It's fun and easy to get rid of an obnoxious tailgater.

Once you see you're being tailgated, follow these steps:

  1. Check speed. If you're going below the speed limit, speed up to the speed limit (assuming there are no adverse conditions which make that unsafe). See if the tailgating continues before going on to #2.

  2. It is unsafe to drive too close behind someone. Since you aren't the one doing the following, slow down until the person behind you is a safe distance away. If they stay at 1/2 car length behind you, then you should slow down to about 5 mph. This is following the general rule that there should be a car length between cars for every ten mph.

  3. As you slow down, the dumbass may get the idea and back off. Feel free to accelerate back to your previous speed, now that it is safe to do so.

  4. If the dumbass tailgater doesn't get the idea, just keep slowing down. Stop the car in the middle of the road if you have to. When the tailgater gets out of his car, start driving again.

  5. If, as you slow down or stop, the tailgater takes advantage of the opportunity to pass you, good: you don't want them behind you anyway if they don't know how to drive reasonably and safely.

Note: I'm assuming the person is a genuine asshole: Otherwise he wouldn't be tailgating; he would be driving at a safe distance and waiting for an opportunity to pass safely.

Second Note: Wharfinger seems to have missed the point entirely. No one (i hope) drives with the intent to disrupt traffic. Personally I drive the speed limit because I had my license taken away for 3 months for speeding. The goal is not to prevent people from passing you...as I say in my writeup, if the person passes, BOTH people win. The person being tailgated doesn't want to be stuck in that dangerous situation any more than the tailgater wants to drive *gasp* the speed limit.
If you realize that YOU are the one doing the tailgating, the process is much simpler.

Immediately start making your way toward an empty road somewhere. If you have any passengers, drop them off unless they also tailgate.

Now drive very fast, and then turn your vehicle toward a cliff, tree, telephone pole, or some other large object which will not cause harm to others should you break it.

If you are still alive after the crash, remain inside the car if it is on fire, otherwise try and make it on fire, and climb back inside.


Here's how you get rid of tailgaters, and make money, too!

Once someone is hard on your tail (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?), just watch them closely in your rear view mirror. (Make sure they are driving a car that looks as if it is insured; i.e., do not do this if the car in question is a 1978 Monte Carlo being driven by Tyrone in a do rag.) Anyway, it won't be long until you see them look away and take their eyes off the job at hand (driving). Immediately slam on your brakes. Unless they have very fast eye/hand coordination, they will run into you.

At this point, you have two choices. You can either be very smug as you get out of your car and say, "My, my. I don't think you should have done that."

Or, you can fall out of your car while screaming in pain. This is where the real money comes in.

Either way, you will have probably cured that person of tailgating.

Why I like my Saab 900:

When driving on the thruway, being doggedly pursued by some persistent mofo of a tailgater, I engage my clutch, lift the restraint on my gearshift stick that allows the transmission to be put into reverse and, lo and behold my back-up lights come on (you know, the bright, white ones that are really scary when the come on really suddenly when you're about ten feet behind them while doing 85 on a crowded highway? yeah, that's what I'm talking about, baby.)

For some reason, after that, the aforementioned tailgaters don't want to play anymore...

So, what have we learned from all this?
  1. If someone is tailgating, they're an asshole in all respects.
  2. Jokes about killing assholes are funny.
  3. Causing Death and Destruction and then blaming tailgaters is not only funny, but the right thing to do.
  4. Foster road rage every chance you get.
  5. Confrontational solutions are good, even if it means more Death and Destruction. Especially if it means more Death and Destruction.
  6. Insult and threaten unpopular groups and get Ching!ed.

If somebody is tailgating, gently apply the brake, gradually slowing down until they pass you. If this doesn't work then pull over and wave them past. Do not try to incite road rage. Do not try to hurt the tailgater. Don't be a troll. Real Life isn't Destruction Derby.


Sorry if I sound like I'm trolling myself, but this stuff pisses me off. If it offends you, ignore it. Always ignore trolls.

How Amoeba Protozoa Gets Rid of a Tailgater

The following method is simple and time-tested, however, the standard disclaimer1 does apply:

  1. Depress the brake-pedal just enough to engage the tail-lights of your vehicle and after a brief moment, release the pressure to create a flash of light. Repeat this three or four times to signal your annoyance.
  2. If the tailgater persists or further decreases the distance between your vehicles, slow your vehicle down gradually by removing pressure from the gas-pedal.
  3. After your vehicle has deccelerated by 10 or more miles per hour, downshift the trasmission; or, if your transmission is an automatic one, make preparations to accelerate.
  4. With your left foot, depress the brake pedal slightly to engage your tail-lights.
  5. Quickly stomp down on the gas-pedal.
  6. As your now ex-tailgater slams on their brakes in panic from your still-engaged tail-lights, turn around and wave goodbye.

1: Amoeba Protozoa is not responsible for injury or damage, including but not limited to, persons, property, animals small and large, the ozone layer, or the space-time continuum; resulting from the proper or improper execution of this or any simular procedure. Results may vary. Void where prohibited. May contain small parts. Adult supervision recommended.

The Motorcyclist's Guide to Getting Rid of Tailgaters

There is a car two feet off my rear tire...

Level One
Flash your tail light. This is easy for me, I have a device installed on the R11S that modulates my tail light high/low for ten seconds before going to solid-on. Any of my other bikes, just tap the rear brake rhythmicly. You'll either get their attention, or send them into convulsions.

Tailgater still there?

Level Two
Swerve in your lane like a drunken fool. Usually I can do this well enough to get my rear to pitch out a bit and howl the tires.

I rarely have to go beyond this step. I do not like doing this in rush-hour traffic because it eats up traction and stability I may need to take evasive action when some slow-witted cager swerves into the 65mph commuter lane at .002 mph without a signal. (Very common in Califorina.)

Tailgater still there?

Level Three
Backfire your pipe! This works on most of my bikes, not on the R11S of course, being fuel-injected. A simply amazing amount of fire comes out of the cans on the Monster. It is simple - killswitch to OFF, roll open the throttle, close the throttle, killswitch to ON, . Very effective at removing tailgaters and bending exhaust valves.

I personally do not do this next step. I recommend you do not do it either, of course not...
But...
I do have a friend who likes to spin around with a pointed-index-finger, thumb raised, and make a recoil motion timed with the exhaust explosion. With a black-gloved hand I would imagine this would cause soiled shorts and cellphones ringing to the CHP. At Your Own Risk Johnny Squid!

Tailgater still there?

Level Four
Try your lucky fishing weight. I carry a few 'lucky' 1 ounce lead fishing weights. They can be purchased at any sporting-goods store for pennies. The type I buy is in the typical pyramid configuration with a small wire loop at the tip. This makes it easy to tie them within close reach on your motorbike. Usually I'll snap one off and drop it for good luck. They tend to bounce back nicely resulting in a loud THUNK that makes the tailgater think my bike is falling apart, or at least wakes them from their slobbering stupor. Don't toss the weight over your shoulder as this shows pretty obvious intent to Do Some Harm and might shatter a windshield.

Tailgater still there?

Level Five
Start The Fireworks. I'm lucky enough to have a couple bikes that have nice center-stands. If the BDC has still not got a clue by this point it is obvious that drastic measures are going to be required to unglue them from exhaust-can-rivet-serial-number-reading distance. With my left boot, I reach back to my center-stand and apply light pressure until it makes firm contact with the road surface. This usually results in an impressive shower of sparks. It also results in an impressive display of braking ability from the BDC as they now think I am About To Explode. -This Always Works-
Disclaimer: I would not recommend you do this if your center-stand is hook-shaped, ie: --) when in contact with the asphalt. This will result in a most-impressive aircraft-carrier-landing stop on your part (or it will simply rip off your center-stand) should you encounter a ridge in the asphalt. Both of which will of course get rid of the tailgater, but not in a motorcyclist-friendly manner!

Tailgater still there?

Level Six
Slow down to a dead stop. I don't like doing this too much because now I'm running slower than the flow of traffic and at the mercy of everything comming at me from six-o-clock. And this only works on multi-lane roads where the idiot in the car can whip around you once they become annoyed with your rate of deceleration. It also opens you up to a vengful cut-off attack once they get by. You have the option of really dropping anchor once they make the pass to try and avoid this. But most likely another unobservant motorist will run gobsmack into the back of you at this point.

On a twisty one-lane road with no run-off this technique does not work at all.


Perhaps a little extreme...
drinkypoo says: A better thing to drop than lead weights would be some of the larger non-essential (IE, you could limp home) nuts and/or bolts which are installed on your bike. If it should go through the windshield it would be nice to have it be something that actually could fall off the bike. Alternately, used spark plugs are something you could conceivably have on your person.

NB: No responsibility can be taken for loss of life or limb :)

Just a word of warning...

All these ideas are great, at least until they get you killed.

A couple of years ago, when driving near Dallas on I-35 when I was approached by a tailgater obviously suffering from road rage. I followed the steps outlined by Amoeba Protozoa above, and ended up in the ditch after my car was run off the road by the SUV-wielding tailgater.

Sometimes staying alive is more important than revenge.

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