Fool Me Once, Shame on You, Fool Me Twice... Watch Me Crash

A research conducted on British motorists (that's drivers for you and me) that sought to find out which behaviors they found to be the most annoying in other traffic partners revealed that, by a fair margin, everybody hates a tailgater the most.
Tailgater crashes after brake check 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
What is it about tailgaters that gets us so badly? After all, they're the ones endangering themselves and, should anything bad happen, it's going to be their fault anyway, so why should we care so much?

I believe it's not the action itself, but what we think it means. Well, maybe not what it means - we all know what that is: "get the hell out of my way, I want to pass" - but the way it is expressed. The car riding just behind us is the equivalent of one dog humping the other.

We feel like somebody is trying to dominate us, and we don't like it. Reacting aggressively to this maneuver is not something we can control, it's a primordial instinct. Yup, whenever you brake-check somebody, it's the animal inside that's doing it.

And what they're doing is indeed rude. If I'm in the left lane, I'm there for a purpose. And even if I'm not, just be patient and count on me checking the mirror and seeing that instead of the clear road I could see just a moment ago, there is now a car behind me. Trust my mental capacity of processing this very simple situation and reacting accordingly by moving over to the right. You sipping my exhaust fumes with your radiator grille is only going to aggravate me, and nothing good will come out of that.

Still, brake checking is stupid. It's less stupid if you just touch the pedal so that the lamps light up, but it's still stupid. Actually braking for no reason just to make the car behind back off is almost just as bad as tailgating in the first place. However, this clip below shows what can happen when the tailgater (a Subaru Legacy GT) is very resilient, and the brake checker (the Honda Pilot SUV) has no consideration for other people's safety. Just watch and don't do this at home. Well, you know what I mean.

(Action starts just after 0:40).

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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