more than one occasion. There is no rear bumper on my car, only bodywork (you can't buy repair panels for the rear of my car, you replace the whole body tub). I watched the nose of the Volvo dip down as the driver braked later and harder time after time. Having had one car bumped hard from behind before in similar circumstances and felt the same was going to happen again I finally lost my cool when I heard the front tyres squeal to a stop about a foot behind me. I turned round in my seat and shouted at the driver "WILL you KEEP BACK? You are FAR too close!" I waved my arm back to indicate same, as it was a Volvo cocoon after all.

It worked. The LADY driver's worried looking face appeared at the windscreen; she nodded and dropped back to a sensible distance.

I wouldn't normally have done this but I was completely hemmed in and thought my personal safety was at real risk from this moron. Also, there were witnesses all round both cars. I got a big "thumbs up" and a grin from a lorry driver in the next lane.

Less than a minute later I pulled over as a gap appeared to my left, to let her past, although the traffic conditions meant she would gain no advantage whatsoever. Just as I thought she would, she IMMEDIATELY roared forward, all of ten yards, into the space vacated by my car and procedeed to tailgate the poor chap in a Toyota MR2 who had been ahead of me!

The best part of this - as she went by me, then braked hard to prevent her car ramming the MR2 I noticed a large dog cage in the boot of her estate car. In the rear window was a sticker announcing "Show dogs in transit - KEEP BACK!"

MORON! :rolleyes:

23rd Aug 2005, 00:05
If I have to brake hard for a child, animal, object on road, traffic ... that's what I have to do and tough luck for whoever behind who's too :mad: close.

Of course if it's a gravel truck behind, I'll just squeeze onto the shoulder and put the gas down if the guard rail prevents an exit and try to remember to get the window down as the doors won't be opening:uhoh:

In the non-gravel truck case, there's more crush space in the back of the car to dissipate the forces of a lower speed collision than there is in front for a harder one.

Also the question asked of the driver in front of you by the police in the case you hit him is how many impacts he felt. If he felt two, you were following too closely and will be assigned fault. If he felt one, the driver behind you is on the hook for pushing you into him:E

If you are being tailgated, an early short application of the brakes at the first hint of need has better odds of avoiding getting hit from the rear than a delayed longer application. Also the brake lights are better at getting attention than simply lifting the gas.

I remember one psycho who took great umbrage at my heavy sustained braking as a motorhome trailer began jackknifing in front of me reaching what looked like a 90 degree angle to the road. I almost lost him for good when I passed a line of cars with sufficient room for me to clear oncoming traffic but not quite enough for him. He and the people in the oncoming vehicles and the overtaken vehicles had about a close as call as you can get.

Tailgating a passing car in the oncoming lane is a serious application for a Darwin award -- richly deserved by the applicant, but not by the involuntary participants.

23rd Aug 2005, 01:36
Braking is a very bad idea.
If you're hit from behind by the tailgater with even just a little brake applied as you dab them it's more than likely that even a moderate nudge will push the unloaded rear tyres sideways far enough to either spin your car or set it into a nasty, hard to catch fishtail as the tyres grab the road again. It really doesn't take much, the back of most cars is very light, especially when off the throttle or on the brakes. I've had this happen to me, though not on the road, and it gets dramatic very quickly. The problem is then worsened by most peoples overriding reaction being to stand on the brakes as it all goes pear shaped. In a front drive car you need to be flooring it for the best result, in a rear wheel drive car you just have to hope you can catch it, press the brakes hard in either at that moment and things are likely to get worse.
If you don't get it back together you're possibly looking at collecting another vehicle in the side of the car. Personally, even with multiple airbags, side impact bars, etc, that's the very last place I want to get hit.
There's not much to deform before you're being deformed. :uhoh:

The best bet is to let them past if on a multi lane road. If on a single lane road they're generally not terribly serious about getting past anyway. If you actually intend to overtake something the last thing you do is sit up its chuff. You hang back, give yourself a better line of sight then wind on the speed as you see a gap appear in the oncoming lane meaning that you have a significant speed differential even before you start to pass.

I'd say I drive far from agressively, but I do get on with it. I don't tailgate though, I follow ready to pass as above, with some acceleration room. As a result I can pass in smaller gaps than even a tailgater in a car of much greater performance, I don't harass the person in front into speeding up and closing the gap to the vehicle in front of them meaning there's generally a gap I can safely move into if there's a need to pass the queue piecemeal. Some people flash as you move in even if the gap is more than big enough to do so safely. They're the ones who would never actually make the overtaking move though, they seem to think it's illegal perhaps, so you're best off past them unless you want to wait forever and you're generally on and past the lorry or other slow vehicle before they know it anyway.

Perhaps as a result of my slightly press on style I rarely get tailgated on single lane roads. Those idiots are probably still some way back trying to find a gap big enough to pass from a matched speed. :rolleyes:

On the motorway, if I don't wish to travel at their pace I simply move in when I can, the rules of the road suggest I should anyway. It's not worth getting excited over.... of course whilst I'm finding that gap to move into and if they're really close and I object, I'd never consider putting the offside wheels right out on the dirty bit of road by the rumble line/central reservation where all those little paint and windscreen chipping stones collect. :E

Flying Lawyer
23rd Aug 2005, 06:49
I drive 15-18,000 miles a year and encounter tail-gaters maybe 6 times a year, possibly fewer than that. I think selfish lane-hoggers are a far more serious problem, particularly on motorways where they cause congestion and (IMHO entirely understandable) irritation to other road-users.
Most British drivers seem to think it's perfectly acceptable to drive an entire motorway journey in the middle lane, even when driving at the same speed as (or within a few mph of) traffic in the left lane - and even when the left lane is empty.

I've often wondered what goes on in the minds of drivers who see a long stream of traffic behind them for miles on end, yet won't pull over to let them pass.
Are they just selfishly indifferent to the fact that they are holding up other people, or are they actually deriving some warped pleasure from doing so?

With some exceptions, it takes two to cause road rage.

23rd Aug 2005, 07:22
Shirley (or anyone else, I guess).......the object of the exercise (driving) is to get from A to B in reasonable time without damaging people (first) or vehicles/property (second).

So , if someone tailgates, reduce speed to ensure that the more gentle maximum braking rate restriction now imposed upon you will stil enable you to stop if needed.

When a safe turn-off is found, pull safely off (see, there's a bonus.....but have a tissue ready) and let them past. Then continue safely.

Alternatively, when a safe overtaking area is encountered, allow them every assistance to pass.

However, if you're not going from A and/or to B, then I don't know what the object of the exercise is........(my instructor only ever explained A to B)

Krystal n chips
23rd Aug 2005, 07:35
Flying Lawyer,
Agree with your sentiments about lane hoggers !---even at 3 am on a Sunday morning, you still see people who are seemingly unaware of the lane(s) to the left of them.

However, a technical (legal re RT Act ) question please either for yourself or anybody else qualified to answer.

On Sunday, I was driving down the M11 and, almost without exception, the outside lane was an endless stream of cars--all doing a nice 55mph (ish) . So I am in the inside lane doing a nice 60mph--this lane being clear of course. Now a couple of the car drivers indicated their displeasure at me passing them--however, as far as I am aware, this is not undertaking-or is it ?. If the inside lane is clear--which it was and frequently is-is there any legal reason why I can't do this ?

I am not trying to pin you, or anybody else down here--it's just that it seems to be a grey area as it where. As I've said previously, whilst volume of traffic can and does contribute to congestion, IMHO another another equally pertinent reason is that so many drivers simply sit in their "chosen" lane--plus there seems to be a growing trend not to overtake--even when the road conditions permit it on dual c/ways and Motorways.

And, might as well have a rant while I can !--on the subject of congestion, how much is induced by the :mad: called the Highways Agency !!!!---e.g, yesterday on the M6 heading North--lovely matrix message saying "Queue caution" 40mph Juncts 14-15. Fine, if there had been an incident / accident---but--absolutely NOTHING---traffic was heavy--but not that heavy--and flowing quite nicely--until this message appears and lo and behold--instant congestion / stagnation. So why the reason for it ? It may come as a vague surprise to those who "control" the matrix signs, but if this was some form of flow control experiment--it was as counter productive as possible-not to mention the fact that when stationary, mine and anybody else who drives as their occupation, can merrily watch the profits simply get consumed in stationary traffic. But as Civil servants and a Gov't agency, I don't suppose they even have to remotest grasp or concept of reality !!

23rd Aug 2005, 12:52
Late into this thread, but I have to say that,

Firstly, tailgating is predominately a "male thing", probably driven by ego.

is utter rubbish. People who say this are simply not paying any attention to what is going on around them or simply don't drive in the UK. Women speed and tailgate just as much as men.

With regards to bikers. You'll find that some will wait until it is safe to overtake, split lane etc. The key word however is some, the majority will do whatever they can to get on with speeding. Nobody buys a motorbike to obey the speed limit!

The comment regarding "if you are being tailgated you must be in the wrong lane" is also uneducated cobblers. I have been tailgated many times whilst legally overtaking, pulling over would have endangered myself and other road users.

23rd Aug 2005, 14:56
To keep the nomenclature straight, lets call them: Curb lane -- normally used for entrance/exit and adjacent to structures, fields etc.
Middle lane
Passing Lane
I find the Middle lane is generally the slow lane while the Curb lane is almost empty compared to the Middle and Passing lanes.

It's definitely more relaxing to drive where there's less traffic and lots of clear space ahead, but you do encounter the odd driver properly using the Curb lane; so, it's then time to thread across the Middle lane to the Passing lane where you wait your turn to get around the Middle lane drivers in finger two formation with the Curb lane drivers;)

Of course you can't squeeze in front of a tailgater and who in their right mind would want to. I do leave extra room behind tailgaters as I have discovered that a car going sideways slows faster than I can with full braking:uhoh:

23rd Aug 2005, 15:45
Middle lane hoggers... so do we condone passing on either side, like in the US? It would prevent a lot of road rage...

Flying Lawyer
23rd Aug 2005, 16:07

That's neither the nomenclature nor purpose of the lanes on UK motorways, but it doesn't stop the majority of drivers here thinking the left lane is the 'Slow' lane for trucks and being convinced the middle lane is where they should drive except when overtaking.

I agree it's more relaxing to drive where there's less traffic and lots of clear space ahead. For some reason, the majority of drivers would prefer to drive along in a line, probably because they are too lazy to go to the effort of using lanes properly. IMHO, there's a narrow dividing line between relaxation and plain laziness.
As a result, the left lane is almost invariably the emptiest, the middle lane is full of the I'm a law-abiding driver' brigade who don't consider being familiar with and complying with the Highway Code is part of driving in a law-abiding manner and, in consequence, too many cars are forced into the outside lane - often congested because some members of the 'middle lane drivers club' (the majority of UK drivers) have decided they want to pass another car going about 5 mph slower and don't increase their speed to do so. It's not unusual for cars in a line of traffic in the outside lane way behind these idiots to come momentarily to a complete standstill.

Sadly, I've never known nor heard of any lane-hoggers ever being prosecuted - even though they are committing an offence.

Our motorway traffic would flow much more freely if either the police enforced lane discipline more strictly or we adopted the American system of overtaking either side unless specifically prohibited. Of course, the latter would involve drivers having to use their rear-view mirrors, which would be far too onerous for many.

23rd Aug 2005, 16:37
The comment regarding "if you are being tailgated you must be in the wrong lane" is also uneducated cobblers. I have been tailgated many times whilst legally overtaking, pulling over would have endangered myself and other road users.

IMO the reason you end up being tailgated when overtaking is because either you are one of the people who forgets to accelerate during an overtaking manouvre, or you simply didn't have much situational awareness, I constantly monitor what is going on in the next lane, and don't pull out to overtake if I can see another vehicle approaching at a reaonsably higher speed, even if that vehicle still has some distance till it reaches me.

23rd Aug 2005, 16:40
A few years ago I was driving down the M6. I was in the outside lane overtaking a procession of HGV's, when a suited warrior in his Vectra came right up behind me. I couldn't see the front of his car as he was that close!!
Anyway, there was no space for me to pull into the middle lane, so I increased my speed a wee bit, I thought it would be the best thing to do and as soon as a safe space was available, then I would pull in and let him past...........how wrong was I, the arrogant a*%e-hole just stayed right up my backside.
I eventually managed to pull in but the said a'hole pulled along side me and started to rant and rave and beckoned me to pull over to the hard shoulder.
Now, being an ex regimental boxer, I thought ok, why not.....so, whilst slowing down and pondering the thought of which fist shall I use, an amazing thought just jumped into my head! I looked across at the purple faced nutter and quite happily blew him a kiss and gave him a smile...........the look of sheer frustration and confusion on his face was an absolute picture :o) he just zoomed off into the distance.
So there you go people, forget all of this arrogance and violence....maybe those hippies in the 60's were onto something after all.

Incidentally, I feel much safer when I am choppering around the sky than on the UK roads....anyone else feel the same?

Krystal n chips
23rd Aug 2005, 16:42
Flying Lawyer----good points all round--but as for the Police enforcing lane discipline--well on Sunday, as per my post, Essex Police were present on the M11--be around 1600hrs southbound--merrily filming--potential speeding traffic---not lane hoggers.

Any Traffic Officers care to comment on this problem please ? ----- given that it clearly causes a great deal of annoyance to many as well as being a menace to other drivers. The practical reasons why the Highway Code is not enforced would be more valid than the "official policy" line---you are the people who are doing the job after all and in the main you are pretty good at it---so why is this aspect of driving seemingly "ignored". ?

23rd Aug 2005, 16:42

I totally agree, and do use Lane 1 if it is clear; except in one set of conditions.

The Highways Agency manage to make lane 1 less safe for cars when rain is falling. Due to lack of maintenance, you end up driving through 2 relatively deep puddles that are each 1 ft wide and several miles long.

During, or just after pouring rain, I NEVER use lane 1 if I can help it.

Otherwise, the 'middle lane mortgage society' continue to be totally amazed that a car sweeps across from lane 3 to lane 1 just in front of them - into the lane where they should be in the first place.

shut that door
23rd Aug 2005, 17:06
Found this page on the UK.Gov site for the mock theory test, you can do a car,HGV, motor bike or bus. Great fun.


23rd Aug 2005, 17:20
The friend of one of my boys recently got booked for hogging the outside lane of the M27. I believe that he has had to agree to take a driving course but this may also be the result of being booked for speeding twice (by the same camera) in one day as well.

23rd Aug 2005, 17:50

What you did was legal.
(from the Highway code)

242: Do not overtake on the left or move to a lane on your left to overtake. In congested conditions, where adjacent lanes of traffic are moving at similar speeds, traffic in left-hand lanes may sometimes be moving faster than traffic to the right. In these conditions you may keep up with the traffic in your lane even if this means passing traffic in the lane to your right. Do not weave in and out of lanes to overtake.

Flying Lawyer
23rd Aug 2005, 18:27

Sorry - forgot to offer an answer to your question when posting earlier. You didn't miss much - the best I can manage is a rather unhelpful 'It depends.' :)

419 has posted the relevant provision in the HC. You'll see the exception which allows overtaking on the left applies in congested conditions where adjacent lanes of traffic are moving at similar speeds and traffic in the left lane is moving faster than that in the right. In those circumstances, you're allowed to keep up with the traffic in your lane even if this means passing traffic in the lane to your right.

You said you were "in the inside lane doing a nice 60mph -- this lane being clear of course."

Query: If the left lane is clear but for you, does your vehicle constitute the 'traffic' in that lane?

I think it should. However, I wouldn't take the risk of doing it in front of a member of our wonderful traffic police just in case I ended up having to take my chances in front of the local magistrates - a prospect I wouldn't relish.

23rd Aug 2005, 18:44
FL -- I'm not making a formal proposal of nomenclature; I only wanted to make clear which lane was which in my post.

Your post on middle lane behavior matches observed behavior here.

While I do frequently get a middle-laner suddenly moving into the same passing lane space I anticipate occupying very shortly (or am in already :uhoh: ) I find it exceedingly rare that a middle lane sitter takes the slow lane unless he's about to use the next exit.

23rd Aug 2005, 18:48
Im with FL.
If I'm in the inside lane and the middle lane doesn't have gaps I can safely move out into I'd class that lane as congested, meaning I can pass on the left.
If there is no traffic immediately in front of me how can I know whether I'm keeping up with it? I cant, I have no guage of 'keep up'.
The limit is 70mph, it seems reasonable to assume the traffic I'd be keeping up with, were it there, may be travelling at that speed. If the lane to my right drops below that speed I maintain mine. I've become pace setter for my lane.

Krystal n chips
23rd Aug 2005, 18:50
419 ---thought it was but needed clarfication---should have consulted the oracle I admit having been known to read it at regular intervals and buy a current edition.

FL--you raise a very good query--like yourself, not one that I would wish to put to the test. Interesting point though. On Sunday, whilst I was not alone in the inside lane, there were other vehicles albeit HGV's, the odd caravan and vans like myself. I think the "problem" arises when, for example, on a 3 lane Motorway, you have to overtake the --loved this expression :ok: "middle lane mortgage society"--by virtue of crossing into the outside lane--in order to overtake the cruise control etc. in the middle--when the simplistic and logical approach would be to continue at 60mph ( for arguments sake ) in the inside lane --but that would clearly constitute undertaking so bingo, I would be at fault--not the lane hogger of course.

Romeo Charlie
23rd Aug 2005, 22:55
Re lane designations, CB parlance is

Granny Lane.
Sandwich Lane.
Suicide Lane.

24th Aug 2005, 13:21
IMO the reason you end up being tailgated when overtaking is because either you are one of the people who forgets to accelerate during an overtaking manouvre, or you simply didn't have much situational awareness,
Or you are doing 70mph and the person behind you is an impatient, law-breaking w*nker.

That's generally my experience. Yours obviously depends on how much of a criminal you are being with little regard for the safety of other road users.

24th Aug 2005, 13:53
Or you are doing 70mph and the person behind you is an impatient, law-breaking w*nker.

Please enlighten us as to how you know you are doing 70 mph.

Unless you are a police officer on duty, do you really think that you are in a position to enforce the law?

24th Aug 2005, 13:56
Unless you are a police officer on duty, do you really think that you are in a position to enforce the law?


But one would expect to be in a position where one is not villified and insulted for remaining within the law, by some scrote determined to break it.

24th Aug 2005, 14:02
Please enlighten us as to how you know you are doing 70 mph.

It's called a speedometer!

If you are overtaking a car, and you are in the outside lane doing 70mph, you are not enforcing the law by not pulling over if it is not safe to do so. You would only be doing this if you continued in that lane after you had completed overtaking, and it was clear to pull back into the inside lane.

24th Aug 2005, 17:13
It's called a speedometer!

And if your speedometer reads 70 MPH, then you are doing precisely that speed - right?


Speedometers must by law overread, so if your speedo shows 70mph, then you are certainly travelling slower than that.

FACT: The UK C&U regs originally stated that a speedometer was required to be accurate to +/- 10% at 30 mph. That was the only requirement. Later EU regs modified this to the effect that a speedometer may not underread at any speed.

To ensure that thier vehicles are compliant, and allow for tyre wear etc, all manufacturers, without exception ensure that thier speedometers overread.

24th Aug 2005, 18:14
I've never dared ask this before, but in view of some of the above posts I'll venture it now:

If you are driving a Ford V-8 Crown Victoria on a secondary road in Leeds/Granville County behind a Japanese import driven by an oriental lady/gentleman (sex is of no distinguishing importance here) ......

Question: What are you doing?

Answer: Driving a V-8 Crown Victoria very slowly.

24th Aug 2005, 18:23
Be that as it may, patdavies, but as all speedometers (in regular cars - and I dare say police cars) are of the same specification, all vehicles will be 'reading' the same speed (my guess is that the police will have specialist equipment to accurately read the speeds of other vehicles on the road). If the population of the world wound their watches and clocks forward 5 minutes, what would be the correct time? The time that we all rely on (ie as displayed on our watches and clocks) or a time that we were not really sure about as only a few people keeping the official time with atomic clocks had access to this information?

24th Aug 2005, 18:25
patdavies, over here in the US all new cars speedometer are accurate when you compare their readout with the onboard GPS. Well within .5 mph assuming that the GPS is the more accurate, which it usually is in most cases.

24th Aug 2005, 18:33
so if your speedo shows 70mph, then you are certainly travelling slower than that.

Not necessarily true. I could be travelling slower, but I could also be doing exactly 70mph. The law says that the speedometer can over read by up to 10%, not that it will. Any sensible driver would have to assume that it is reading correctly.

24th Aug 2005, 20:51
Tis true about UK car speedo error. I've checked out the last four cars I've owned (with GPS) and they have all over-read by some amount.

My current steed has a digital speedo, which reads exactly 10% high up to 50mph and then exactly 5mph fast over that. I'm sure that this is a deliberately "programmed in" error, as it switches so neatly between 10% and 5mph over-reading at 50.

Unfortunately, knowing the error means that I now tend to drive at an indicated 33 in a 30 limit, etc, etc.

24th Aug 2005, 21:30
Please enlighten us as to how you know you are doing 70 mph.

T-H-E S-P-E-E-D-O-M-E-T-E-R????

So what if when it points at 70mph you are not doing 70? Does this justify being tailgated when conducting a perfectly legal overtaking manoeuvre?

If your answer is yes, patdavis, then I hope to God I am never, ever on the same road as you as you are a road death waiting to happen. For your sake I hope it is not someone else's.

24th Aug 2005, 22:57
I never said that it did justify tailgating.

I simply pointed out that you may well be travelling below 70 mph despite your s-p-e-e-d-o-m-e-t-e-r reading. You posted that somebody behind you wanting to go fast was

an impatient, law-breaking w*nker.

What law are they breaking?

I suspect that your attempt to sieze the moral high ground here is an indication of membership of the "I'm doing 70 and you have no right to go any faster" brigade.


I'm afraid that it is just not so. there are effectively 2 main types of speedometer. One, the older type, simply spins a magnet on the end of the speedo cable in the speedo head which moves the pointer against a hair spring - the faster the magnet is spun, the further the needle is turned against the spring. The second type exists where the car electronics send a voltage proportional to the detected speed to the speedo head, which has no cable and is a simple voltmeter.

In both cases, what is being measured is not the speed of the vehicle, but the rate of rotation of the propshaft (or gearbox output shaft for the pedantic with FWD). Thus altering the differential ratio; changing the circumference of the wheels by changing wheels/tyres or simply tyre wear; or simply having one wheel slipping (as on ice) will alter the indicated speed without changing the actual speed.

This latter type also simplifies the fitting of cruise control. This does not attempt to keep the speed constant - it tries to keeps the rate of rotation of the output shaft constant.

24th Aug 2005, 23:28
What law are they breaking?

Depending on how close they are, it could be Dangerous Driving, Driving without due care and attention, and probably a few others.

As far as lane discipline goes I am normally to be found in 1 or 2 as I move around the lanes to overtake or return to Lane 1. Having spent a good bit of time as a sports car jockey for a dealer, these two lanes generally move smoother than lane 3 in my experience. In very heavy traffic I always head for lane1. This usually has the smoothest flow except when passing junctions. This is because the HGV's dislike breaking their momentum and so will maintain a sensible flow, even though that may be very slow. Therefore you're not up and down the box, and slipping the clutch as you start to move, oh no stopped, oh off again, ah they're slowing, no I can leave it in second just drag the clutch a bit, whats that burning smell etc. Also if it does all grind to a halt, if your car starts to boil over, you don't have to fight your way through 3 lanes of unyeilding and generally unsympathetic traffic. I used to use the tailgaters as markers too. They are usually so wrapped up in getting from A to B and going for it that the feds pick them up first. If you follow at a good distance, many hundreds of yards here, and keep a check on your six, if they go past a marked or unmarked car then they usually get pulled. You can then go past, wait for the next muppet and repeat. I expect I should probably say 'allegedly' after that, not that I ever did it or saw it occur your honor.:ooh:

PS todays helpful tip, if in heavy traffic on a hot day the temp needle goes towards the 'serious' end of the gauge, open your windows, and turn the fan and heat up to max. Its uncomfortable, and can be real betty swollocks stuff but it's saved at least a couple of engines that I know of, again, 'allegedly'.

Flying Lawyer
25th Aug 2005, 01:00

The issue isn't whether your speedometer accurately shows you are driving at 70 mph, but whether there is space in the lane(s) to your left. If there is, that's where you should be.
Or are you one of those drivers who thinks it's acceptable to drive in the middle or outside lane, even when the left lane is clear, provided you're driving at the maximum speed limit?

I have no problem with the police taking action against the tailgaters. My criticism is that they don't take action against the lane-hoggers who IMHO are much more prevalent and just as much of a menace.

Romeo Charlie
25th Aug 2005, 01:35
I used to have a way of dealing with members of the Middle Lane Owners Club.

Way back in the mists of time when I drove for a firm at EMA and before the days of speed limiters, I had a Volvo F12 Globetrotter with some extra spotlights (2 on the roof, 2 on the bullbars, 4 under the bumper plus the main beam and foglights!). It also had a switch that disabled all the extra markerlights and illuminated headboard when using the sidelights leaving just two small markerlights on at the front plus all rear and sidelights (used for parking overnight).
On a night trunk run to Heathrow I used to encounter many MLOC members and simply pulled to the middle lane dousing all lights bar the two markers and accelerated to a suitably swift speed to close the gap between us to about 3 car lengths. The switching on of all 12 bright lights combined with a blast on the twin 30" airhorns used to do the trick of moving them out of the way!

(highly irresponsible and possibly dangerous too, but I was young and stupid then)

25th Aug 2005, 08:18
then you are certainly travelling slower than that.
that you may well be travelling below 70 mph

A bit of a change from certainly to may be. What will be in the next post?

25th Aug 2005, 09:38
FL, I agree re the clock members! ( centre lane owners club!) apologies if my post gave another impression, they are in my opinion a contributory factor to tailgating, due to the nature of them 'blocking' individual lanes, and I'm just about to head north amongst them! Grrr

25th Aug 2005, 10:32
Or you are doing 70mph and the person behind you is an impatient, law-breaking w*nker.

So you must fit in the forgot to accelerate category.

Using "i'm at 70mph so I'm within the law" is IMO an extremely selfish action. There have been numerous attempts to push the speed limits on motorways to 80mph and beyond, simply because these roads are by far the safest in the country, the cars are safer with more effective brakes and it would help ease congestion. Do you drive a civic by any chance?

I'll openly admit that I exceed 70mph on motorways, not because I have a complete disregard for the law, but often in my judgement the conditions are suitable to do so, and more often then not you need to exceed 70mph to be in the outside lane to keep with the flow of traffic (unless you are selfish and dont care about holding up other road users).

I'll quote a bit of the highway code here -

Return to the left-hand lane once you have overtaken all the vehicles or if you are delaying traffic behind you.

25th Aug 2005, 11:13

"I'll openly admit that I exceed 70mph on motorways, not because I have a complete disregard for the law, but often in my judgement the conditions are suitable to do so, and more often then not you need to exceed 70mph to be in the outside lane to keep with the flow of traffic (unless you are selfish and dont care about holding up other road users)."

So you feel that your judgement supercedes the law?

Just because the are others in the outside lane doing over 70 is no excuse for you to do so as well.

70 is the limit whether you like it or not.

As your quote from the HC states "Return to the left-hand lane once you have overtaken all the vehicles or if you are delaying traffic behind you. "

This means that if your driving at 70 is delaying others then you are required BY LAW to return to the left hand lane.

In my experience it is the ignoring of this law which causes the majority of delays on the UKís multi-lane roads.



25th Aug 2005, 11:20
Police regularly let off speeding drivers on motorways if they feel the driver was driving safetly for the conditions.

How many years ago was the 70mph limit set? 30? 40?

Cars (and to an extent) driving ability has come on leaps and bounds over this time, especially in peformance and safety.

Regardless whether if its the law or not, numerous motorists do make a personal decision to travel in excess of 70mph on a motorway. If you want to travel in a lane full of "speeding law-breaking motorists", then do so at 70mph, then its you that has increase the chance of an accident happening, its you that has started the chain of events that will end up in a road rage incident (all MO of course! ;) )

Windy Militant
25th Aug 2005, 11:22
I'll openly admit that I exceed 70mph on motorways, not because I have a complete disregard for the law, but often in my judgement the conditions are suitable to do so

The Problem is that there are people with extremely poor Judgement. Recently in the local paper there was a case where a guy was pleading not to be banned for driving at 110MPH on the M4. He was followed by the Police who in court gave a statement that not only was he speeding but tailgating in conditions of extremely poor visabilty caused by heavy drizzle, mist and snow flurries. His Brief apparently tried to mitigate things by saying that there was not much snow! This kind of thing is one of the reasons I prefer the back roads, not having sonar or radar fitted to my car!

One of my pet hates are the people who razz along in lane two with no anticipation or great awareness of what's going on around them. I presume that they think the Police won't notice then speeding there. Now my old wreck is not blessed with the greatest amounts of speed and acceleration so I like to try to maintain whatever momentum I manage to drag out of it. So you come up behind a lorry and there's Mr BMW, AUDI, GOLF whatever approaching in the distance. I don't want to just pull out, but Lane three is clear so if I indicate now he'll see the situation, notice I wish to manovouer around the slower vehicle and pull into lane three. Does He F*ck, still he's probably too busy with both his mobile phones, his PDA and whatever else he's pulling on at the time to be able to do this. So I have to slow down and lose all the hard earned momentum I've struggled to gain over the last fifteen miles or so :mad:
Still as I slowly build up speed again after he's passed I have a grand stand view of his progress and comfort myself with the knowledge that this is preferable to being in the vehicle ahead that he's missed by six feet or less having had to brake and swerve to avoid despite having had half a mile to move into lane three, which is empty to overtake it. :rolleyes:

25th Aug 2005, 11:28

I do drive within the law. Law breaking is still law breaking. You do not like the law then get it changed the proper way. Do not simply pick and choose which road laws to obey.

Near where I live there are several roundabouts which would be easier for me to get round if I could go anti-clockwise, should I start doing that?


"Police regularly let off speeding drivers on motorways if they feel the driver was driving safetly for the conditions."

That is their choice

"How many years ago was the 70mph limit set? 30? 40?

Cars (and to an extent) driving ability has come on leaps and bounds over this time, especially in peformance and safety."

So. Law is still the law

"Regardless whether if its the law or not, numerous motorists do make a personal decision to travel in excess of 70mph on a motorway."

And they should be punished accordingly.

"If you want to travel in a lane full of "speeding law-breaking motorists", then do so at 70mph, then its you that has increase the chance of an accident happening, its you that has started the chain of events that will end up in a road rage incident"

I follow the HC by ensuring after overtaking I return to the left hand lane, promptly.



25th Aug 2005, 11:39
Return to the left-hand lane once you have overtaken all the vehicles or if you are delaying traffic behind you.

So, what would you do if you had pulled into the overtaking lane, in order to pass a row of slower moving vehicles (moving at say 60mph), and you accelerated to 70 mph to pass. Then you get some [email protected] also deciding to overtake, who ends up tailgating you trying to get past.

You could either
1/ Accelerate to over 70mph in order to pass quicker, and end up breaking the law.

2/ attempt to pull back in to the left hand lane between 2 of the slower cars, and maybe have to force one of them to to swerve, and you are then breaking the law

3/ continue driving at 70mph, then pull in after you have passed the slower vehicles.

Legally, the only thing you could do is No 3, as even if you are delaying the tailgater, you can't safely pull over.

Standard Noise
25th Aug 2005, 12:03
Well, being a Landrover driver, the opportunities to speed are few and far between. I don't use the motorways as much as I used to, but had the misfortune to be on the M5, twice, last Sunday. Since it is a bit difficult to get speed up in a Landy (especially if travelling up hill), I tend to watch the traffic a bit more and sit at a constant 70, so far as traffic/conditions will allow. Now, considerate though I am, if there is some [email protected] in lane three approaching fast (certainly faster than the 70 limit which I am at) but still a fair distance behind, I will not hesitate to pull out into lane three to overtake as long as it is safe. Should he then wish to sit on my bumper, that is his choice, but if I have to brake suddenly, he should be prepared to cover my spare wheel with his facial features. His other option is to slow down and let me make my manouevre, then pull away once I have moved back into lane two.

S'not exactly rocket science, is it?

25th Aug 2005, 12:08
Something I do when someone is tailgating: I never, ever exceed speed limits. In fact I even slow down a bit so the overtaking of slower cars takes just a bit more time. If the guy is really close behind I hit the emergency blinkers, not just to warn the guy behind me but also the other cars I'm currently overtaking of eminent danger should the tailgating guy attempt something stupid. It's also a good headsí up for any police car nearby.

Having said that, one thing you must remember: never show fear, concentrate on your own driving, ignore the other car, and very important Ė have an escape plan prepared just in case.


Flying Lawyer
25th Aug 2005, 13:40
419 and Standard Noise

In the scenarios you both describe, the root of the problem lies in people hogging the middle lane. If it wasn't for them, you could drive in the left lane, move into the middle lane when necessary to overtake slower moving traffic and maintain your 70 mph, and return to the left lane when you've completed your overtaking manoeuvre.

People who stay in the middle lane (or outside lane) when there is room in the lane(s) to their left are driving badly - regardless of whether they are driving at the maximum speed limit - and failing to comply with the Highway Code.

Congestion on our motorways is often caused not by volume of traffic, but by drivers who either don't know or are too selfish (or self-righteous) to care, that they should be in the left lane wherever possible.

25th Aug 2005, 13:46
Congestion on our motorways is often caused not by volume of traffic, but by drivers who either don't know or are too selfish (or self-righteous) to care, that they should be in the left lane wherever possible.

Once again the estimable FL sums up the argument with admirable brevity. Perhaps if eal401 and his admirers thought remotely about the larger picture (traffic congestion) they would see that their own smugness at being within the law is somewhat misplaced.

25th Aug 2005, 17:53
Maybe it's my imagination, but there seems to be far more HGV's about on motorways these days.

It doesn't help when one. traveling at 60 mph overtakes a convoy of others at 59mph. End result everyone else is forced to the outside lane to overtake.

You can't blame people who stick to the limit and go into lane 3 and drive at 70 to get past.

I don't agree that driver standards are higher, I've seen very little if any improvement in the time I have been driving. Tailgating, accelerating towards slower moving traffic and lane hogging being examples quoted here.

Onan the Clumsy
25th Aug 2005, 18:26
Back on page 7 (I think) Flying Lawyer (I think) Asked why people form a queue in the middle lane. Cheerio did as well just above.

One good reason for joining a queue, apart from the aerodynamic efficiencies :8 is that you can hide in a queue.

I love it when someone is driving faster than I am, because I can use him as a "sweeper". I let him get past me and if The Man is up ahead, it won't be me he pulls over. A queue is similar and driving within it, lends you a certain measure of anonimity. You just don't want to be at the front of it.

Someone else gave an extremely interesting discussion of the mechanics of a speedometer, sorry, s-p-e-e-d-o-m-e-t-e-r :hmm: I wouldn't be surprised if using the tranmission output shaft has been replaced by the ABS sensor (or perhaps the runflat sensor) by now. I would certainly hope so. Throw in a digital package and it's not a voltage that's being sent to the head, but a digital signal.

The days of cables and shear pins :{ are long gone now - even in Volvos :{ :{.

Lastly, the American habit of treating the road as an obstacle course takes a little getting used to, but is actually quite efficient. :ok:

Krystal n chips
25th Aug 2005, 19:13
Just to add a little further ( rant ! ) to this debate----today's weather around the North West was, to put it mildly " very wet"--so another wonderful driving habit emerges----the incapacity of drivers to either (a) switch on dipped headlights or (b) actually be able to distinguish between side lights ( which should be banned from use I feel---period---when mobile that is ) and headlights when making the relevant selection. Add to this the already established fact of lane hogging and I wonder just how :mad: stupid some people are behind the wheel of a vehicle !

bjcc----certainly there are plenty of HGV's around--there is also enough space to pass most of them--and then get back in the inside lane. Take your point about a queue in the scenario you describe--but the issue here is that congestion develops as a result of (a) lane hogging and (b) people not having the skills / wish or inclination to overtake in these circumstances.

25th Aug 2005, 22:40
Krystal n chips

Well, oddly it does seem to be a worse problem on the M6 ... Even when it's not hissing it down!

Last time I went up the M6, I got on the motorway after a pit stop to be faced with a mega convoy of HGv's and stuck behind one lorry overtaking at 61....No chance of getting in the outside lane to over take without casuing everyone to slam on the breaks, and probably cause a 20 car pile up 30 miles back!

As I recall, it is dipped headlights people are supposed to use, although how volvos get on with that, I am not sure as I uderstand it the side lights come on with them as soon as you start the engine.

26th Aug 2005, 14:21
I wouldn't be surprised if using the tranmission output shaft has been replaced by the ABS sensor (or perhaps the runflat sensor) by now. I would certainly hope so.

I would certainly suspect otherwise - and certainly hope that this is not the case.

ABS sensors cannot be used for detecting the speed of a vehicle in anything other than a straight line. As soon as you enter a turn, all the wheels (and their attached brakes and ABS rotors )are moving at different speeds. This is why a differential is required for the drive transmission.

quote:then you are certainly travelling slower than that.

quote:that you may well be travelling below 70 mph

A bit of a change from certainly to may be. What will be in the next post?

Semantics now. Ok, I\'ll bite:)

You f:mad:cking well will be travelling at less than 70 mph