Report 1

Tailgating Behavior:  Just Talking Story



 Instructions for this Report
5 Self-Witnessing Reports Is Tailgating Forcing One's Will Moral Implications of Tailgating
Personal Behavior Conclusion Future Generations


 5 Self-Witnessing Reports

Kris Burlem, G7:
Sometimes I speed a little too much and find myself looking for the cops who I think are trying to be incospicuos so that they can stop me and give me a ticket. I must say that I really do think cops do this!

Wilfred Lee, G7
Another one of his unconscious driving habits is tailgating. His tailgating habit is a bit unusual. He only tailgates when he's at a
stop light or when turning. While driving on straight-aways he will not. During turns his car is "riding the bumper of the car" in
front of him. After the turn, the distance between both cars will increase. At stop lights, he stops very close to the car ahead of
him, leaving approximately about a foot between the cars. I call that close.

Marshall Miyoshi, G7
Everything was going smoothly until a car behind him was speeding up and passing cars. I
could tell this because he was looking in his rear view mirror. Everytime he gets this look on his face like their is no way you are
going to get past me. He then started to speed up. We were in the far left lane and the guy merged over to try and pass us. My
client started speeding up and boxed him in with a car on the side of us. The car that was trying to pass us had to slow down
suddenly and merge back into our lane. My client then slowed down so that he and the other car were going at the same speed.
I asked him why he was trying to keep that person from passing him. He then replied that he hates it when people speed and
put others in danger. He tried to justify his action by saying that he is just protecting the other drivers by making the car slow


Moral Implications to Tailgating

    I find that I lean towards the attitude of convenient and no big deal as an option.  I consider tailgating another form of communication. I've heard that drivers in the mainland think along the same line.  They take it upon themselves to teach drivers who are unaware of the lane norms.   The lane norms they speak is the far left lane being the speeding lane, typically going over the speed "limit" by 15-25 mph.  The middle lane is the average speed lane, the speed limit.  The slowest lane would be the far right lane.  When drivers do not comply with these norms, they are educated right on the spot.  One example is when someone slows up the speeding lane, drivers tailgate and honk to let the driver know.  The driver in turn, learns a norm that points him into the slower lanes.  This education of lane norms makes their highway run smoothly at high speeds.  Here in Hawaii, we let the drivers drive any way in any lane.  Drivers choose to pass on the right because of the affective domain that Hawaii drivers have.  If there is any honking or "offensive" communication, drivers take it personally and don't learn from it.  So we don't choose to use these forms of communication which I beleive adds to freeway traffic.  How else can the far left lane come to a complete stop, without people driving slow and then the pile up takes place at on and off-ramps.

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Personal Behavior

    When in the position of tailgating someone, I get upset like anybody else.  I feel that the driver doesn't respect the norms set by the lanes and the rest of the driving society occupying the road.  I think sometimes that I can teach a lesson of lane etiquitte to the driver by tailgating them, like they do in the states.  It's against the law, but how many laws are written that everybody agrees on.  Norms fall outside the written law and I feel have higher priority of the laws that limit them.  Why people don't follow these lane assignment can fall into many excuses.  The biggest hold-up is educating drivers of these norms.  OK, so the far left lane can't exceed the speed law, but minimum speeds can be set or at least thought when getting a driver's license.  The state doesn't teach these norms that may well be a solution to the traffic problem on the freeways and more frequently used roads.  Another reason would be that the person is a passive-aggresive driver.  They feel like as long as they follow the "law" that nobody has the right to get mad at them.  I feel that this attitude is selfish and passive-aggressive people cause the mojority of driving problems and is a major contributor to road rage.
    I don't feel anything but selfish when I find that someone is tailgating me.  Since I don't like it done to me, I don't do it to others.  I drive particularly fast anyway, but once in a while there's someone driving faster.  I usually pull to the right lane and let the person pass.  Then I jump back in the left lane to do my own passing.  I'm amazed at the speed of people that tailgate me and I'm in awe to see the control they have over the vehicle at such speeds.  Everybody has there limits and know them well.  We don't need people enforcing their driving way on us by taking away our personal right to go the speed we want.  We are well informed of the sanctions that are over our heads, so leave that to us and get out of the way.

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    I feel that drivers here need to be educated from adolescence.  When people are chueffered around before gettting a license, they learn the driving norms of the road.  Just by oberserving, they learn which mannerisms is proper for them as shown by their parents.  Changing the mentality of a person when they reach the legal age to drive is too late.  They need to be educated about road norms and driving as a whole.  As for the attitude we have in Hawaii, it needs a make-over also.  We tend to take driving communication to personal and not as a helping hand.  Drivers think they're being criticized and retaliate with inappropriate behaviors which disrupt the flow of traffic.

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Future Generations

    There is still much room for improving this idea than this single report.  If everyone opens their mind to other interpretations of tailgating, then much more can be understood  instead of feeling the same way before reading my report.  To further the depth of this report, interviews or surveys on tailgating behavior can broaden the interpretations of tailgating.

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    My opinion about tailgating was like the next person, tailgating is rude, offensive, and the whole idea that it leads to road rage.  I've learned in class, that tailgating can be viewed as other things.  I personally think now that tailgating is nothing more than a old communication tool on the road.  Growing up in Hawaii, I've taken in the norms that most drivers have about tailgating and how it doesn't mix with our "Aloha spirit".  Our driving style needs major changes and the attitude that Hawaii drivers have is out the door.  Opening your opinion for different interpretations can save you some stress, and even make you a better driver.  If drivers can see tailgating as a tool for communication, road rage due to this may be eliminated and is a step for building safer and better roads.

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