What does your reaction to the most persistent tail-gaters say about you?
**Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist, car-ologist, or any other certified diagnostic professional. Take advice with a grain of salt.
You glance in that rear-view mirror, and don’t see anyone. That’s because they are up your rear. You resist the temptation to slam on your breaks and let them crush their bumper because you still care about your own bumper—for now, at least.
Twenty minutes later, and they haven’t stopped. They’ve done the clicker, the flashing headlines, and the inching over the yellow line trying to pretend-pass you, or see what’s taking so long. It doesn’t cross their mind that you’re going ten over the speed limit already. Nothing’s good enough.
So what do you do? If none of these types are “you” feel free to add on in the comments section!
#1 The Brake Tapper/Speed Dropper
If you’re first reaction is to mess with that guy that just can’t get by you fast enough, you’re not alone. This is the epitome of road rage. You start tapping your brakes like Morse code, just enough to make them nervous. You are the passive-aggressive type who doesn’t want to sit there and take it, but wants to make it known how annoying that bumper rider is being. You are the mischievous type, ready to start something, but with just one toe in the water. However, some of you go all out, dropping up to twenty miles per hour to make your point known. Beware that while, yes, YOU ARE RIGHT, your reaction may equal some major consequences.
#2 The Distracted Worrier
The worrier’s entire drive is ruined by the tail-gater. Not just a little bit. They are biting their nails, glancing excessively in the mirrors, checking out the person in the car. Male or female? Are they going to get out and do something at this next red light? How slow am I going? Am I wrong? This attitude demonstrates both an insecurity and lack of self-confidence as a driver, as well as a general concern for others. You are compassionate enough to see that, while that person might be riding you like crazy, maybe they have a good reason.
You turn to your passenger seat and say, “It’s okay. Maybe their mother is in the hospital dying. Maybe their wife is in labor.”
Right. Justify away.
#3 The Pushover
The pushover is that one that pulls over. You’re not going to deal with it, you’re just going to get out of the way. You can be seen in two ways: as a big ole’ wussy or a mature problem avoider. You just defused the situation with a quick jerk off the road, eliminating your stress and theirs. But you also gave in. The pushover is the opposite of territorial—they are never one to feel entitled on the road, or that others should concede to them. We are lucky to have these types in the world because when your wife is in fact in labor, they are your saving grace. Just don’t get out of the way too often; your passengers might start to question your ability to stay between the lines.
#4 The Ignorer
The Ignorer is a rare anomaly that is hard to come by. Your zen-mastery puts you in an elite few who can focus in on the zone, and away from tailgater, regardless of their persistence. You are what we all strive to be. You just don’t care, you don’t even acknowledge their existence. Your speed does. Not. Change. For anyone. The ignorer’s reaction shows extreme maturity, self-restraint, and a glass-half-full outlook on life. Nobody can ruin your day. Unless that eager bumper brushes yours. Then it’s on!