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Old 29th September 2010, 13:47   #1
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Default Evaded a Tailgater today - But for how long ?

I was driving back after my visit to a temple on the GST Road at around 8 AM this morning.

I was nearing the Mudichur road junction near Hindu Mission Hospital in Tambaram. The junction is normally busy but surprisingly, the traffic was sparse this morning.

I was doing about 40-50 kmph and here comes this Bolero with an oversized bull bar honking non-stop and trying to overtake me.

This road was about 2.5 lanes wide and I was in the middle lane. I was surrounded by motorcycles and other vehicles so I couldn't let him pass.

I then spotted a Traffic Signal a bit ahead and checked my RVM. This guy had gotten so dangerously close that I could not even see his headlamps

I smelt something wrong and noticed that I fortunately got some space on my right. I moved and let this guy pass from my left. Now, this guy started tailing an Indica in the same manner (honk and tailgate).

The light turned amber. I was ready and I stopped comfortably. I guess the Indica was in two minds and stopped a bit suddenly.

The Bolero applied brakes, tyres squealed but there was little he could do. I heard a BANG. He went straight into the rear of the Indica.

The Bull bar hammered the hatch door and it caved in with a big dent. The left tail lamp assembly was broken. There were 2 passengers in the rear of the Indica. None were hurt but one of them seemed a bit shocked.

The Bolero's bull bar was bent and his Right fog lamp was broken.

The Bolero did not escape and I saw the two vehicles pulling over. I saw the light turn green and I moved away from the scene.

If I had been in front of the Bolero, I would have lost my hatch door and a tail piece for sure.

Today, I decided that I'm going to follow these at Tailgaters:

Cars, LMVs:

- If I can see the wheels of the car in my RVM, I don't have to worry as long as its in the city.

- If I cannot see the wheels but upto the bumper, just he needs a constant check.

- If I cannot see the bumper but just the headlights, it's time to act.

- If I cannot see even the headlights, RUN!

Buses, Trucks:

- If I cannot see the wheels, RUN!

Motorcycles, Autos:

- Do not worry. They are ubiquitous, cause relatively less damage and more skilled than me in finding escape routes.



Traffic jams, Clogged streets where speeds are less than 20 kph are an exception though!

In Highways where speeds are > 60 kph, I would expect at least a 2 cars gap in between me and the one behind.


Today, I escaped one of these tail gaters but there are millions around. God save me and my car from them.

PS: This thread is not to talk about any type of vehicle/driver, just to highlight the dangerous tail gaters on our roads.

Last edited by para_7k : 29th September 2010 at 13:50.
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Old 29th September 2010, 14:31   #2
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Woah, kudos on your decision to let him pass ! Here's what all I've experienced on roads around in some 4 years of riding around on a motorcycle.

Forced tailgating

-We're kinda forced to do it in a way. If you leave enough safety space between you and the vehicle ahead some buffoon will squeeze in that gap and you'd be now tailgating them. Always have to run a bit closer than what I'd want to on traffic so that someone else doesn't get into the gap..

Poorly maintained tailgating cars

-Also I'd be wary of poorly kept cars (judging only by the looks of the car externally). There's a higher chance that a overused/ill maintained Indica cab will have brake pads which aren't effective in stopping in case of a sudden halt in the traffic.

- Buses which tailgate

Buses on the highways are scary. Especially Volvo buses as they come dangerously close without a honk and then swerve to overtake. You can't hear them as the engine is in the rear. They're pretty fast so by the time you see em in the rvm its already late. Its terrifying when one overtakes you within some 2-3 feet distance and you're on a bike.

- Tailgating in traffic ahead.

There's a very high chance that a car that's tailgating a bus will move suddenly to the right lane to it cause they didn't leave enough space for a smooth overtake when the bus stops for whatever reason. They usually don't give a hoot for the traffic that's coming on the other lane and cause a block. Now used to seeing the traffic ahead as tailgaters are mostly impatient people and would swerve here and there if they could to get ahead.

Last edited by Xeno : 29th September 2010 at 14:32.
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Old 29th September 2010, 14:31   #3
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Instead of the Indica, how i wish it were a backhoe!

Drive carefully, defensively.

And I'd like to add that don't RUN when you someone tailing. You can slow down and make way for them to pass, but never try to pick up speed - remember their eyes are on your butt and not on the road ahead - they'll pick up speed too, making it more dangerous
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Old 29th September 2010, 14:45   #4
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When I see a tailgater, I move out of the way, period.

At the most, I give him a filthy look when he passes by but that's about it. Best to get out of the way of these morons.
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Old 29th September 2010, 14:49   #5
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I give them way asap but give them a stare when they pass. If stuck in traffic I put my hand out of window and make some action.
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Old 29th September 2010, 15:00   #6
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Thumbs up Good job

Nice job, I have been using GST road from Perungalathur-Mcity for the past 2 years, it has some of the worst tailgaters. I have shifted to defensive driving, with gov. buses, trucks, office buses threatening to tailgate. Not to forget the cabwallas, you are in a way very lucky as it has been my dream to let a tailgater passby and see him crash into truck, unfortunately it's an Indica in your case. Anyhow cheers keep driving safe and smart
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Old 29th September 2010, 15:24   #7
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There are two scenarios:
a. You were really slow: start driving fast - if it fails, go to b.!!
(Read the sunday drivers I meet daily, who are crawling at 70 on the expressway in the rightmost lane or the brainless truckers who do it at 40)
b. You were driving fast: Get out of the way asap - or atleast show your intention with indicators/slight movement across lanes (out of his way).
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Old 29th September 2010, 15:37   #8
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@Para - Today was your lucky day; very good lesson indeed. When I see the tailgaters in my RVM (especially on my Rx), I promptly leave them way 'cause I'm more worried on these morons damaging my Rx than my car. Atleast I can find parts for my car, but for Rx, its extremely difficult. But then, that attitude, saves my life too.

Even this is fine; how about morons who don't look their rear & simply cross when you're trying to overtake? That's the worst outcome ever!!!
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Old 29th September 2010, 15:38   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeno View Post
Woah, kudos on your decision to let him pass ! Here's what all I've experienced on roads around in some 4 years of riding around on a motorcycle.
Motorcycles are even dangerous. Please continue driving safe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silversteed View Post

And I'd like to add that don't RUN when you someone tailing. You can slow down and make way for them to pass, but never try to pick up speed - remember their eyes are on your butt and not on the road ahead - they'll pick up speed too, making it more dangerous
By Run, I actually meant escape. Not able to edit now :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
There are two scenarios:
a. You were really slow: start driving fast - if it fails, go to b.!!
(Read the sunday drivers I meet daily, who are crawling at 70 on the expressway in the rightmost lane or the brainless truckers who do it at 40)
b. You were driving fast: Get out of the way asap - or atleast show your intention with indicators/slight movement across lanes (out of his way).
In this case, I was at a reasonable speed between 40-50 kph in almost a normal city traffic. The Bolero's driving needless to say was maniac-ish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Even this is fine; how about morons who don't look their rear & simply cross when you're trying to overtake? That's the worst outcome ever!!!
This is a different issue by itself. These can be classified as people who look only at the front but not behind or their sides while driving.

Last edited by para_7k : 29th September 2010 at 15:41.
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Old 29th September 2010, 16:35   #10
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I guess in Chennai its difficult not to tailgate inside the city. Like mentioned you leave a gap enough for a person to stand in between you can find atleast a Bajaj Discover trying to squeeze through. I never leave space between my car and the median or the vehicle in front of me when stationary. The very few times I haven't done that I have had some biker squeezing through grazing my bumper. Since I don't have a body colored bumper it has never left a mark so far.
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Old 29th September 2010, 17:13   #11
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@para_7k, thanks for sharing the experience. I agree that you are wise to let that guy and lucky enough to get away with that. But as you said there are plenty of such guys on the loose. So its best when stuck to basics. Let the speeding car overtake you. Let the car pass you as soon as you can allow. Safety first. Dont panic. If there is no enough space, you cant let him and thats not a crime. At the same time, speed thrills but there is some sense to it as well. On a highway, put the throttle down, have a bit of competition yourself, but not at the cost of safety.
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Old 30th September 2010, 08:53   #12
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Cool

Today morning in Thane while coming to office a Meru cab was tail gating me honking & blinking incessantly. I was maintaining a steady 60 and stuck to my lane. This guy could see that no ways there was any space to overtake since the other (slow) lane was occupied by the trucks and trailers. However I could see in the rear mirror as if the car was touching my car but still I maintained the same speed. After a km or so of tailgating the Meru guy got some space and zoomed past me not before swearing and hurling abuses at me. All I did was smile an acknowledged with a wave.

As @lightening fast said no need to panic, remain calm. Keep withing speed limits and dont race. You dont want some extra adrenalin of the other guy pumping.
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Old 30th September 2010, 09:22   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Today morning in Thane while coming to office a Meru cab was tail gating me honking & blinking incessantly. I was maintaining a steady 60 and stuck to my lane. This guy could see that no ways there was any space to overtake since the other (slow) lane was occupied by the trucks and trailers. However I could see in the rear mirror as if the car was touching my car but still I maintained the same speed. After a km or so of tailgating the Meru guy got some space and zoomed past me not before swearing and hurling abuses at me. All I did was smile an acknowledged with a wave.

As @lightening fast said no need to panic, remain calm. Keep withing speed limits and dont race. You dont want some extra adrenalin of the other guy pumping.
Great job. Next time drive at 20 in the right most lane. After all the right most lane is for getting blocked by slow drivers.
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Old 30th September 2010, 09:57   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
. However I could see in the rear mirror as if the car was touching my car but still I maintained the same speed. .
If there was a situation where you had to brake hard (traffic light, people/vehicle crossing etc.,) you would have been rear ended by the cab badly.

Yielding is much better than ending up with many ordeals.

You were probably lucky that you were not forced into a chance to slow down.
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Old 30th September 2010, 10:14   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
However I could see in the rear mirror as if the car was touching my car
Same thing happened to me yesterday. A white indica was tailgating me so closely, all I could see was half of the front windshield. I tried losing him twice, but he caught up and started tail gating again. I took a different route to avoid that imbecile.

Just let them go, they are not worth the trouble. Your car and your life is more important than an ego clash.
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