Well, incidents as that am going to tell happened far too many times to too many people. Here we go…
Today, I had 2 wedding invitations. The first one was that of my dear friend Farrah. On my way to the reception, well, I drove quite fast today (yes, I drive quite fast on weekends as there are usually less traffic), cars in front of me, on the fast lane, whenever possible, will make way for me. No, I did not do the “flash and honk”, telling them to make way but I think they could see how fast I was approaching from the rear view mirror! There was this Proton Wira, it too made way for me to pass but quite immediately after that, I could see how close it was following me. It was tailgating me as if I was going really slow on the fast lane, as if I was road hogging! For information on how fast I was, I was going at a constant 120km/h. Fast enough I think. Coming back to the Proton Wira, I could see that it was driven by a male driver and at an instance, I knew (you would probably have the same thinking as I am now!), he just could not accept that a girl overtook him! No, am not being sexist but I honestly believe that is what it is. Male ego! I could see no other reason. He was driving rather slow before I overtook him and when I did, he tailgated me, all the way to the exit slip of my destination?! Heck, he moved to the middle lane when my car was probably 50 meters away! Well, why else… Seriously, why?
Tailgating is the practice of driving on a road too close to the vehicle in front, at a distance which does not guarantee that stopping to avoid collision is possible. Approximately one third of rear-end collisions involve tailgating.
There can be several reasons for tailgating:
- Tailgating can occur because of a lack of perceived risk in so doing. Thus, it is done unconsciously or negligently, very often by people who consider themselves safe drivers and generally obey the other rules of the road.
- In its worst form, it can be a particularly violent form of road rage and a form of intimidation. An example would be where the tailgating driver (the driver in the following vehicle) threatens damage to the leading vehicle and its occupants by driving aggressively — perhaps also with use of headlights and horn — to bully the leading vehicle’s driver to get out of the way. The driver being tailgated might not wish to comply, especially if doing so would involve breaking the law, such as by increasing speed beyond the speed limit or changing lanes without due regard for safety. Note, however, that in many jurisdictions flashing high beams is a normal and polite method used to signal the intention to overtake. Tailgating can also be dangerous to the tailgater, especially if he or she is driving closely behind a large vehicle (such as a tractor-trailer, or gas tanker). If the leading vehicle decelerates suddenly (such as when encountering a traffic jam, traffic lights, avoiding pedestrians, etc.), the tailgater has a high risk of causing a rear-end collision.
- A driver may switch into a lane in front of another driver, but without adequate clearance. The second driver is now unintentionally “tailgating” the first driver, although this is due to the first driver’s unsafe behavior. This is considered “cutting off” the other vehicle.
- A form of deliberate tailgating known as slipstreaming, “draft-assisted forced stop”, or “draft-assisted forced auto stop” (D-FAS) is a technique which has been used by people known as hypermilers to achieve greater fuel economy. D-FAS involves turning off the engine and gliding in neutral while tailgating a larger vehicle, in order to take advantage of the reduced wind resistance in its immediate wake. Note that this practice is extremely dangerous: while tailgating itself is inherently risky, the danger of collision is increased with D-FAS as power for power brakes can be lost after a few applications of the brake pedal and, with older cars, the pressure that causes power steering to function can be lost as well.
Honestly, I do not understand the ego of male drivers. As it is, the most common “believe” is that female drivers are lousy drivers but for more than 10 years of driving, (Alhamdullillah) never once have I caused an accident nor have I hit anyone.
Coincidentally, a friend told me her experience a couple of days before. On the Federal Highway, tailgated, flashed and honked by a silver Perodua MyVi. Yes, male driver and yes, she overtook him! However, her experience was scarier and more dangerous as he did not stop at tailgating her, flashing lights at her and honking her. He went to the extent of driving on the next lane at par with her, overtook her and kept hitting the brake whilst he was in front of her! Road rage of a road bully! She googled the Prerodua MyVi’s registration number and to make the story even scarier, there was a report (translated Chinese Newspaper report) that said the driver of that car had been reported missing in year 2007! I told her, it was either a ghost or… a ghost LOL! She on the other hand, said that perhaps that guy ran away from home and is a schizophrenic! He snapped and went crazy! I said that is even more ridiculous than thinking that it was a ghost! I mean, if he is crazy, how did he get the money to pump in the petrol for the car? How is he still able to renew his road tax and insurance? He needs money, which means he would probably be working but assuming that he is a schizophrenic, wouldn’t he snapped at work too? Oh well, let us just forget about him and go back to the point i.e. male drivers’ ego.
It is never my intention to offend anyone but honestly, as common as the believe that female drivers are lousy drivers, it is common believe too amongst female drivers that male drivers just cannot accept it when female drivers overtake them.
Anyway, I apologize sincerely if my post here offended anyone. No intention of doing so at all!