Today’s Clover: Slow Down & Tailgate (May 4, 2018)

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Here’s today’s Clover – yesterday’s, actually!

I was driving down the mountain – as we say up in The Woods – when I rolled up behind this Clover, who was “driving” (if you can call it that) 10-15 MPH below the speed limit, swinging wide right and left – like the Clover in the Solara I recorded the other day. Once down the mountain, the Clover picked-up speed to 10 over the limit. And then tailgated the first car it rolled up behind.

Have a look, see for yourself!

. . .

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  1. I’m not convinced every driver who does not meet your standards of skill and daring is a Clover. There are people whose commitment to liberty is as great as yours but they don’t conceive of it primarily in terms of going real fast, and are simply not enthusiastic or expert motorists. A lot of them probably dislike driving, *know* they aren’t good drivers, and wouldn’t drive if they had any other way to get around.

    Most of the people going too slow for you probably don’t even know you’re behind them, unless it’s at night and you’ve got your high beams on. They may be lost and confused, or they may be having mechanical trouble with their vehicle, or they may be ill. I doubt any of them are doing it deliberately to inconvenience you.

    I could tell some stories about multiple hair-raising road rage incidents in which I was the target, and in most cases I never knew why. I imagine someone behind me that I was mostly unaware of didn’t like the way I changed lanes at some point, or thought I was going too slow, or whatever.

    One night I was lost way out in the middle of nowhere and nearly out of gas, and was desperately trying to get my bearings. Somebody got right up on my bumper with his truck’s high beams on, partly blinding me. I kept slowing down, hoping he’d just pass me. Finally I just pulled over on the shoulder of the road. But instead of going on he stopped alongside me and demanded angrily to know what was wrong.

    I told him his high beams had been blinding me. He denied this, saying he hadn’t had his high beams on. I told him that his headlights had been blinding me just the same, and invited him to please go on ahead. He finally did.

    On more than one occasion I had someone — no, not “a long line of cars,” just a single enraged driver — follow me for many miles, in once case all the way to my home, to confront or threaten me. In one case the guy brandished a gun.

    One tried to ram me off the road. I avoided that by slowing suddenly and letting him get ahead of me, knowing it would be next to impossible for him to come back against the flow of multi-lane traffic, then I took the first exit ramp I came to. As he was pulling ahead of me he was looking back through his truck’s back window making obscene gestures and shouting so that I could see the whites of his eyes all around and the spit flying at first. I mean he traveled a considerable distance that way, looking back instead of where he was going.

    One guy followed me for no telling how long. When I had to stop behind a long line of cars at a stoplight, he exited his vehicle somewhere back in the line and walked some distance to try to jerk my (fortunately locked) door open and to yell death threats at me. This one said I had pulled out in front of him at an intersection back there somewhere.

    And there were many other comparable incidents.

    • Hi David,

      I agree with most of what you wrote!

      I don’t fault anyone for driving slower than I drive. Or, faster.

      What I do fault is not using your rearview mirror – this is pretty basic – and when you are driving slower than the speed limit, failing to pull off/to the right in order to let cars stacked up behind you get by. There really is no legitimate excuse for not doing this, is there?

      I sometimes haul stuff in my old truck; when I do – and need to drive slowly (or slower than other traffic) I wave it past, make every effort to be aware of other drivers and not be oblivious and block them with my slow-moving truck.

      That’s all!

      • They weren’t stacked up behind me. I *try* to use my rearview mirrors, but I admit I am usually more focused on what’s happening in front of me. I *tried* to get that one guy with the high beams to go on past me.

    • Whether it’s intent or incompetence doesn’t much matter imo.

      My wife used to hear my stories and think I was just being paranoid… until she saw it for herself.

      I notice that driver’s exhibit a story of “body language” through their vehicles, and being aware of this can allow you to anticipate how they will act, and thus avoid situations altogether.

      I’ve lost count of the times that I’ve pointed out to the wife that someone up ahead was about to cut someone off, or accelerate and block someone from passing. She’s always oblivious to this stuff, and so gets rattled when she witnesses it or it happens to her.

      All the road rage incidents I’ve experienced have been precipitated by someone intentionally trying to impede me, and then failing that, escalating the situation even further.

      • The other night…. Woman in a minivan waddles in front of me, no attempt to accelerate, on the expressway local lanes forcing me to brake. So I go into the lane she vacated and go around her. She accelerates. Hard. I get a round her. Then as I move to the left to enter the express she comes past me and then cuts off the guy in front of the guy in front of me to get into the express lanes. Darts for the left lane and proceeds at over 80mph.

        These people can accelerate when they are motivated. They just intentionally impede others progress for the sake of doing so. All she had to do was accelerate making her lane change in front of me and there would have been no issue.

  2. Wow, Eric, you should see what northwestern lower peninsula of Michigan drivers are like around the Traverse City area. My bro-in-law is a retired semi-truck driver, drove everywhere in the lower 48 except up this way, moved up here and states categorically – these are the worst drivers in the nation. That guy wasn’t tailgating. You could see almost two car lengths between them! Try up here. Sometimes all I see in my rear view mirror is “GMC” or a Ford oval, while I’m being “Grilled” by some sub-moronic imbecile who thinks I’m going too slow because I’m NOT tailgating the guy in front of me. Not to mention the fact that “nobody” (except my wife and I) seem to stop at stop signs here – unless they absolutely have to. Can’t wait to retire and get out of this loony toon area.

    • Stop signs are simply revenue producers. All one needs to do is yield when it’s required….and that means even if you have the ROW.

      There are intersections all over west and north Texas…..and lots other places you can see for miles in every direction. If it’s clear and the road is smooth I don’t even kick off the cruise no matter what I’m hauling. I don’t stop at stop signs when the DOT is right behind me fully lit waiting for me to find a safe place to park. Never had one say a word about it.

      • Even if you DON’T have the ROW. You have to drive defensively when driving hundreds of miles every day.

  3. There are people who handle a tailgater with a handful of marbles. Stuff like this can be lethal at night, especially using brights.

    I have used a spotlight to stop this.

  4. A “pacer” is what that idiot is. All over the place when driving alone, all different speeds, all over the road etc. Doesn’t know what the f**k to do because there is nobody to “copy”. Probably copied others (often wrong) answers on tests in grade school.

    But when with others drivers, they fixate on another driver (often to that drivers annoyance). On a two lane road, it will be the person in front of them most of the time. In this case the driver in front probably doesn’t even see the guy on his ass. If he was, he would probably be brake checking him (dance of the clovers).

    Pacers are extremely bad on four lane rural interstates. Because they will fixate on the driver to his right or left, blocking all others ability to get past. Very common problem on I65 near me. Has made that interstate dangerous in spite of being flat and straight. Lots of “boring interstate sleeping clovers” come up on the conga line and rear end the poor guy stuck at the end

    • Very interesting take on clover psychology! I was already of the opinion that they were too stupid to be as spiteful as they seem, but had trouble pinning down exactly what’s happening there during those erratic-turns-tailgating episodes.

    • I find that many drivers wander and tailgate because they don’t look up the road. They’re basically looking just over the front of their hood. This causes them to constantly have to react as things come at them, because they didn’t see it up ahead of their line of sight.

      Classic case is the guy slamming on his brakes when he finally notices the cop that’s been visible for a quarter mile.


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