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Thread: How Do YOU Deal With Tailgaters?

  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
    Midnight Rider 41077's Avatar
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    The only time I have ever had a tailgater is on a two lane with slower traffic in front of me, any other time I'll move over and let them pass.
    If you can't get over, or out of their way slowing down just makes them madder. I like to wave them around when there is an on coming semi that usually gets them to back off a bit.

  12. #12
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    Of course slowing down infuriates them even more. That is the whole point. Only then is it possible that they can see the illogic of their approach. My mileage does indeed vary. I have seen a lot of them get the idea and back off.
    And it isn't because they don't have a gun. There are more guns here than anywhere else I have seen.
    It is because they don't want to be out shot, with someone who might be more able to disappear than they. And they don't want to be arrested for pulling the gun, and have the gun taken away from them.
    Dockery. That's a good brag. But what do you do when you catch up with the traffic in front of you (usually at the next stop light) and the character in the pick up truck, second in the race behind you, catches up to you, with the potential to squish you between his front grill and the stopped cars in front of you?
    Hope that his brakes work good? Pick up brakes are not passenger car brakes.
    dc

  13. #13
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David13 View Post
    Of course slowing down infuriates them even more. That is the whole point. Only then is it possible that they can see the illogic of their approach. My mileage does indeed vary. I have seen a lot of them get the idea and back off.
    And it isn't because they don't have a gun. There are more guns here than anywhere else I have seen.
    It is because they don't want to be out shot, with someone who might be more able to disappear than they. And they don't want to be arrested for pulling the gun, and have the gun taken away from them.
    I've been a survivor to this point in my life and don't have a lot of years left. Just let them go, I have no reason to up the ante, it ain't worth the hassle.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  14. #14
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    Once, on a hot summer day (90 degrees) commuting on I-75 in downtown Detroit, a yellow Corvette was right on my tail. I mean inches away, and traffic was doing about 70 mph. The road was rough from the winter and they hadn't filled in the potholes. I had a tupperware bowl of chicken soup that I'd pulled out of the fridge, earlier, and it was bungied to my rear seat. I hit a pothole, and the soup flew off and landed on his nice yellow hood. It splashed all over his windshield, and when he hit the wipers, that thick layer of fat at the top of the soup just smeared all over his windshield. I saw him pull over to what little bit of a left shoulder there was and I could hear the side of his car scraping on the jersey barrier. I feel bad that my soup spilled. If he was following at a safe distance, it would have just splashed on the road. I guess I feel bad for not stopping, but I was late for work and just rode on.

  15. #15
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    It depends - they come in two varieties: road bullies, and unconscious. The latter will usually drop back for a little while if you tap your brake lights. But often they creep back up as their mind wanders off again. I don't have a good way to avoid road bullies except try any of the several strategies already mentioned to get out of their way.

    I just assume they are mad and in a hurry because they are late to work again and didn't get their project finished so are going to get fired, and soon run out of savings, and have their house foreclosed, and get sick with no health insurance and have their wife or husband leave them for the pool boy or maid or the bartender, and their kids hate them because they are sick and homeless. At least that's what I hope happens.
    Last edited by PGlaves; 07-12-2012 at 09:49 PM.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

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