Confessions Of A Left Lane Tailgater

Posted by: on Sep 6, 2019 | No Comments

Confessions Of A Left Lane Tailgater

Let’s get a few of things straight. Item 1 – When you are driving on the highway, the “speed limit” is not really a law…it’s more of a suggestion. If you are driving the “speed limit” at let’s say the posted limit of 65 MPH, chances are you are one of the slowest, if not the slowest, driver on that road. As an example, last weekend I was driving to the golf course anywhere between 10-15 MPH above the speed limit. For the most part, I as driving with the flow of traffic but there were way more people passing me than I was passing. Why? Because the speed limit is not really a law.

Item 2 – There are some people who do drive the speed limit or slightly faster who feel they have the right to drive in the left lane even if they are not passing. These folks are not so affectionately referred to as “left lane dicks,” a topic I have covered before:
I have a simple rule that I follow and I expect others to follow as well – pass on the left, drive on the right. I use this rule on any road that has more than one lane, not just on highways. I may be aggressive but I do try to follow my own rules.

Item 3 – I have a slightly heavy foot and have been know to drive a tad aggressively at times. It is those times when there is a left lane dick in my sights, that my aggression really tends to rear it’s head. I can’t explain it but seeing someone getting passed while they are in “passing lane” just gets my ire up.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s discuss what happens when all 3 of those items mentioned above come to head. When I am driving, there is nothing that bothers me more than left lane dick (LLD). If LLD is going well over the speed limit in the left lane but someone wants to go even faster, LLD should move over. If LLD is consistently being passed by folks on the right, he should move over. If LLD doesn’t move over and I come up behind him, I usually take a 3 step approach to take out my annoyance and aggression.

Step 1 – The Tailgate
This is the tactic used by most drivers when dealing with the LLD. Maybe they flash their brights in advance but if that doesn’t work, they tailgate and wait for LLD to move over. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. I try to keep my tailgating moments to a minimum as I have found that many LLDs are quite stubborn and refuse to move over. If they don’t, we move on to Step 2.

Step 2 – The BerkoStare
Having failed to get LLD to change lanes, it’s time to pass on the right. Instead of speeding by, I sometimes get right next to the car and stare at the driver. Let them see my irritation. The first time one of my friends experienced this moment, it sort of freaked him out a bit. He thought it might lead to some sort of road rage incident. A few daze later, he texted me to let me know that he had used the BerkoStare himself earlier that day. The stare is not meant to get the person to move over, it’s more of a stress release.

Step 3 – The Cutoff
We now move on to an act of naked aggression. LLD has made it clear they are not going to move over and it’s time to take action. At this point I speed up enough to pass the car and quickly veer into the left, making sure I have plenty of room….just in case you are worried. This maneuver is followed by a quick acceleration leaving LLD in the dust.
I’ve noticed a couple of effects this has. First, other people tend to imitate me when I pull this one off. Second, it does a great job of sending a signal to LLD that maybe they should move over because they very often do. No idea why the flashing brights or tailgating don’t do the trick. I guess some folks haven’t quite figured out what the rearview mirror is for.

To all you left lane dicks out there, if you get flashed at, tailgated, stared at and than cut-off, try to take the hint and don’t be a dick. There’s enough of them we already have to deal with when we are not driving.