People in California almost never get out of the way. So what most people do is tailgate when someone won’t get out of the way or flash their lights. Then the person still doesn’t get out of the way and starts braking on you or tries to ram you. Or they flip you off, throw things at you, or try to shoot you. Or they chase you home. So ultimately tailgating is pointless and dangerous. I had a few close calls where I had to brake and slide the car to avoid hitting someone. After that I quit tailgating. If someone tailgates you, get out of the way so they can pass. Or, start braking! If they ram you, the accident is their fault (if you live) and they’ll have to pay. Of course it’s California so you’ll likely get an illegal without insurance.

Something that really pisses me off is when I’m in a long line of cars, can’t go anywhere or do anything, yet I have some jackass on my rear bumper riding
me like it’s my fault.

I’m all for tailgating in the proper situations, but there are certain rules…

Reasons to tailgate

If someone has NO ONE ahead of them or is leaving some huge gap between cars, and is themselves totally responsible for holding you up, then I tailgate. I
usually don’t do this so much on the freeway, more so on 2 lane roads, but I do this to the fast lane hoggers like big 4x4s, Vans, and wankers.

Quite often this doesn’t get you anywhere, but sometimes they see you up their ass and decide to get out of the way. To me it worth all the
trouble of those times where they won’t get out of the way just for the few times it actually pays off.

I never get TOO close, just enough to piss them off. I always leave enough room to stop if they pull the anti-tailgate move on me.

If it’s night I lean my car to the left to make sure my headlights are shining in their side mirror.

Sometimes I do the flash the light thing if it’s day, but that doesn’t usually work. Sometimes it does tho. It at least lets them know you’re back there on their ass.

Reasons NOT to tailgate

Bad Weather

If it’s raining or foggy, or whatever, don’t tailgate. Leave big spaces.. You only want to tailgate under optimal conditions.

IF there are ways around them

One day we were driving to San Diego with Chris’ nutty ex-girlfriend. She was hot, but she turned out to be some pyscho. Anyway, we were on the
I15 south and there was like 5 lanes but she insisted on tailgating someone in the fastlane. And I mean she was up on them. I was like the typical
backseat driver (I was actually in the backseat): Uh hello, why not go around them? She says something like they have to get out of my way. That’s totally
unacceptable. There is no reason to tailgate if you have some way to get around them.

If they are boxed in

If there is some huge line of cars and the people have no way to get out of the way, then just back off. The worst are those people who ride you when you
have no way of doing anything about it. I guess they imagine you will ride the person ahead or pull off and start some chain reaction that gets them ahead. WHATEVER!

If they are dangerous

Don’t be tailgating those gang members or trucks full of bad boys or anyone you know could F you up or might not give a rat’s ass if they nail you with
their car. Mess with the best, die like the rest.

Tailgate Counter Move

If you get someone riding you, you can do two things, brake really fast and/or slow down really slow. I do that to tailgaters if they won’t back off. I make them go super slow on the freeway or road. Then if they try to pass me I take off again. I’m sure someday this will get me in trouble but I do it on people I know I can take, like girls and old people! 🙂

8 Responses to “Tailgating”

  1. jejd says:

    I spray my windshield fluid sparingly.. only if the tailgater really deserved it.

    I also keep my reflector shades (that keep the car cool in the summer sun) behind my back seats visible from the back window.. if some tailgater gets behind me with their brights on, it gets reflected back!

  2. expectnothing says:

    Hello Shlonglor, i was reading your car section, and anyway, i thought i would share with you a great device i’ve come up with to combat tailgaters… other than just mash the breaks and let ‘em swerve =) I took the windshield wiper sprayer motor tank, motors, and sprayers out of an old toyota. It’s got two motors and a really big tank, so the bigger the better. Mounting the tank under the grill of my s-10 truck, it can be filled with water, or something sticky when dry like cheap soda, very easily. Then running a hose from each motor, one goes by the
    grill, and the other you run with the existing wires (might have to dig for these) going to the taillights. mount the spraying nozzle flush with the surface, so you might want to drill a hole fro the best placement. Then hook the motors up to a spare slot in your fusebox. Preferably one that is always on, so you can get pedestrians in the parking lot. The just hook up the switches by the steering wheel, (or maybe in it)and say goodbye to ailgaters. This setup lets you hose the tailgaters when traveling. It is VERY distracting, and often they will pass you and flip you off (very funny) or back waaaaaaaaay off, cause their clean car
    is getting all messed up cause of that pop (or water). It works really good on an interstate, cause i’ve had my share of really dumb drivers,even thought i’ve only been driving for little under 2 years. It’s great fun to hose your friends as they come out of school or work. Thanks for putting this up, or not. Put i did wonder if you had any ideas for improving this gizmo. Or a good name for it.

    Love the page

    Philip P.

  3. expectnothing says:

    Being a fellow connoisseur of the study of driving, I thought you may appreciate a few observations I’ve made over the years regarding the art of tailgating, one of the often overlooked, but very useful “weapons” we can take with us on the battlefield (AKA the interstates).

    In my experience, there are two types of tailgaters, although you could arguably break these two types in to several subclasses. The two main types are the “Angry” tailgater and the “Clueless” tailgater.

    The angry tailgater tailgates because they need to be somewhere. Now. The angry tailgater is true a student of the game. They know the value of the ability to drive 2-4 feet off of someone’s bumper at 80+. This is an invaluable tool on the interstate. It really pisses people off. 😉 I probably would fit into this category, although I usually try to give old people, trucks, and other enemies the benefit of the doubt before I pull out the heavy artillery. Translation: you have 3 minutes to get the fuck out of my way before my car and your piece of shit Yugo form Voltron via your rear bumper. Basically, the angry tailgater is just trying to get you slow people to move your asses the hell out of the way so they can get where they need to be.

    The clueless tailgater tailgates for an entirely different reason altogether. They tailgate because they don’t know what the hell they’re doing. They just don’t *realize* they’re tailgating. IMO, these people are far more dangerous than the angry tailgater because not only are they not aware of what they’re doing, but they invariably lack the driving skills necessary to correct from any sudden stop of the person in front of them. Combine the element of surprise with their lack of driving ability and you’ve got an accident waiting to happen. Often times young female drivers fall into this category. You know your sister’s friend who’s rear-ended 3 people in the last 10 months? Not purely coincidence.

    In summary, use tailgating sparingly to get that slow fucker in front of you out of your way. If you *always* are tailgating, how are you going to let the asshole in front of you know you want to get by?

    See you on the Battlefield.


    • CVC 21703 says:

      When the bullets start flying because you killed or injured someone’s family member being a Dick from Voltron on the highway, your family will have no one to blame but the Dick from Voltron who thought he owned the road.

      Fucking idiot.

  4. -jwm says:

    So you’re actually advocating tailgating to some extent, yet it irritates you when others commit this act of aggression?

    I really don’t understand what kind of foundation your arguments are based. Slow down, obey speed limits, and back off the bumper of the person in front of you.

    If your time is that valuable that two or three extra minutes are that important, learn to fly rotorcraft and have helipads installed where you need to go. Otherwise, learn to be kind to your fellow motorists.

  5. Jeffie says:

    According to California Highway Patrol there is no fast lane on freeways or highways.

    Therefore motorists who engage in aggressive driving by tailgating are taking away the rights of other motorists to drive safely in the lane of their choice, and motorists who tail gate are also breaking the law.

    • Debby says:

      You should try driving in Utah freeways. There is a fast lane there, and people become very aggressive if you are not driving 20 miles over the speed limit. It’s all about who wants to win there, who is the fastest. There is no driving etiquette in Utah. It is horrible.

  6. Mark says:

    Another thing … if the highway patrol or the police cite you for tailgating other vehicles, and they do have the legal right to do this, then you can be fined around $400. If they determine someone to be driving unsafely and a danger to other drivers, they have the right to intervene and pull that person over. Tailgating is defined in the law under aggressive driving, and unsafe and/or aggressive driving is against the law, and against the safe driving principles taught by driving instructors and classes. Safe driving is expected when you pass your exam, and owning a drivers license is a privilege, not a mandatory right.

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    • Englishman on:
      I'm a Brit and I've been saying this for years, now I find a whole website devoted to the subject. I feel vindicated! Having driven quite a lot of miles on the roads of about 28 US states, the moment you get into California everything changes! Anything goes on the roads there, you have to adopt a completely different style of driving just to accommodate their sheer lunacy! It's probably the stress of living in a sate where everyone likes to think they're a hippy when most of them are just a bunch of wage-slaves on the corporate merry-go-round!
    • Cam on:
      I was born in Washington. WSP. I lived near Shelton. Near their police academy. They use Highland road to practice on speeders. They lowered the speed limit on the road to write tickets. If California is too lenient Washington is too strict. We moved to California. A much better place to live and drive. Washington is full of vindictive drivers. California is not. If you live in California do as the Romans. We adapted it works.
    • Zach on:
      I kinda feel like part of the reason California drivers suck is because they are in such a rush to get where there going they put other people at risk by doing a bunch of risky manouvers. So the guy in the vans an idiot, you know intentionally cutting him off close isn't going to make him not do that shit anymore. If people just learned to let shit go traffick would go faster because there would be less accidents.
    • NoLoveForCali on:
      Agreed. Freaking idiots.
    • NoLoveForCali on:
      I wish they would leave TX, too. Jerks.
    • Auchoo on:
      I know some very sweet people who drive like they just got behind the wheel, or as if they don't understand the laws of motion. I also know some very stressed people who drive like fools. I likely drive too fast at times, but I don't tailgate or weave or cut people off. I go with the general flow of traffic. I get angry when speed demons drive in the slow lanes and when slugs drive in the fast lane. Why? They're creating a perfect storm for accidents. We have no CHP. Or it seems that way. I can drive for months, for hundreds, thousands of miles, and NEVER see a CHP. Assanine law makers REFUSE to send us the money to hire more CHP. It's been an issue for decades. As the bureaucrats allow more illegals and unskilled drivers to drive on our roads and highways, and fail to deal with those who text and drive, and fail to police our hwys, we will continue to have sucky, dangerous roads, and people will continue to be killed on the hwy. Want change? Vote out the current law makers. The are blind bats.
    • dresden on:
      If you want to go slow. Law states slow traffic to move to the right. No one owns the road. Also be mindful some people may have emergencies like a pregnancy.
    • dresden on:
      So you admit you turn in front of people going the speed limit and force them to slow down? Sounds like your just another control freak who just has to mess with traffic. I haven't seen you cite any creative ideas to help everyone win. Here's an idea to help. Wait until its reasonably clear before you pull in front of people as tye dmv book states in many states. I even cited above a law too. You haven't cited anytbing. Sounds like your also a problem too. Demon speeders and control freaks who want to pull in front of people and stay in the left most lane for "freeway changes". You know they usually have a few lanes for you to be in (if you read the arrows on the sign) and there are usually two or three. So you can still pick a right slower lane even for freeway changes. So I think your just making excuses like a typical Californian to just mess with people and justify it. Your just as much a bully and just as much ignorant of the law. I am not siding with the author, but I also think you help continue to problems. I hope that on day when you have an emergency that someone goes slow in front of you and just holds you up so hopefully on the off chance you may gain self awareness that there's more than just you in the world. Selfishness has little to no value in society. Which means selfish boisterous and rude people like you are a cancer to society.
    • dresden on:
      Remember that when you have an emergency that involves a family members life. Or when someone fails to yeild and holds up the ambulance. I Can't wait till I move to Idaho (they don't drive fast there), because they follow proper lane laws. If you think you own the road because because r vindicated in your opinion that your driving slower than the speed limit. Your no better than the demon speeders and your judgement is not only a futile double standard argument, it's also just as disrespectful to others just as much as driving like a dope fuel dragster jerk. So get see self awareness or just expect people like me to just challenge the weak foundation of your self righteousness with grandiose feeling of highfalutin narcissistic and just as selfish thinking. Make your freeway change and afterwords get over to the slow lane where the law states you belong. Dmv book, read it son.
    • dresden on:
      I was born and raised in Cali, and have moved to and from Cali. Served my country and went to Korea (2014), no thanks needed. Before I lived in Idaho I enjoyed Cali (due to the tropical area we lived). After I came back to Cali, I just don't get it anymore. As a native, I wonder how they learned these balehaviours and how I missed them. Every time we drive we always have to drive defensively. Is there something in the water? Is it cause they are spoiled and pampered princesses? Quite a few of you hit the nail on the head. Do me a favor, spread the word about this. Perhaps years and years f a propeganda campaign on poor Cali driving may help brainwash them to want to change it to fight the offensive label. Use social media to politicize it until they are tired of hearing it and change. Usually if you label a group of people, they fight to change it. Look at every race in history and their struggles.

  • About

    I’ve driven in California since 1991. I’ve spent many trips running up and down the state as well as driving in many other states. After all of this driving, I became fed up with how bad California drivers on. I wanted to point out what they do to either help change a few drivers or at least entertain the rest of the world with Californian’s horrible driving.

    I’m located in Orange County in a couple of the richest areas. I see every type of car that is out there in this area. It’s like a car show. Going to a car show isn’t exciting anymore because you see most of the cars driving around anyway. I also work at a place where people buy all the different types of cars. We have Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Lotus, etc. So you can even see a lot of the cars in the work parking lot.

    Disclaimer: You’re on your own with these tips. They are not the official law and in no way represent what you should be doing should a cop pull you over.

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