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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was fortunate enough today for the weather to be nice, so I drove my GT to work, which some months is a frequent event. I am always slightly above posted speed limits (typically 2 to 5 mph), and the route is generally very heavily patrolled. What is it with this car that draws people to tailgate? In my commuter car, it is very infrequent that some one gets close enough to bother me. In the GT, it is all the time! Today, I had someone in a GMC Terrain stay close enough to where I could not see their front plate for a few miles at 60 MPH. I happen to own the Chevy equivalent, so I checked when I got home. 15 feet away is when the license plate can not be seen. That is .17 seconds behind me if I did the calculation correct. It is common for me to be worried about not seeing the bottom of their tires...this was close to being terrifying. WTF!!
 

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1970 Opel Gt - Purchased July 1972 - Chartreuse - restored - 3000 miles as of 02-16, 2021 -
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I have found that on many occasions that people tend to figure out that I am maintaining a certain distance from the car ahead of me and I watch them and 75% of the time they back off to a reasonable distance. I will say there is also a certain segment of the population that is just not aware of how close they are to you and how dangerous it can be, this is the group that fall into the, not so smart, category - the rest are a-holes because they know that it is not only dangerous and rude to tail gate and they should not be that close and just don't care. I call them as.... sniffers. But I have been around long enough to know that you cannot train anyone else, so I do the best I can and watch my distance because I don't want that a-hole pushing me into and underneath the car in front of me in the event things should go wrong.
 

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When people do that to me (while in an older car or on a motorcycle for example), I usually just change lanes and slow down to let them by. Some people are definitely A-holes, some are simply oblivious and others are just trying to get a closer look without thinking of the consequences of their actions.
 

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Opeler
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If I ever come upon a cute/beautiful little classic car, I always like to hang for a bit to take it in. They are so rare to see these days and so fun to watch as they motor down the road. Maybe this is at least a factor!
 

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Pedal Smasher
1973 Opel GT
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I can't speak yet on experiences from driving my GT, so I don't know if they attract people to drive too close. I know where I live, there are tons of bad drivers. I normally try to deal with people following too closely. Changing lanes is a good way to avoid a problem but if I can't do that, I'll give them a brake warning. I don't actually slow the vehicle down. I will keep my right foot on the gas pedal and with my left foot, just barely push on the brake pedal. The goal is to light up the tail lights and make the person think I'm slowing down. Can proceed to slowly decreasing speed too. Sometimes they get the message and at least this way, it's done safely.

There was a time, back when I owned my Mustang, that the message didn't work and it was rush hour traffic at 50 MPH. Motorcyclist was like 10 feet off my bumper. I knew it was only a matter of time before an accident happened. Traffic was too dense to change lanes and trying to warn the jerk very quickly turned into having to slam on my brakes like everyone else. I knew the moment there was congestion and people hitting their brakes, this jerk was going to hit me. Dude slams into the rear of my Mustang, smacks his head (with no helmet) on the C pillar / rear window and then hits the asphalt. His body had to be going at least 35 MPH when he hit my Mustang and then the payment. With no helmet, I knew that would likely be fatal. I put my hazards on and got out of my Mustang calling 911. I knew not to move the guy on my own, I'm not a medically trained person and this jerk would have injuries. Lucky for him, there wound up being 2 nurses in traffic right behind us and it's their efforts that kept him viable until the EMT's showed up and eventually he was revived as they were loading him into the ambulance.
Turns out he had a head injury (which I did notice) and a neck injury (which I was worried would be there), and a cardiac arrest happened when his body slammed into hard objects at 35-40 MPH (he did try to brake). If those nurses weren't there, he'd be dead and I wouldn't have tried to do anything to save him. I won't risk emergency aide on a stranger, just to have them or a family member sue me because I'm not medically trained. It sounds heartless but it's the reality these days in America. Trying to save a stranger's life often winds up backfiring on the good Samaritan. All stories are better with at least one photo, so here is how both vehicles came to rest. I wasn't entirely stopped yet at the time of impact, and this is roughly how close the guy was tail gating at 50 MPH. You can't see it in this photo, but a 3 lane road that does reach a posted speed limit of 60 MPH and sometimes the flow of traffic reaches 70 MPH, was reduced to a single lane. During evening rush hour traffic. People were pissed off, the delays turned 30 minute commutes home into like 2 hours.
Tire Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Motor vehicle

When I do pay attention to the cars around me and focus on defensive driving, I've avoided accidents because of it. With my GT when it's done, I'll be a bit paranoid about it. I'll even take a detour if I need to, to keep the car safe.
 

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I hate tailgaters. It doesn’t matter what car I’m driving they seem to be convinced that it’s important to get where they’re going before everyone else and it seems equally important to drive up everyone’s tailpipe habitually. I drive 72-74 mph & try to keep to the right & use the 10’ per 10 mph rule for the car in front of me. That usually drives’em nuts enough to go around me so they can annoy the next guy. In my GT there’s nothing worse than the headlights from a tailgater I don’t like flipping the mirror because it dims everything else too much but sometimes I have to. I’ve learned never to drive the GT during rush hour. That’s when they’re all out. I couldn’t agree more on the dangers, it’s not a situation where you can rest easy.

Worth mentioning my speedometer is 10% faster than I’m actually going, so I’m between 80-83 Hwy on the Speedo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
All in all, I am hopeful that this one was just a random extra special type of A**hole, as it is another nice day in my neighborhood, so the GT will be on that road again today. Thanks for sharing your stories and techniques to try to avoid these situations.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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In my experience, tailgating is frequently caused by trying to read the microscopic difficult to read elongated O-P-E-L letters on the back of the car. I can't tell you how many times I have observed a car 2 feet off my bumper and both front seat people leaning towards the windshield with their eyes squinted and their lips mouthing O.....P......E.....L. I purposely removed the OPEL letters from the back of my car for exactly this reason and I have to say that it appears to have worked. A dramatic reduction, bordering on zero incidents, of people riding my bumper. Instead, they now hover in the lane next to me to read what the car is. To further assist them, I installed large O-P-E-L badges on my front fenders and 9 out of 10 of the people who hover in the lane next to me stare at those badges and I can see the person in the passenger seat saying OPEL to the driver. I can't think of any cars that have the manufacturer's letters as small as they are on a GT. The blitz symbol just looks like the Nissan symbol to most people. I'll still get someone driving next to me at 80mph and rolling down the window to ask me what kind of car is that. I figure those folks need glasses if they can't read the huge Opel letters on my fenders.

No letters on the back......

436272



BIG letters on the fenders


436273
 

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Your Noble Friend ;-)
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Sometimes I think people don’t realize that an Opel isn’t a regular size car, so they get closer til it takes up as much of their windshield as they’re used to. Also some people are a-holes :)
Our Opels are tiny small creatures that are easily being absorbed in the tire treads of today's regular pickups. My Calibra is a bunch larger than an Opel GT, but look like it looks between these two cars?!?

Dieter

436274
 

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I won't risk emergency aide on a stranger, just to have them or a family member sue me because I'm not medically trained. It sounds heartless but it's the reality these days in America. Trying to save a stranger's life often winds up backfiring on the good Samaritan.
I couldn't agree with you more. especially in Florida (the lawsuit state) our laws and government have made it to where almost any action on your part no matter how good your intensions are or aren't may and usually will end up in a law suit. It is very disheartening to think that you may be faced with having to watch one of our brothers or sisters die in front of you for fear of losing everything you've ever worked for when you could have or may have potentially saved there life. I would encourage one to save mine if they thought there was a chance.
 
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All 50 states have Good Samaritan laws of one sort or another. Unfortunately they are not all the same in the protections they afford and lawyers will always find a way to screw people with good intent.
 

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Pedal Smasher
1973 Opel GT
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When it comes to emergency aide, you’re on your own legally if you aren’t medically trained for it. While trying to help the person, you could injure them further. With my previous post, the guy was face down on the payment and he needed CPR. That means rolling him over and I could already see a head injury. Chances are he had a neck injury, which I wound up being right about. Rolling him over could result in a worse neck injury. So, I wasn’t going to do anything. The first person that ran up was a nurse and she took charge. She dealt with his head and needed me to rotate his hips. Besides checking for a pulse, that’s all I did and only because someone claimed to be a nurse. If she wasn’t and something worse happened, she would be liable for impersonating a nurse and getting someone killed. The cops arrived quickly too, surprisingly. Once the cops arrived, I focused on taking photos and covering my own ass. I’m sure it all sounds very heartless, but I’m often very logical in extreme circumstances and can analyze if I should get involved. It wasn’t the first time I’ve been in a near-fatal situation.
 

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That’s the problem with these laws. They protect you against civil prosecution but a smarmy lawyer could file anyway, and might argue it’s criminal and not civil. Either way you’d have to hire a defense lawyer. Me, I’d help someone in need so I could live with myself. If a lawyer filed suit there is always Sweden.
 

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I usually just change lanes and slow down to let them by. Some people are definitely A-holes
I seem to have the opposite reaction and watch them disappear in my rear-view mirror 🚀
 

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I’d help someone in need so I could live with myself
As the old saying goes it's hard to squeezy (something) out of a turnip. So go ahead and sue and while your waiting for something that will never come maybe you'll have time to reflect on why you're still alive!!
 
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