One of our road rage pet peeves: tailgating.
You know what we’re talking about. Nothing ruins a drive quite like looking in your rearview mirror and seeing nothing but the front end of the car behind you. If they’re a really skilled tailgater, you might even make eye contact with them through your rearview! The worry and frustration of being followed too closely is enough to distract even the most experienced drivers.
Unfortunately, you can’t control other drivers, but you can learn how to handle their bad habits. Here are 5 tips for dealing with a tailgater:
- Remain calm
- Keep right
- Slow down
- Use cruise control
- Don’t brake check
Road rage never helped anyone. Resist the urge to take another driver’s behavior personally. Don’t let yourself be pressured into going faster than you feel comfortable, particularly if the road conditions are less than ideal. Curvy, wet, or busy roads are no place to test your limits.
One way to handle tailgaters is to avoid them in the first place. Staying in the right hand lane allows faster drivers to go around you more easily. If you’re driving on a winding, two lane road or in a suburban area, go ahead pull over if you can find a safe place to do so to let the faster driver pass.
Don’t brake check tailgaters
It’s so, so tempting, but don’t do it. If the driver behind you is tailgating because they’re not paying enough attention, they may accidentally rear end you. Or, if if they’re particularly aggressive, they may not take the hint and start tailgating closer. Rather than trying to prove a point, lower your chances of getting into an accident by resisting the urge to tap the brakes.
Use cruise control
Just like tailgaters might not always realize they’re following too close for comfort, you might not realize you’re changing speeds, traveling under the recommended speed limit, or making it difficult for drivers to pass you. Use cruise control on the highway to maintain a consistent speed and help other drivers make safer judgement calls when deciding whether or not to pass you.