(I wasn’t sure if I should post this here, or in GQ, but it felt more mundane and pointless, so I think it goes here…)
There’s a couple of driving habits which I regularly see out on the road, but have never really understood (though I have some theories). I’m curious to see if any fellow Dopers have any thoughts on these – in particular, if you, yourself, do either of these, I’d love to understand why.
A Gapper is someone who pulls up to a line of stopped cars at a stoplight, and leaves a considerable space (usually at least a full car length) between the front of his car and the rear of the car in front of him.
I’ve noticed that most Gappers are older drivers. I have two hypotheses about why they do this:
- They feel that, if they’re too close to the car in front of them, they’ll be pulling the exhaust from the other car into their passenger compartment
- They want to leave enough space for emergency maneuvering, in case an accident happens while they’re stopped.
When a Creeper pulls up to a line of stopped cars, he looks like a Gapper – he stops some distance away from the car in front of him. Then, over the course of the red-light cycle, he slowly creeps up, closing the space. Most Gappers will stay still for 5 or 10 seconds, then creep up a few feet, then stop again, then creep again.
I have no idea why a Creeper does this. Maybe his foot gets tired on the brake pedal? Maybe he thinks his brakes get tired?