As I continue to recover from my hip surgery, I'm recycling some of my older posts over the past couple three years. This story was originally posted on November 25, 2005 and illustrates one of my all-time pet peeves while traveling - tailgaters. Well, that and idiots who don't know how to use their cruise control when traveling on the interstate. They pass you, they slow down. You pass them, they speed up. A cruise control is a very helpful tool - not only does it help you with gas economy, it takes the guess work of how much pressure you have to apply at any given point to the accelerator when you're driving on the open stretches of interstate highways.
This past weekend, Cindy and I drove to Iowa City for a Mother's Day gathering with the kids at a restaurant in Iowa City. This was the first trip I'd taken that was more than a 10 mile radius from our home in over two months. Actually, *I* was having problems figuring out how to activate the cruise control on my car - it had been that long since I'd last used it.
But it had become apparent that there were still people who didn't know how to engage their cruise control. (Yeah, I'm talking about you, buddy - the idiot from Nebraska in the red Malibu who wouldn't get over and would go from 65 mph to 73 mph and back down to 63 mph while a long line of cars were behind him trying to get around some semi's.)
And there are still a disproportionately high number of women tailgaters, including the little bitch in the brown Honda Accord who rode my ass at 75 mph for no apparent reason other than we happened to be going the same speed for four or five miles before I finally backed off to 72 so she would pass me. Then as she started to go around, she slowed to the SAME SPEED as ME!!! Jesus!!!
This is my original post on tailgaters and those who don't know how to use a cruise control. And, unfortunately, over three years later, it's just as bad.
I'm not talking about the type of tailgaters who go to Iowa football games and party before and after the game. I'm talking about an aggravating sector of the population that gets on your bumper - at any speed - and just hangs there.
And my scientific experiments have found that in about 95% of the cases of tailgaters, they are - horrors! WOMEN!!
Women are the worst tailgaters on the road. I have no idea what is in the head of some of these ladies who come up behind me on the interstate - I'm going 72 miles per hour, they're going faster - then they get up behind me about a car length and instead of passing me, they just sit there on my bumper for the next five miles!
Cindy was a horrible tailgater when I first started dating her. I'd be riding with her and she'd be on the ass end of the car in front of her and I'd say, "Cindy, back off! You're gonna smack this guy if he has to hit the brakes!"
So, a few days later, Cindy calls me up at home during her lunch hour. She's in tears. She said, "Oh, God! I just ran into the back of a guy on my way home for lunch! And you told me it was going to happen!"
She doesn't tailgate any longer...
And women - here's another tip when you drive on the interstate - it's called a Cruise Control. Learn how it works and use it. I can not tell you all how many times I get passed by a woman, she pulls in the lane in front of me and immediately slows down. I have to hit my brakes or go back out into the other lane and pass them. The next thing I know, they're coming back up behind me, they pass and then settle into the lane ahead of me - AND SLOW DOWN!!! And, once again, I have to pass them and it starts over again.
OR - I'm in the right hand lane going 72 mph. A car comes up behind me going faster. They pull into the left hand lane to pass - and then they just sit there going the same speed as me! And, invariably, I get behind a semi or a slower car and I have to slow down and wait for the car on my left to get around me. Just keep going the same frigging speed! If you're going to be coming up behind me at 77 miles an hour, then pass me at 77 miles an hour.
And it's nearly ALWAYS a woman, and hardly ever a man, who does this. Cruise controls are the greatest invention for cars. Nearly every car that comes out of auto makers these days has cruise control. I think women should be asked every time they apply for a driver's license if they know how a use a cruise control.
Here's an addendum to the original post - The one thing that worries me more and more is that a lot of these drivers must be fans of NASCAR. They see the drivers on each other's bumpers at speeds of up to 190 miles an hour and they think that it must be fine to do the same thing at 75. While we're talking about professionals who are driving cars that could withstand a high speed crash allowing the driver to walk away with just a bad headache, unfortunately the consumer car industry hasn't been able to come up with an economical design that would allow the common driver to do just that.
While I know this blog isn't being read by everyone who drives regularly in the United States, I still have two pieces of advise - back off and learn how to use the cruise control!