REPORT 1

TAILGATING BEHAVIOR:  FAIR OR UNFAIR?

A REVIEW OF PAST GENERATIONS THOUGHTS

by Angelica Gilmer

                                                                                 

Instructions  Terrence Nakamatsu Kathy Teruya Michael Silva Rudy Dolfo
Kendall Matsuyoshi My Views on Tailgating In Conclusion Suggestions For Future Generations Epilogue

Review of Past Generations Views on Tailgating

Terrence Nakamatsu 
                                                                                                                                                       Terrence seems to take tailgating on as a personal issue. The tailgater is invading the personal space of the tailgetee. And when that personal space is invaded we become defensive and or aggressive. Like most people, Terrence also feels that tailgating is neither fair or ethical. He sees tailgating as the society's way of forcing our wishes onto others. He thinks of tailgating as a form of road rage, which I do agree with. Whenever you're driving aggressively with the intention of forcing other drivers into driving the way that you'd like them to is a form a road rage and it is very dangerous. Terrence also believes that tailgating is never justifiable, no matter what the circumstances.

Kathy Teruya                                                                                                                                          

If a tailgater succeeds in getting away with their behavior it reinforces their actions to continue to do it. For example, if a tailgater follows a car that is driving too slow and the slow vehicle moves out of the way, it reinforces the tailgater's behavior because he got his way by tailgating. Kathy does not believe that being a tailgater is fair, morally right, or can be justifiable in any way. In her report she recalls an incident when she was being tailgated. One day, she was driving in traffic, and was trying to merge onto the freeway, but the traffic was moving slowly with cars trying to get onto the freeway and cars trying to get off the freeway. She was trying to merge into the lane, but there was not much space between cars. Therefore, when traffic came to a halt, there wasn't much space to react. Although she stopped in time and had enough space in front of her to not hit the other car, the cars behind her did not have enough space to make a complete stop, therefore, causing a four car accident. In spite of this, Kathy admits to having tailgated on couple occasions and she is not proud of her actions. Obviously tailgating can have dire consequences. One suggestion that she made that I thought was perfect was keeping a stress ball in your car. This way when you're feeling stressed you can squeeze this ball instead of the car in front of you.

Michael Silva                                                                                                                                     

Michael believes that tailgating is neither fair nor ethical. In his opinion, tailgating is shows that we feel as motorists it is our privilege to force our wishes onto others. Ever changing moods and differing driving techniques clash when motorists feel they will control the actions of another by tailgating causing confusion,
aggravation and panic. We all must work to make our roads a safer place to share. Of all the reports I've read about tailgating so far, I think Michael's view has the most psychological perspective on it. Which was one of the main reasons I chose his. He compares tailgating to drunk driving. Saying that in both cases the drivers are disregarding the safety of themselves as well as other drivers on the road.  Michael also believes that tailgating is not justifiable. No matter what the situation, people don't have the right to pressure others into doing something they're not comfortable with. Especially if it can compromise their safety. As for the moral and ethical perspective, he feels basically the same. He feels that it is ethically and morally wrong. Nobody likes to be tailgated and it is a dangerous thing to do.

Rudy Dolfo 
                                                                                                                                                          Rudy clearly expresses his utmost disgust with tailgaters. "The tailgater is the person that can bring out my wildest aggression," says Rudy. He explains that he is usually an easy going guy but on one occasion, while driving through Kaneohe, he was tailed by an impatient driver. He explains that he was merely cruising down the highway when a truck pulled up behind him and he tried to blow it off saying that this person probably has to turn off somewhere. However; the truck stayed close behind, even though Rudy was driving the speed limit, and started to honk his horn. Rudy pulled to the side, let the driver pass, and chased the truck attempting to give him the same treatment. Luckily, Rudy's van was not fast enough to keep up with the vehicle. The driver of the truck tailing Rudy was obviously imposing his wish to travel at a higher rate of speed than Rudy was willing to go. I have never had the experience of someone honking their horn while tailgating me but I imagine that it would be frightening and intimidating. Rudy took a big risk by trying to chase down the driver of the truck, in fact, I'd say it was a real stupid move on his part. In spite of Rudy attempting to imitate the behavior of this tailgater he feels that it is neither fair nor ethical and can never be justified.

Kendall Matsuyoshi                                                                                                                               

In Kendall's weekly report he discusses his tendencies to tailgate people who travel in the fast lane at the speed limit or less. Although he knew the act was wrong Kendall felt that if a motorist was traveling in the left lane they had better be moving fast. He expresses his frustration with slow drivers in the left lane who brake when they see a fast car approaching in the rear view mirror. Kendall's message to these drivers is
"DON'T STEP ON YOUR BRAKES!!!! GET OVER IN THE NEXT LANE SO THAT THE CAR CAN PAST!!!!" Something I found funny was that once Kendall bought a new car he had a new perspective on tailgating. He now seems more aware of drivers who tailgate his new car and also travels in the slow lane more often. Kendall's frustration is now with driver's who tailgate him in the slow lane. He
claims it is especially aggravating because sometimes the other lanes on the freeway are wide open. "Maybe it's a taste of my own medicine," says Kendall. I believe Kendall's actions of tailgating are definitely an example of forcing one's will over another driver. His strong statement in all CAPS is proof of that notion. Not only is it a force of one's will onto another, it is a very hazardous act that may prove to be deadly. There is surely not enough time for a motorist to brake a safe distance away from a car he or she is tailing at speeds in excess of 55 or more. However; I would be lying if I said that I had never felt or done the same. I think we all at times get irritated by a motorist who insists on doing 45 in a 55 zone, the key is to remain
calm.

My Views on Tailgating                                                                                                           

Like most of the other students in previous generations wrote I cannot stand being tailgated. It makes me anxious, nervous, angry, and afraid. In March of 1996 I bought a brand new Honda Civic that I was so proud of. About two weeks later I was driving on the North Shore and had to make a sudden stop for a kid who dashed across the street. Well, the car behind me was tailgating me and slammed right into the back of my car pushing me forward into the car in front of me. I was so angry! 

I think tailgating is rude, unfair, and never, ever, justifiable. The main reason for this is because of how dangerous tailgating can be. By tailgating someone you are putting added stress and pressure on that driver that could cause him or her to pay less attention to the road or make bad choices trying to please you. There is absolutely no reason to follow someone so closely that you could cause an accident
and injury to yourself as well as innocent motorists.

I'm not going to make myself out to be a saint. I have tailgated before but I can honestly say that as soon as I notice what I'm doing, I back off. There are times while driving that I don't realize how closely I'm following the car ahead of me.  When I do notice it I back off because I know what it feels like and don't want to make that other driver nervous or angry. Another thing people need to remember is that there are a lot of drivers out there with road rage. I've heard stories about people who will chase down the tailgater and end up getting into a physical altercation of some kind. I mean, is it really worth it? Absolutely not!

In Conclusion 
                                                                                                                                                    Tailgating is a problem that will be around for a long time. One reason I am saying this is because from all the reports that I've read almost everyone admitted to tailgating. I'd even say that at least 90% of the students said it was wrong, unfair, unethical, and yet still admitted to having tailgated before. I think most people don't even realize what they are doing unless someone points it out or an accident is caused. People are in such a rush nowadays. Everyone seems to be running on some sort of tight schedule and wants to get there quick. Nothing will make you later than getting into an accident. 

I feel education on safe driving is needed. Many of us who are victims of tailgating do not understand why they are being tailgated. Maybe we cut them off too close without knowing or maybe we are driving too slow. Never the less, I think that we must learn how to control our anger and learn to be a little more
forgiving while on the road, there is so much at risk.

Suggestions For Future Generations                                                                                  

I think one way to improve these tailgating reports is for students to do more self studies. When you're on the road be more conscious of what's going on around you and make mental notes. That way, you can come back to the class with some actual research which I think would spice up the report and make it more
interesting. And remember...Drive with Aloha!

Epilogue                                                                                                                                                 

I have definitely become more aware of my driving behaviors as well as those of others. I used to get mad at how things were and how people act while driving.  After learning about myself, I soon learned that most of these problems and frustrations are created within ourselves. Only we can control how we feel and how
we react. The problems in our life will only be solved when we learn how to control our feelings. If everyone could control their feelings, then no one will get angry, and road rage and tailgating would end. I also recommend that you visit all of Dr. Leon James's Links and if you have the chance, enroll in one of his courses.   

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