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How to Deter Tailgaters and Bully Drivers from Tailgating

Updated on April 8, 2015
lady rain profile image

Lady Rain works as a daytime stock trader and writes about crafts and hobbies. She likes travelling and making papercraft models.

Have you been tailgated?

To be tailgated is never a pleasant experience. When you are driving, you need to have full concentration on the road in front of you. When another car is following too close to your car, you can already visualize what is going to happen if you have to slam on the brakes in an emergency. You find yourself glancing at the back view mirror every few seconds and checking on how close your tailgater is closing in on you. Having to worry about the car behind you and the road in front of you will turn your pleasant journey into a driving nightmare. Aggressive driving is as dangerous as texting and driving.

You cannot stop a rude driver from tailgating, well, unless you are the traffic police and you happened to be in the right place at the right time. And, that does not happen most of the time anyway. As an ordinary road user, you do not want to take the law into your own hands either unless you want to be beaten up by the other driver who happens to be a road bully. However, you can take certain measures to continue your journey and arrive safely at your destination.

Who are the tailgaters and road bullies? What causes road rage?

Road bullies

You hear of people being bullied in the streets, in the schoolyards, at work, in the shopping malls, there are bullies on the road as well. Some people are bullies by nature. For some reasons, they lack a sense of security. They intimidate others and by doing that, they feel better about themselves. If they can pick on somebody in the streets, they can also pick on somebody on the roads and get a thrill out of bullying.

Person having a bad day

Some people do not know how to control their anger. They vent it out on anybody who comes in their way. If a car cuts into your lane, sometimes you might be caught by surprise and will slow down immediately, and you might mutter a few swearing words to yourself. Is it enough to spoil your day if you hold a grudge against the other driver? It all depends on how you handle the situation and control your anger. However, it is no excuse to start tailgating the car in front of you.

Someone in a hurry

All of us have hectic schedules everyday, we all want to go from one place to another in the shortest possible time, or we are just running very late for every appointment. Tailgaters are probably in a hurry to get somewhere and they let you know by driving up so close behind you. It is a way of telling you to hurry up and drive faster or get out of the way so that they can do some real driving.

People with no manners

We cross path with people with bad manners all the time, so tailgaters are probably those people who lack proper road etiquettes. You cannot hear them yell or swear when you are driving, well, sometimes you can if your window is wound down. They ignore traffic signs and have no regard for other road users. Their actions say a lot about not only their road etiquettes, but also their basic manners.

What should you do to deter tailgaters and prevent road rage?

Next time, if you have a tailgater while on the road, think of the types of tailgaters mentioned above and observe the following:

  • You do not have to confront tailgaters, they could be dangerous people (road bullies). You do not want to be the next victim of a road rage incident.
  • Change lanes but make sure you signal first and check that it's safe to do so before changing lanes. You do not want to have another tailgater following you simply by changing to another lane too abruptly.
  • Slow down to let the tailgating driver know you are not intimidated into driving any faster than you already are. If he really is in a hurry, he will most likely change to another lane or overtake you and then speed off.
  • There is no need to answer back or retaliate if a tailgater yells at you. If he does not get the attention he wants, he will drive off and leave you alone.

Drive safely.

© 2011 lady rain


Submit a Comment
  • profile image

    Sir Howard O'Wolowitz 

    5 years ago

    In my country (New Zealand) the police never enforce tailgating, in fact theres been quite a few cases where motorists confront the tailgater - either they or the tailgater end up in a hospitals ICU or morgue - all because of our police forces incompetence. There's no "air (demerit) points" on your licence if you tailgate but if you drive your car with a registration ticket 2 days overdue its 25 air points, yet tailgating is more dangerous than driving drunk.

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    Every state should require every vehicle to have license tags on front and rear and all license frames that conceal the county or any other information should be banned. Cameras should be placed on roadways to record a speeding vehicle or tailgater.A camera does not lie or make mistakes.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    I put on my turn signal and turn slowly into a parking lot. If they hit me their insurance rates go up and they pay for the damage they caused. They pay dearly!

  • lady rain profile imageAUTHOR

    lady rain 

    7 years ago from Australia

    Denise, for one minute I thought you were serious about doing that, though I also sometimes wish I could do the same thing. But no, life is too short to deal with situations like that in an irrational way. We all want to be safe and enjoy life.

  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 

    7 years ago from North Carolina

    My favorite way to shake them is to slam on my brakes thus causing them to slam on theirs and possibly cause them to careen off to the side of the road (or if it is an especially profitable day into the other lane where an 18 wheeler truck is going about 70 miles / hr)

    That way they will learn never to tailgate again.

    Naw...just kidding. It is what I sometimes wish I could do though. !! I cannot stand tailgaters.


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