Re: Shooting in Quincy by Lead Driver who "repeatedly" Hit his brakes
posted at 12/19/2009 8:43 AM EST
Behind Sagenistic's tongue in cheek lies wisdom.
The traditional refusal of Massachusetts police to meaningfully enforce traffic laws has created a lot of problems on our highways.
The most dangerous is the fact a significant percentage of drivers do not know what a sane following distance is. Probably the same or higher percentage of "police officers" do not know what a sane following distance is. A recent study showed that 70% of Massachusetts Drivers do not know the proper following distance. I think the study understates the problem. My guess is that the study quite likely included a number of migrants from civilized parts of the country.
I like Sagenistic's suggestion, without the antagonism.
A much less immediately dangerous part of the Boston mix is that fact that perhaps 80% of drivers are too stupid to keep right.
Nevertheless, the right lane is where you should be driving unless you are passing. Comments about bad drivers elsewhere do not mention the extreme stupidity of lane use in Massachusetts.
Bad lane use is related to the Massachusetts' problem of contempt for anybody else's rights. Tailgaters frequently use stupid lane use an excuse for tailgating.
I commonly find myself in the right lane passing the three lanes of traffic on my left, all of whom are too stupid to keep right.
BUT I also commonly find myself with some fool riding my bumper.
When the guy in front of you is passing the cars in every other lane on the road, tailgating cannot possibly be excused by the rationale that the guy in front is going too slow.
My suggestion: make certain you are in the correct lane and are going a correct speed. Pretty much all the time, YOU SHOULD BE IN THE RIGHT LANE. If you then have a fool tailgating you, on your rear, there is only one thing you can do to minimize the danger: SLOW DOWN. The fool may or may not go away, but at least the collision will be less dangerous.
The most common reaction is that the tailgater will pass you. A significant percentage is so stupid that he/she will pass on the right, whether it is in the breakdown lane or in a dirt area on the side of the road.
A small minority will stay behind you and back off. If the guy in back backs off, or if you are dreaming that the guy in back has, through some miracle, learned to drive, gas up and see if he/she will maintain a sane distance. This frequently works. Just as frequently, you are forced to slow down again to minimize danger.
DO NOT LEAVE THE RIGHT LANE. That is where you belong and that is where traffic going at the speed you have been forced to go belongs.
Realize at all times that you are in a dangerous situation. Driving slowly is dangerous, BUT the alternative is driving a lot faster with that fool tailgating you. You have not created the dangerous situation. You are minimizing the danger created by an extremely dangerous driver.
I have had more than one interaction with police related to such an incident. I tell them, accurately, that I am very scared to go any faster. I am driving as fast as is reasonly safe under the circumstances, and I am probably going faster than the distance of the car behind me would make safe.
I have seen tailgaters ticketed for tailgating.