See that? It's the speed limit.

Stop tailgating me! I’m a new driver, and I just got my license in June. I’ll be the first one to admit I’m not the best driver on the road, which is why I stick to the fucking speed limit. When I’m picking up my sisters from school, I’m likely to even go a little slower (gasp!) than the posted limit, especially on a curve. So stop driving two feet behind me. It makes it dangerous to brake quickly, like I had to today when that bonehead pulled around the mail truck 15 feet in front of me. I needed to brake, but surprise, surprise, someone was right on my freaking bumper.
It’s 35mph. You’ll live.

Note:Can anyone give me a tip as to how to get tailgaters to back off?

You’re just going to have to bite the bullet and realize that for so long as you drive slow, jerks will tailgate. I’m not saying that you should driver faster than you think is safe. I’m just saying that if you drive slow, that’s gonna happen. Fact of life.

I understand that now you think 55 is fast. Give it a year.

Slowing down is good. I saw a white station wagon a few months ago that had “If you ride my tail I will slow down” handwritten across the back. If there are a bunch of cars lined up behind you, you should maybe pull over and let them pass. Good on you for refusing to drive faster than you’re comfortable. If they think driving a little slowly makes them late, they should try getting into an accident sometime. That will make you late…

Well, seeing as your location says Atlanta then you’re doomed to live with dangerous aggressive drivers. I was shocked by how so on my last visit, and I’m not easily shocked on that front. I also saw lots of Detroit roadkill. Sorry, dude. Just be careful and keep as far right as your particular road will allow.

I also slow down when people are following too closely. If they are going to hit me, they will have to do it at a slow speed and do less damage.

Until you get a little more experience under your belt, you might want to stay off of the beltway around Atlanta. If you leave a reasonable space between you and the car ahead, some fool will pull into it.

There is no need to pull over if you are doing the speed limit.

Bless you for being a responsible driver. I hope that never changes!

My first year of driving, I was very conscience about tailgaters and I always kowed to the “pressure”. If my sister (who learned to drive when I did) was being tailgated, I’d urge her to speed up too. My attention was always on the rearview mirror.

Eventually, you outgrow your hypersenstivity. I drive like driving Miss Daisy now and do not care about the cars bunched up on my tail. Actually, I do not even realize they’re there most of the time.

I am not advocating what I am about to tell you, because I do not want you to pick up my (reeeelly)bad habits. But I do this on occasion, and as I have been a licensed driver of over 20 years, have only ever been in one accident (TOTALLY not my fault, so sayeth both insurance companies), and two speeding tickets, I feel totally justified in doing so. And we all know what justifications are worth, right, kids? :wink:
Hokay. Disclaimer done. Ordinarily, it’s very difficult to catch up with me on an open road. There is more than one doper out there who’s ridden with me and can attest. However, every once in a while, it’s necessary for me to slow down. Usually because traffic is slowing down in front of me and I have no choice. If the doofus behind me is hard of comprehension, swerves to each side behind me to get me to move, is right on my ass…ordinarily I will move out of the way. It’s not always safe to do so. When it gets to the point that it’s obvious we’re not going any faster, and he should get that clue, I will very quickly slam on my brakes and hold them there for a second. This usually suffices to get said maniac off your ass, as they have just figured out you are more of a maniac than they are.

We get that here, too. I wonder if this is common to all beltways.

You can reduce the number of people that will tailgate you with the following strategies:

1 - Don’t just drive the limit. Drive the road. If most of the other traffic on the road is going faster than you, then you are driving too slow.

2 - Stay right unless passing. If you are going as fast as most of the other traffic, then just stay in the right hand lane and avoid the fast lane.

3 - Give people room to get around you. That means don’t drive right next to cars in the adjacent lane(s); stay far enough ahead or behind them so that faster cars can change lanes in front of or behind you.

Unfortunately, the other posters are right about driving in Atlanta… GA is blessed with a higher than average testosterone poisoning quotient, which leads to symptoms like tailgaiting and other road rudeness.

If someone is tailgaiting you, and you want them off your tail, try the following tactics, in order:

1 - Wave them around. If you aren’t in the left lane, then stick your left arm out the driver’s window and wave them around. If you are on a two-lane undivided highway, make sure it’s safe for them to pass before doing this.

2 - If you are on a freeway, or other multilane divided highway, merge right so they can pass. (Unless you’re already on the right, of course.)

3 - Slow down gradually. This tends to anger people more, so I don’t recommend it unless it is your intention to annoy someone. And don’t do it if there’s no room for them to pass you on a two-lane undivided highway.

4 - Even more annoying: spritz your windshield. Your windshield washer fluid will get on their windshield as well. This is especially effective when traveling into the sun when it is low in the sky.

5 - Get a bumper sticker that says “If you tailgate me, I will flick a booger on your windshield.” (I actually saw this on a car yesterday.) :smiley:

Realize that many people (including me) truly believe that the speed limit is set too low bacause the ‘powers that be’ assume you will excede the posted speed limit by up to 10 MPH. I think you will come to accept this eventually.

I don’t tailgate normally, but might for a brief time as I coast to a lower speed to be behind you, or get ready for a pass, but I know others do. Try to let them pass.

I don’t go above the speed limit for two reasons:

  1. Like I said, I don’t feel comfortable going above the speed limit.
  2. The police here are looking for teenagers speeding. Really. I’m not just paranoid. I don’t blame them, either, seeing as we’re a risky group of drivers.

Also, this guy wasn’t just coasting to a lower speed. He stuck to my bumper for a good ten minutes. My only reprieve was stop signs. I gave him ample room to pass, but I’m not going to pull over so that some jerk can go speeding ahead of me.

This is not an endorsement of tailgating. I don’t do it and I hate when it’s done to me, so I sympathize with the OP in that respect. However…

Pretty please with sugar on top, drive the speed limit in good weather! There is absolutely no reason for you to be going slower. Obey the limits posted on the road and on the curves. If you drive below that limit, you are being a pain in the ass and should pull over and let people who want to drive the limit or over get around you. STAY in the right lane at all times on multilane roads if you are going to drive exactly at or below the limit. The left lane is for passing.

If you do these things, then no one will be able to take issue with the fact that you drive like my elderly father.

In my neighborhood, we have a school zone with a pretty low speed limit. At the center point of the zone, there’s a camera that zaps a picture and your speed as you pass it. If you’re speeding, you’ll find an invoice in the mail a few weeks later.

Every time I drive through these things, someone’s tailgating me*. These people are insane. It’s a guaranteed ticket and not only do they want to speed through there, they want me to speed through there. Not to mention the actual kiddies wandering around that could be run over.

I just ignore them and focus on the road in front of me…and hope they get a $200 ticket in the mail.
*note: you only have to go the lower speed during certain hours when school is in session; the tailgaters I’m talking about are during these specified times

How does the camera get a picture of the license plate of the tailgating car? Or if it shoots from the back, how does it get a picture of your car?

It could be that the guy wasn’t aware he was tailgating. Sometimes I will find myself close to the car in front of me but not feel uncomfortable enough to pass.

It’s funny that you’re in Atlanta. In high school, I’d have to take Northside Drive to get to and from school, and folks treated the road like it was a major highway. And like I said earlier, it used to bug me that I was always the only one following the speed limit. But eventually you get used to driving as fast as everyone else AND you tune out the tailgaters. One day, you’ll even find yourself driving on someone’s tail.

They still do.
For you Atlantans, I was driving on Spalding Rd.

As far as I can tell, it shoots the front of the car. At least, that’s where it seems to be pointing. So, if I were speeding and someone was right up on my butt, presumably they wouldn’t get a ticket. I’m not really sure, because I’ve never seen a picture actually taken by one of the cameras. Regardless, I always sit right on the speed limit through those things.

I only ask b/c here in San Francisco there was a story about how if one guy was running one of the dozen “photo enforced” stoplights, a trend began where the car behind them would tailgate them through it, knowing their car’s plate wouldn’t get photographed. Jerks-is-jerks, eh?

I was hoping the technology was better somewhere else…

I ran into a situation tonight where I was going slower…I was in a very unfamiliar area. I knew I needed to take a left onto a certain street. I saw the sign for that street but it turned out to be a right exit ramp (crossing over the highway I was on) and I was in the left lane. I totally missed it and had to find my way back around in an area I didn’t know. Please take those kind of situations into consideration, not everyone is as familiar with the area as you are. If I have to slow down a bit to make sure I am in the correct lane for an exit, so be it.

After I got my last speeding ticket ($181) i have been driving the limit or slightly over (depending on traffic) ever since. For one thing, it is a lot of money to pay just because I felt like going fast. More importantly I have noticed a big change in my driving attitude since I’ve slowed down. I used to drive 80 on the four lane road to and from school, and I would get so mad and impatient at drivers camped out in the left lane doing 65 (the limit) or 70. I would grumble and gripe if they didn’t move over immediately. I would arrive at school or home all stressed out and angry from the drive. After I got my ticket I stay in he right lane and set my cruise control at about 68…and I am much more relaxed and calm when I reach my destination. It really amazed me, and I don’t have to leave earlier to make it on time. Maybe a minute or two, but I’m never late.

The people in that area are wealthy enough to be above the law (or so they think).

I hated driving in Atlanta. One of the primary reasons I moved down here to the country was to get away from the road rage epedimic in that hellhole. No offense to resident Atlanta Dopers, but you know what I’m talking about.