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Thread: How Do YOU Deal With Tailgaters?

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  1. #1
    American Mutt hexkopf's Avatar
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    How Do YOU Deal With Tailgaters?

    Not the kind at football games, the kind in traffic.

    I was getting aggressively tailgated yesterday on my way home from work, and this question popped into my head. I didn't really know what to do since traffic was heavy and there was nowhere for me to go.

    I couldn't speed up, and slowing down only made him meaner. Finally he did pass me and all was well, but it really pissed me off.

    So given certain riding conditions and circumstances, how do you fellow seasoned riders deal with this?
    Integrity is what you do when no one is looking.

    2008 R1200R Black

  2. #2
    http://www.rd400racer.com rd400racer's Avatar
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    Good thread, since I ride to work every day and deal with this issue often.

    I have two tactics. First, I'll turn around and give them a quick look. This is actually pretty effective about 70% of the time. For the other 30% I've learned to loose my aggresive tendencies and just get over into the slower lane and let them pass. If there is no slower lane then I just reduce my speed and hope they get the hint (I guess that's 3 tactics!).
    http://www.rd400racer.com/

    2001 Ducati Monster; 1996 R1100GS; 1985 RZ350; 1977 RD400

  3. #3
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    I wave them around if there is room. If not, I try holding my arm out palm facing them. This usually works. Standing on the pegs might work too.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  4. #4
    Left Coast Rider
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    Slow down and wave them by OR change lanes so they can go past and tailgate the next guy in line.

  5. #5
    Bill Lumberg 175781's Avatar
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    I slow down and/or put on my rear flashers.
    R75/6, 2004 R1150RTA.

  6. #6
    http://www.rd400racer.com rd400racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    If not, I try holding my arm out palm facing them.

    I like this one a lot. Much safer then turning around real quick and looking at them.

    It would be great if this was added to driver's training in addition to the universal turn signal gestures. "If a motorcylist shows you his palm, you are following too closely."



    And then there is the caveat: "If he shows you the middle finger shortly thereafter, he is going to follow you home and beat the living snot out of you!".
    http://www.rd400racer.com/

    2001 Ducati Monster; 1996 R1100GS; 1985 RZ350; 1977 RD400

  7. #7
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    The first and best response is to slow down. That way you don't end up running into something in front of you, and then the tger into you.
    The next thing to do is get over if safe. Watch out for when an idiot like that tries to pass you with 1/2" of clearance. They will try to side swipe you when you pass.
    If you can't get over, just more slowing and maybe a gesture like mentioned above. Or, use the left hand to point downward at the pavement beside you.
    Sometimes that will work.
    Or, a nice big one we do here, lane split, and let the idiot try to run into someone else.
    Now, a word about tailgating. An idiot tailgater usually thinks if they crowd you you will speed up. That is the worst thing you can do.
    If the idiot is going to run into you, you want that to be at slow speed, not fast speed.
    Do not try to tell me that you can 'outrun' them. You cannot. Unless you can get up to about 150 mph, which is not safe for you, as the idiot tailgaters will push even an ratty old pick up to well over 100mph.
    dc

  8. #8
    WI Airhead r90r100r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David13 View Post
    ...... Watch out for when an idiot like that tries to pass you with 1/2" of clearance. They will try to side swipe you when you pass..................Do not try to tell me that you can 'outrun' them. You cannot. Unless you can get up to about 150 mph, which is not safe for you, as the idiot tailgaters will push even an ratty old pick up to well over 100mph.
    dc
    True that - I watched one TGer swerve at every vehicle he passed at near 80mph!!!
    If they start to follow you, don't go home, but take a ride to the local PD if possible.

    Mike Horne
    76 R90/6
    93 R100R Legend

  9. #9
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rd400racer View Post
    I like this one a lot. Much safer then turning around real quick and looking at them.
    If they're not truly being a jerk and just aren't paying attention, I'd have to say it always works.

    And I don't buy the "slow down" approach -- if they're true idiots, it only infuriates them and I don't want to be anywhere near jerks like that. Guy pulled a gun on me for slowing down like that in the cage many years ago. YMMV
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  10. #10
    OldBMWMaster JDOCKERY132445's Avatar
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    Not happening

    There is NO way anyone can tailgate me on my motorcycle. I actually ride quickly enough to stay the hell out of the way of traffic.
    Jerry Dockery
    309 N. 3rd. Ave.
    Kure Beach, NC 28449
    1996 R1100RT main bike & 1985 K100RS...too fast to believe.

  11. #11
    It's a way of life! oldnslow's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Hexkopf;798230]... Finally he did pass me and all was well, but it really pissed me off. QUOTE]

    Accept the first part of your sentence, and learn to ignore the second part!

    In bumper to bumper traffic at 50 to 60 mph (think I-270, west St Louis rush hour) I just leave a small space cushion between me and the vehicle in front, being aware that in those conditions others will try to occupy my cushion if they can. I focus mainly on what's ahead of me and ignore whats behind me.

    Bumper to bumper at 10-20 mph, hey we're all tailgaiting at that speed.

    If its heavy traffic but space to pass and such, I move to the right lanes and let em go.

    If it's two lane and bumper to bumper, I just leave a cushion between me and the vehicle in front, and realize my danger is if "I" have to stop suddenly and he runs up my tail pipe, so I keep aware on whats happening several vehicles in front of me so I don't have to stop suddenly.

    Its really just human nature to crowd to the front. Try this experiment sometime. When you are standing in a line, any line; movies, grocery store, amusement park, stand about 6 feet behind the person in front of you, and keep that distance. People behind you will start to crowd you, wanting you to move up, as if that will get them there faster....human nature
    Mike Davis
    "Old n Slow" It's a way of life!
    1985 K100RT

    1998 R1100RT

  12. #12
    rsbeemer 22600's Avatar
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    Listen to OLDnSlow

    [QUOTE=oldnslow;798384]
    Quote Originally Posted by Hexkopf View Post
    ... Finally he did pass me and all was well, but it really pissed me off. QUOTE]

    Accept the first part of your sentence, and learn to ignore the second part!

    In bumper to bumper traffic at 50 to 60 mph (think I-270, west St Louis rush hour) I just leave a small space cushion between me and the vehicle in front, being aware that in those conditions others will try to occupy my cushion if they can. I focus mainly on what's ahead of me and ignore whats behind me.

    Bumper to bumper at 10-20 mph, hey we're all tailgaiting at that speed.

    If its heavy traffic but space to pass and such, I move to the right lanes and let em go.

    If it's two lane and bumper to bumper, I just leave a cushion between me and the vehicle in front, and realize my danger is if "I" have to stop suddenly and he runs up my tail pipe, so I keep aware on whats happening several vehicles in front of me so I don't have to stop suddenly.

    Its really just human nature to crowd to the front. Try this experiment sometime. When you are standing in a line, any line; movies, grocery store, amusement park, stand about 6 feet behind the person in front of you, and keep that distance. People behind you will start to crowd you, wanting you to move up, as if that will get them there faster....human nature
    I think that "OldnSlow" has the best and safest solution and is what I usually do. First of all, pay attention to the traffic ahead of you and ignore the nut behind you. Pissing him off will do you no good. You are not going to change this nuts driving habits; they drive like that when they are in a hurry or just going to church on lazy Sunday morning.

    If you are on a two lane road in bumper to bumper traffic, no one is going anywhere. If you are on a four lane and can get over, then do so.

    When I was young and stupid, I used to do other things which I won't mention here. But, it has to do with those things we can't talk about here, the thingie we carry in a holster or tankbag. Before anyone tells me, I said it was not smart.
    1978 R100rs MOA#22600 125cc Kymco
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

  13. #13
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    I agree to play it safe and just pull over somewhere and let him pass and be someone else's problem, but... I'd still be very tempted to just let my jacket ride up high enough to- accidentally of course- let him catch a glimpse of the 9MM on my hip and see if that does the trick. But then you'd run the risk of being pulled over after someone calls in "there's a guy with a gun on a motorcycle", even if you are legal to carry it could still be upsetting one way or another.

  14. #14
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    As someone mentioned, there are two kinds of tailgaters; the no-mind drivers seat occupants posing as "drivers" and the agro psycho hateful vermin. I find a pronounced flip-flop weave works well on the first type.
    If that doesn't work, then it is time to escape/evade, any way possible. These people are extremely dangerous; I consider this no different than having a gun pulled on me. I have even had these degenerates follow me. I will try to pull right, preferably accelerating suddenly into a traffic hole on the right, then rapidly slowing down so they are somewhere in front. I will exit suddenly if they also slow.
    There is nothing you will do to change their malicious behavior; the law is relatively soft on them. You also will not win a contest between a cage and a bike. And since you own every bullet, especially your misses, that is not a realistic choice in a bouncy heated high speed situation. You have to play rabbit to their coyote.

  15. #15
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    The typical tailgater is clueless, and doesn't even realize he is tailgating. For these, I will slow down on a multi-lane road like an Interstate, and pretty much force them to go around me. Where I ride, traffic jams are rare and other drivers can easily go around me.

    At times I will use my left arm to vigorously signal to them with a downward motion that they are tailgating me and I don't appreciate it. That sometimes works very well, especially in town.

    For the more menacing type, the ones with anger and personality problems, I keep in mind that I am low on the food chain out on the mean streets. I avoid making eye contact with them or attracting their attention. The strategy is to have them pick someone else as a target. I avoid giving them a reason to target me.

    Harry
    2003 R1150RT - Silver

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