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Tailgated by a truck


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Today I was driving from Melbourne to Edenhope , driving at the speed limit of 100 km/hr.


Then a big truck came up behind to within 2 m of my tail. So I got angry and slowly slowed down. The truck got angry too and put on his high-beams from 2m away. But he didn't rear-end me as we both slowed down.


At 80 km/hr I increased speed back to 100 and this time the truck stayed 30m back.


My wife got angry with me for doing this to the truck and said I could have made him lose his self-control and kill us both.


Who was right here?



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Your wife!!!!!!!!!


Surely you have been married long enough to know that:wink:


But on a serious note it would appear to me that we could find fault with both you and the trucky. Obviously, looking at it from a truckies perspective, there is nothing more annoying than catching someone in a speed limited truck who is going just under the limit. That is where it gets shady because you said you were doing 100 which you no doubt were but that is indicated speed and most vehicles that I have used overstate the speed by a couple of Ks and as far as I can tell limited trucks can sit anywhere from 100-105 and obviously a couple of Ks over a long distance can make a big (mental at least) difference. Now overtaking someone who is going a couple of Ks slower than you when you can't speed up anymore can be mega frustrating and requires a long straight with no one coming to even attempt it and obviously the further back you are the less likely it is that you will make it around. Having said all of that tailgating is annoying and dangerous so we can still find fault with the truckie.


Likewise with yourself sitting on 100 minding your own business you were well and truly within your rights. But is slowing down aggressively the right thing to do when tailgated by someone? (truck or not really) I would say no. I think the most responsible thing to do if concerned is to indicate to the left and slowly pull over to let them pass, at the end of the day it is your life on the line and what is the point of riling someone else up and if they are in that much of a hurry let them past and forget about them.


Having said that I am human and for me if I am in a hurry I get annoyed by anyone going slower and if I am in no hurry and have all the time in the world people going fast annoy me.........spacer.png The extent that i become self righteous and hypocritical in regards to my driving never ceases to amaze me and no doubt we all get that way:wink:


Anyway Bruce please don't take offence with anything that I have said, it is late and I am in a rambly mood:dizzy:



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I'm with you Bruce and would have done exactly that ( maybe not back to 80 though haha! ), plus I would have removed that section from my on board vid recorder then send it to the authorities. It shows there's still "cowboys " in trucks and you have met one of them. The transport industry is heavily regulated now and that attitude needs to stop. Long gone are the days of tight schedules and gaining every minute possible from trucks doing 120-130 plus, now days drivers AND companies are heavily penalized. The gain from the extra 1 or 2 kph may save 5 - 10 mins a leg ---- is dangerous driving worth that ?


and I rate tailgating as the most dangerous, also most drivers are paid hourly now so get there as quick as you can boys! There's still a few peanuts in trucks that think they are Mad Max and don't accept that a truck is a tool of their profession.


Yes 100 kph on a highway amoungst trucks is a grey area so when I'm in a small vehicle I usually sit on about 95, that gives them the bit needed to pass, still a few get pissed off though.


How do I know this?





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There are a few factors at play here. Is your speedo correct, some of our work cars are out by up to 6kmh from new against a gps. Why would you not pull over to the left and let him pass as he was obviously traveling faster than you when you saw him coming up behind you? I have been driving MC's for the last 30 years and I still find it most frustrating just getting up to speed and have someone in front doing a couple of k's less. There is a little thing called common courtesy that is not so common these days, if I look in the mirror and see a couple of cars close behind me I will pull over to the left when safe and let them through it is no big deal and keeps everyone happy, some people think because they pay rego they own the road.


Not trying to be offensive here just an observation from a few years on the road



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Thanks guys, especially you truckies. I hoped to get your point of view and I've learned some things.


Just to clear a few details, it was on the Wimmera highway and there was not a place to pull over. As soon as there was such a place, I let him pass and that is how the matter ended.


The speed limit on that road is 100km, but the point about how my speedo over-reads by 1 or 2 is valid.


It is possible the driver was on drugs, but from his point of view I could have been a cop.


I really should keep my temper under more control, but the whole thing did enliven the trip.



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Herein lies the problem of our roads being both commercial and recreational infrastructure. Wife and husband in car is usually recreational. Truck is going to be commercial, with the driver under financial pressures of all sorts. The recreational driver should keep that in mind and assist the commercial driver by letting him get on with his work.


Surely the highway had shoulders that one could pull off onto? The courteous thing to do would have been to:


1. Signal your intention to pull off the road


2. Carefully move to the left while slowing to a substantially slower speed (say 60)


3. Maintain the slow speed onto as much as the shoulder as possible, and allow the truck to pass.


As long as you could do this while maintaining control of your car, everyone is a winner, especially you who escapes from being harangued by the Minister for War.


On multi-laned roads, I absolutely hate drivers who sit in the 2nd or 3rd lane and travel below the posted speed limit. The first rule of the road is "Keep left.", and there are always signs saying "Keep left unless overtaking". Yet how often do you see Learners, P-Platers and trucks pottering along in the 2nd and 3rd lanes well below the posted speed limits? I find that the lane that travels fastest on freeways and even in the suburbs is the left lane. No-one wants to be there.


My next rant will be old farts in BT-500's and the like who can't seem to travel faster than 50 kph on any road! spacer.png





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  • 2 weeks later...

All speedos under-read, as they are meant to. Using GPS I like to cruise at 102 kph which is 107kph on many car speedos, so I am always coming up behind people. It only bothers me on a dual road when two sit side by side for miles and don't have the courtesy to adjust their speeds so one can pull into the left lane. Usually such people will ignore flashed headlights and even tailgating because they know that God is on their side.



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All speedos under-read, as they are meant to.

I know it' a "design feature", but it drives me crazy!


To pay top dollar for a vehicle only to find it has a defective instrument installed by intent, is a crime in my book.


Driving from Melbourne to the Kimberley in a brand new Patrol, I was not impressed to find that after 10 hours, I was was still way short of my calculated overnight stop. The next leg saw the trusty GPS dusted off and turned on and cruise control set accordingly. I had done the same trip many times before (too many times ...) and had always been able to reach my stopover before dark and at the calculated time.


Instruments should be accurate. Imagine paying for a litre of diesel and receiving 900 ml. Not good enough.



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It's an outcome of the law. If the speedo under-reads, then you can exceed the limit and it is the fault of the vehicle.


So they are set up to over-read. My current Falcon is pretty good and over-reads by 1 to 2 km/hr. (I did forget about this when the truck was tailgating.)


Just one of the many ways the legal system makes us do crazy things.


In the US, the inheritors of an amateur-built plane were advised to destroy it and not sell it for legal liability reasons.



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