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Tailgater strategy??


Rpstk

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On my last ride when I was headed back into the city I did my usual thing of riding somewhat over the speed limit to keep the cagers at bay, usually this keeps me in charge and not having someone on my tail; but on the last ride I had a xway split ahead where the 4-laner (1 direction)I was on had 2 lanes veer right and 2 lanes veer left, my intention was to veer left, I am in the left lane passing a row of cars when some kid in a SUV comes up behind me going way over the speed limit and rides my butt, there is a row of cars to my right and no way to merge over, I pick up the speed to try to shake him but still he's on my butt, now the left sweeper appears and I'm doing 80 MPH into the turn which is pretty fast, I use the entire left lane to make the turn when the jerk passes me on the right nearly hitting me eek.gif, I am hot into this turn way more than I should be and he was close to me when he passed by, fortunately I made the turn and got home to my wife.

I know somehow I made the wrong decision and let the punk get the upper hand when I should have been out of the game, but the right lane was blocked and he was on my a&&,

It bothers me that should this happen again I'm not sure how to get myself out, I will likely stay in the middle lane next time but I feel boxed in by traffic there as well, this is on my way home from about every ride.

All suggestions welcome!

Thanks...

Bob

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Regardless of what I am driving I have now adopted a zero tolerance of tailgaters policy. I have been rear ended 5 times, the last occasion being at 50 mph on an offramp in a Miata. It damn near killed me (spun me back out into traffic headed the wrong way at 50 mph with a dead engine). The others all occurred after I had been at a full stop for 30 seconds or more. In all cases there were cars in front of me (one case slowing rapidly, four cases stopped longer than me) limiting my options.

 

If I can get over for a tailgater, I will, but if I am already in the right lane, or can not get over because of traffic then this is how it goes:

 

One brake tap, then if no immediate dropping back occurs I'm off the throttle until they back off, or I'm down to the legal minimum speed, which is 45 here in UT. I set my cruise and stay that way until they are gone.

 

Some thoughts about this:

 

You are supposed to drive safe for the conditions. If there is crowding you should slow down, as it is an unsafe condition. The Utah drivers manual specifically states that you must increase your following distance if being tailgated.

 

Next, most tailgaters are doing it to intimidate. They aren't really trying to get anywhere or they would just go around. My experience is that 9 out of 10 vehicles respond to a brake tap by ignoring it or pulling closer. At least 2 in ten will pull closer. Further, although I am almost always in the right lane and going at least the speed limit, even when there is a clear lane to my left, I am routinely tailgated. These factors tell me that tailgating is about intimidation.

 

Next, what is tailgating? Utah law requires a minimum 2 second following distance, this is 191' at 65 mph. I am routinely followed at 50'. I haven't ever tapped my brakes over this, as I figure they just wouldn't understand. I drive 8 freeway miles twice a day, and am what I call tailgated about twice on each leg. I'm talking about within 20', commonly within 5'.

 

So my way of thinking is this:

 

If I slow I am reducing both the likelyhood and likely severity of an accident, while increasing the likelyhood of an intentional collision. If I slow I am meeting intmidation head on, whereas my only other options are to speed up (hasn't worked yet), or ignore them (also doesn't work), both forms of letting the intimidator win. Slowing down usually works eventually. They give up within a mile or so and go around. I figure my overall chances are better slowing. If more people did it, maybe the tailgaters would learn a lesson, that aggression doesn't pay.

 

I know this opinion will be extremely unpopular, but figured it would liven things up smile.gif. Have at me.

tongue.gif

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Baba_ORiley
... Further, although I am almost always in the right lane and going at least the speed limit, even when there is a clear lane to my left, I am routinely tailgated. These factors tell me that tailgating is about intimidation. ...

 

Wow. I would have to agree that there is something seriously wrong with the drivers who are tailgating a vehicle in the right lane, especially while the left lane is open. I haven't seen that.

 

I have however, often seen the opposite; a lone car driven by a clueless driver in the fast (left) lane of a highway, with a perfectly fine empty right lane being ignored. In that case, tailgating of that lone car may be about intimidation, or it may be the reluctance for the following car to break the law by passing on the right.

 

Personally, I'd like to see a 1-year moratorium on the issuance of speeding citations, with the full effort of LEOs to instead cite people who illegally ignore proper lane discipline. Just one year and make it nationwide so everyone gets the message.

 

 

 

 

.

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russell_bynum

If I slow I am reducing both the likelyhood and likely severity of an accident, while increasing the likelyhood of an intentional collision. If I slow I am meeting intmidation head on, whereas my only other options are to speed up (hasn't worked yet), or ignore them (also doesn't work), both forms of letting the intimidator win. Slowing down usually works eventually. They give up within a mile or so and go around. I figure my overall chances are better slowing. If more people did it, maybe the tailgaters would learn a lesson, that aggression doesn't pay.

 

The other option (the one that solves all of your problems): Move over.

 

If someone's tailgating me in heavy traffic (i.e. they aren't trying to pass me or get me to move...they're just following too closely), I just go somewhere else. Slip up through traffic and find another spot to occupy.

 

If they're tailgating me and there's empty road ahead of me, I move over. Merge back into traffic on the right, pull onto the shoulder, whatever. (And yes...I know that driving on the shoulder is often illegal. I don't give a sh*t. If it keeps me alive, I'll be very happy to sit and have a conversation with a police officer about it.)

 

The bottom line is that if someone's tailgating me on the bike, I go somewhere else. Split up ahead for a ways, pull into a turnout or into the right lane, ride on the shoulder for a while...whatever.

 

I'm not going to try to get into a pissing match with someone in a car when I'm on a pissant little motorcycle. I'll lose that one every single time.

 

The one exception...the one case where I'll sometimes give the tailgater the opportunity to correct their ways: If someone's tailgating me a little bit in heavy traffic, I might give them a "move back" wave to get their attention. Sometimes people tailgate without really even realizing they're doing it. That's even worse with motorcycles since people have trouble judging our distance anyway. So I'll give them a "move back" wave. If they see it and react positively they get a big thumb's up. Otherwise, I go on with my business of staying alive: I get away from them and go somewhere else.

 

In the car/truck, I pretty much take a more passive stance like what you outlined. Some people are really stupid, too. On the way to Pahrump a few weekends ago, we were in the truck rolling along at 55mph on a back road. Two cars came up behind us going probably 75. (Perfectly safe speed out there in the middle of the desert.) We were in a long, flat, straight passing zone (dashed yellow) with clear visibility for a LONG way. But they just slowed and sat there glued to the back of my trailer. The lead car even had his brights on still. I put up with that for a while, then used the decel button on the cruise to bring us down a few mph at a time. Before long, we were going 40mph. (Remider: they were going 75 before they got to us.)

 

Finally, after following us at 40mph for over a mile in a long, straight, flat passing zone with great visibility, they both whipped around us over a double yellow in a blind corner.

 

Like I said...people are stupid. In a car, I don't have much choice, so I take a passive stance and hope the car will protect me when they crash into me.

 

On the bike, I take control and get the hell away from them.

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Like I said...people are stupid

 

Very true.

 

On the bike, assuming I can't pull over, I will slow down a little with the tap of the brake. If that doesn't work, I stick my left arm out in the "WTF?" position. That usually works. In the case that it doesn't, I will swerve back and forth just incase they don't see me. It has never gone beyond that, except for the 2 people that almost ran into the back of me. I pulled on the shoulder, waved them by and screamed some nice obscenities at him whilst moving my hand in a slight jerking motion.

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If I can get over for a tailgater, I will, but if I am already in the right lane, or can not get over because of traffic then this is how it goes:

 

One brake tap, then if no immediate dropping back occurs I'm off the throttle until they back off, or I'm down to the legal minimum speed, which is 45 here in UT. I set my cruise and stay that way until they are gone.

 

...

 

My experience is that 9 out of 10 vehicles respond to a brake tap by ignoring it or pulling closer. At least 2 in ten will pull closer.

 

lmao.gif Tapping the brakes sounds like a great solution!

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Taping the brakes sometimes works. I would like to have a switch that lights up my Hyperlites and brakes without having to tap them. Also I sure would like to have a Cyberlite on Nubb, they don't make em anymore. Back in the day. Tap your Cyberlite and watch the tailgaters eyes bulge. Wonder what ever happened to Cyberlite. I'd pay whatever to have one today!!

 

 

 

ISYHTRAH

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ShovelStrokeEd

I think there are probably 3 types of tailgaters, the inattentive, the incompetent and the aggressive. I treat them all more or less the same. I just get gone. If I have room to the side, I move over. If there is room in the front, I speed up, and then I move over. If there is neither, I find some, cutting in front of someone in the right lane, if necessary.

 

The inattentive won't respond to hand gestures and a tap of the brakes is liable to result in them winding up even closer.

 

The incompetent may respond but probably not appropriately. Best to just move.

 

The aggressive will get more so and you just don't want that. There isn't a car on the road that will accelerate from 70 to 120 with my bike should I choose to shift down, why not just get gone.

 

I have gone so far as to stand on the pegs and wave off the inattentive and incompetent types, I do admit to slowing to further piss off the aggressive types but, all in all, it doesn't help the situation so I have more or less quit. At the speed differential I run with traffic, anyone who is on my tail is more or less defined as an aggressive type. In anything but stop and go, I can find a place to duck into.

 

My new favorite move is to just run a little faster until I come upon someone traveling even slower than I was in my lane and then just split the lanes and pass them, leaving the aschloc behind an even slower vehicle. cool.gif

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Let them "win". Period.

 

Because if you don't, you may loose big time.

 

Get out of their way. Let someone else who stands a fighting chance take on the complacent, inattentive, or egomaniac. You're on a frickin' motorcycle for crying out loud, there's always somewhere else to go. The shoulder if nothing else.

 

You may be 'right', but in a battle with something that weighs 10X what you do, who wants risk being 'dead right'?

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I know somehow I made the wrong decision and let the punk get the upper hand when I should have been out of the game, but the right lane was blocked and he was on my a&&,

You could always have got off the gas and tapped the brakes to let the SUV know you were braking and moved over to the right when you got the chance. It usually works most of the time unless that SUV is really out to kill you.

 

Alternatively, if he kept up with you on that 80mph turn, you could have accelerated to 125 mph and got rid of that SUV really fast.

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I have to agree with Ken: When on a bike and dealing with a tailgater, let them win.

 

On a bike you may have the right of way but if you try to prove that in a confrontation with a cager you'll lose. You may be in the right but that'll do you little good if some idiot cager hits you.

 

I try to just get my ego out of the way and let the cager win. I'd rather ride home with a bruised ego than be driven to the hospital with a bruised body.

 

In this specific situation I think I would have tried like heck to merge in to the right lane even if just long enough to let this moron go by.

 

Speed can be your friend when facing a tailgater. But in this case since there was a curve coming up adding speed was not an optimal choice. It forced the rider in to an unsafe entry speed for the curve.

 

Pulling to the left might have been an option IF there was enough room in the breakdown lane.

 

But signaling to the right and merging between two cars in the right lane would have been my choice.

 

The other thing that might have been missed was watching those rear views and perhaps picking up on the fact that a truck coming up from behind was moving way too fast. Even though I try to move faster than traffic on the highway I always try to monitor what's behind me as well. On a couple of occasions I've marked cagers flying up behind me and been able to change lanes and let them blow by me.

 

All that being said none of us knows exactly what the situation was or how quickly it developed into the bad scenario it turned out to be. Thankfully you made it home alive and in the end that is what matters most.

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...now the left sweeper appears and I'm doing 80 MPH into the turn which is pretty fast, I use the entire left lane to make the turn when the jerk passes me on the right nearly hitting me , I am hot into this turn way more than I should be and he was close to me when he passed by, fortunately I made the turn and got home to my wife.

 

This paragraph intrigues me. If you were in the left lane, and the SUV was passing you in the right lane, why didn't you just ease off the throttle? Also, and I don't mean to be insensitive here, but if an SUV in the outside lane is eating your lunch in a corner, you might want to spend a little more time working on your cornering technique. smile.gif

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I think most tailgaters are just thoughtless. I firmly put my left hand out, palm facing the brainless. They usually back right off. Sometimes I have to pull off to the right. That sucks.

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ShovelStrokeEd

Now that someone else is the bad guy, yeah, how come? Unless your shocks have no oil in them and your tires no tread, you should be able to rail around a sweeper at speeds that will leave the SUV understeering into the guardrail.

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This paragraph intrigues me. If you were in the left lane, and the SUV was passing you in the right lane, why didn't you just ease off the throttle?
I got the impression that the SUV was intially directly behind him, then swerved right to pass.
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russell_bynum
This paragraph intrigues me. If you were in the left lane, and the SUV was passing you in the right lane, why didn't you just ease off the throttle?
I got the impression that the SUV was intially directly behind him, then swerved right to pass.

 

If there was a place for the SUV to swerve right to pass, then there was a place for a motorcycle to move right to allow faster traffic to pass in the left lane.

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True! Good catch. Amazing how we 'arm chair riders' can dissect something to death, when we we're there isn't it? tongue.gif

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Bill_Walker
Taping the brakes sometimes works. I would like to have a switch that lights up my Hyperlites and brakes without having to tap them. Also I sure would like to have a Cyberlite on Nubb, they don't make em anymore. Back in the day. Tap your Cyberlite and watch the tailgaters eyes bulge. Wonder what ever happened to Cyberlite. I'd pay whatever to have one today!!

 

 

 

ISYHTRAH

[useful hijack]

 

A little squeeze of the front brake lever will activate your brake lights before it activates the brakes.

 

As for the Cyberlite, have you looked at the Brake! LED taillights by Homebody Design? They're not cheap, but their flashing pattern is very attention getting. You can also get flashing brake lights from Kisan.

 

[/hijack]

 

However, I'm still in the "get out of the way" camp.

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Back to the situation that was at hand, it was a 4 lane xway split, all 3 lanes to the right had cars doing about 60 mph and were very close, I was doing about 70 in the left lane when I tried to distance myself the guy pushed me to 80 into the turn and by then there were no more cars to my side in the 1 lane that turned left along side me, it surprised me that he stayed with me and then passed me on the right, yeah I should be able to outcorner an explorer any day, and yes by then the lane to the right was clear, but 80 was way faster than I would've taken that turn and practicing cornering with a moron behind me is not my idea of a good time; I'm still new on the bike and have been away from riding for 20 years, trying to gather mileage and experience in this crazy modern high speed traffic without becoming a statistic.

I do have hyperlights, but this guy came up so fast and close I did not want to even tap the brake, usually I don't get rattled easily, but this whole scenario smelled like danger to me and I was desperate for an exit, only to let it emerge into a bad situation.

I will do better, but yes I'm still a noob. dopeslap.gif

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You may still be a noob, but I'd wager there isn't one of us here who hasn't recently made some sort of error while on two wheels. Even the most seasoned, experienced riders still find themselves making errors.

 

IMHO the two important things here are:

 

1) You made it home in one piece. This is always a big plus when riding wink.gif

 

2) You are open to critiques and criticisms and as such you can learn from this experience.

 

As an added bonus, because you were willing to share and ask for feedback the rest of us get to think about it and learn as well.

 

I've only been back on two wheels for about 3 years after a 20 year hiatus. I've ridden about 35,000 miles in those 3 years and still feel like a noob. I make mistakes every time I ride. But I always try to learn from 'em.

 

And remember, #1 is the most important outcome of this event.

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It sounds like that situation got you a little shaken up. It's happened to all of us. The good thing is that you came out of it all right and are able to look back and figure out what went wrong.

 

Keep chipping away at it. Everyone has been a n00b at one time or another. In fact, I'm not sure if I've ever not been one. grin.gif

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If you can't use the throttle to get the heck out of there safely, slow down to control the safe zone you can create in front of you. Let the tailgater around as soon as you can or at the first safe opportunity, roll on the throttle and get the heck out of there. grin.gif

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texasaggie97

I would have to say this question is a good question but will differ based on the kind of personality that sit on the bike. In that situation I would prefer to use the slow down method and let them pass. I do not want to be the guy who takes off and get to a spot were the traffic slows down and you split the lane and that person rear ends another car blasting them into you. I love to ride and I love to ride fast at times but I also am still young and I have a lot of roads to ride. I am not ready to take chances to arrive where ever it is I am going 5 minutes faster.

Back to my original statement this question differs base one each persons ability to calculate risk.

Ride safe and life to ride another day.

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I have "hyperlites" on the F and "Brake!" on the RT. They both seem effective for waking up the brainless in their stupor behind me and backing them off.

 

This would probably not help much on a freeway, but works well in town. If the lights don't work, just stand up on the pegs for a few seconds (works better on the F than the RT). The cagers freak out and back off as you will appear about 8' tall in front of them. grin.gif

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Silver Surfer/AKAButters

If it's real bad to the point where I get nervous, I'll hit my flashers and slow down to increse my following distance. If they don't back off (which they typiclly do), I signal and get out of their way as quickly as possible and let them go by, even if it means turning. Nothing is worth an encounter with a cage.

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...<snip>...If the lights don't work, just stand up on the pegs for a few seconds (works better on the F than the RT). The cagers freak out and back off as you will appear about 8' tall in front of them. grin.gif

 

LOL, I like that.

 

One time in stop n go traffic on my last bike, Suzuki Volusia, this woman behind me kept coming up to within "inches of my back tire. I am about 6'5" and weigh in at about 320lbs. At the time I was wearing a big biker leather jacket, black overpants. I tried giving her the hand wave, the flashing brake lights, neither worked. So finally at the next stop I turned all the way around raised my face shield and just stared at her. When I next moved forward I looked back and she was probably thirty feet behind me. grin.gif

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at the next stop I turned all the way around raised my face shield and just stared at her. When I next moved forward I looked back and she was probably thirty feet behind me. grin.gif

 

When that happened to me, I turned around and asked them "do you think you can back the F off my A please? Thank you".

He sat there at the light for a minute and I never saw him again.

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I guess the best rule here is to keep to the right & let FASTER traffic pass you on the left.. Obviously the guy was running faster than your were so just drop to the right & wave him by.. Fast to you might have just been a inconvenience to the guy behind you..

 

I ride/drive fast (very fast) but every once in a wile I will get someone coming up behind me.. I always just reach a hand out & wave them by (would rather have some cop bait in front of me anyhow).. Problems become major if the guy passes me then slows down.. Unfortunately that brings out my ire & I have done things that I would be ashamed to

admit here..

 

In motorcycling there is one BASIC rule that trumps all other riding rules “mass ALWAYS has the right of way”.. Basically that means if he is bigger or weighs more he wins,, period..

 

Twisty

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I travel 57 major highway miles to work everyday. I take the 57 miles trip home on the backroads.

 

My favorite medicine for aggressive tailgaters is my CB radio. I have been known to get on the horn and find a trucker that is in the vicinity. On numerous occations they have set up there trucks to let me squeeze past, but won't allow the tailgater through.

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