Space, what space?
We all realize how important it is to keep space around our vehicles whenever we drive. Well, most of us realize this. Actually, probably only a handful of drivers know about this space issue. Are you one of the privileged few?
I will often see drivers tailgate each other and that makes their driving more difficult. Speaking with many tailgaters over the years, they will often tell me they do it because they’re in a hurry. How does reducing a safe following distance allow you to reach your destination soon enough to make a difference? It doesn’t. You can only drive as fast as the drivers ahead of you.
Tailgating also makes it difficult for the drivers to merge into traffic. For example, every morning I take a road that has a forced right turn onto a one way street. The oncoming traffic I have before my forced right turn has a forced left turn. We have to blend together. When drivers are tailgating each other, it’s difficult for me to make the turn and then do a lane change to the left so I can make the first left turn to get to work. They also have a difficult time doing their lane change to the right if they need to. This happens every day, so why don’t they change what they’re doing?
I see this on the freeway as well. Drivers are tailgating each other while they’re picking up speed on the merging lane, but because the traffic is thick on the freeway, they can’t move in safely; or at all. Why do they continue to do this to themselves? If ‘plan A’ doesn’t work, go to ‘plan B’. However, ‘plan B’ should not be ‘plan A’ louder! In other words, don’t keep doing the same thing expecting to get a different result.
If the drivers created more space between themselves and other drivers, it would be easier to blend into traffic. Easing off the gas to create an extra second or two between you and the driver ahead of you makes it easier for you to move into another lane, but it also lets traffic from the other lane into your lane without cutting you off. It won’t put you in as much of a risk of a crash compared to tailgating each other.
Learn to share the road and share the space on the road. It’ll help you reach your destinations safely and much more easily. And remember, when we were kids we were all taught to play well with others. It looks like we still need to do that as adults.