Memo to Tailgaters

by Will on October 16, 2010

You kind of suck.

Look, it’s already terrifying for me to be driving on the freeway, especially at night. I’ve had some really bad experiences doing this. I don’t appreciate it at all that you want to follow me so closely that I have to stress out about it and check the rear-view mirror all the time. You’re making it more likely that I’ll miss something in front of me, and have an accident because of it. To be concise, you’re making it more likely that both of us will have an accident and die. Even if we survive such an accident, I have no confidence that you have followed the law and obtained an insurance policy, so we might both just be out of luck.

Why don’t you just pass me? It’s clearly what you want to do. There’s another lane there to your left, just so you can do that! I know you think I drive too slow. You’re wrong! I’m actually driving exactly the right speed! I like to drive carefully. I’ve got my reasons. I’m not going to speed up just for you. In fact, just to annoy you, I’m going to slow down.

If markets worked as well as advertised, I’m convinced that car manufacturers would years ago have added to the left- and right-turn signals another crucial signal to drivers at one’s rear: “stop tailgating me, asshole!”

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