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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2007
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    Default PSA: Please Drive Using Safe Following Distance

    I heard on a radio news while out this morning that a tractor trailer rear-ended a minivan after said minivan hit a deer. 7 dead at the scene from minivan.

    Okay, it was not a horse trailer, but the point is, while practically nobody uses safe following distance rules anymore, the bigger your vehicle, the more potential damage it inflicts. Tractor trailers terrify me on the interstate, not because they are the only ones doing it but because they are the biggest. Bigger/heavier = more safe distance required. And as horse people, we're often out there with horse trailers, heavy loads, etc.

    PLEASE be the one driver out there practicing safe following distance, hopefully at all times but especially if you have a rig and horses behind you. Ask yourself, if something suddenly happened to the car in front right now, would I have time to safely maneuver or stop and avoid slamming them?

    And I know all about others doing things to us. I'd love to give this message to every person driving, because I know how idiotic other drivers can be around our trailers. I'd also love to see cops start cracking down on tailgating as well as speeding. There is NO circumstance when it is safe for one vehicle, much less a rig, to be within a car length of another at over 70 mph. But be responsible for your own driving, at least. Back off, and if somebody fills in your safe distance, just back off again. Your potential two minutes of faster arrival isn't worth one person's life.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2004
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    Vermont
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    Default

    I get so aggrivated driving to/from work; people tailgait SO bad! I'm thinking "gee do they wonder why the car in front of ME is so far in front and yet YOU are right up my ass???". No, they are obviously clueless.

    I always leave lots of space in between my truck/trailer and the car in front of me. People are always pulling out into my safe distance!!
    Last edited by vtdobes; Oct. 28, 2011 at 01:52 PM. Reason: added text



  3. #3
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    Aug. 3, 2006
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    USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dressagetraks View Post
    I heard on a radio news while out this morning that a tractor trailer rear-ended a minivan after said minivan hit a deer. 7 dead at the scene from minivan.
    Heard this on the radio too. Where did it occur?

    ETA: read a couple reports, Indiana.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2007
    Location
    Tampa Fl.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vtdobes View Post

    I always leave lots of space in between my truck/trailer and the car in front of me. People are always pulling out into my safe distance!!

    I Know! I call it my safety bubble, the 3 car length distance between me and the car/truck/van in front of me. When someone moves into my bubble I back off and I swear, sometimes I think I am going backwards more than I am going forward.

    I actually watch the car in front of the one in front of me. that way I cannot be surprised by anything.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 18, 2011
    Location
    Southern Appalachia
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    265

    Default

    I hope this is a wake up call for truck drivers and that they start to drive more safely!

    At least once a month I drive 4 hours to my father's and I run into the worst drivers EVER.

    My biggest complaint is that when I am traveling in the fast lane, with a SAFE distance between me and the car in front of me, that a car comes right up on my hind end, passes me on the right lane, and cuts in the space between me and the car that was in front of me, making me slam on my breaks. This happens ALL the time. I would say at least 5-8 times in this 4 hour drive. I guess that these cars behind me are unhappy that I am not traveling on the car's arse in front of me like they are me. *sigh* It doesn't get them to point B any faster???

    Or -- perhaps on a busy main road with traffic lights after each other, it seems like people LOVE to zoom way too fast JUST so they can be stopped at the next traffic light faster

    Seriously -- when you are going 70 MPH or above, there should be about 4-5 car lengths between you and the person in front of you.

    I also cannot count how many times a tractor-trailer has dangerously cut in front of me. Not good at all

    They wonder why there is an accident epidemic in this country compared to Europe!
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body / love what it loves
    "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2006
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    USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Swishy-Tails View Post
    I hope this is a wake up call for truck drivers and that they start to drive more safely!

    At least once a month I drive 4 hours to my father's and I run into the worst drivers EVER.

    My biggest complaint is that when I am traveling in the fast lane, with a SAFE distance between me and the car in front of me, that a car comes right up on my hind end, passes me on the right lane, and cuts in the space between me and the car that was in front of me, making me slam on my breaks. This happens ALL the time. I would say at least 5-8 times in this 4 hour drive. I guess that these cars behind me are unhappy that I am not traveling on the car's arse in front of me like they are me. *sigh* It doesn't get them to point B any faster???

    Or -- perhaps on a busy main road with traffic lights after each other, it seems like people LOVE to zoom way too fast JUST so they can be stopped at the next traffic light faster

    Seriously -- when you are going 70 MPH or above, there should be about 4-5 car lengths between you and the person in front of you.

    I also cannot count how many times a tractor-trailer has dangerously cut in front of me. Not good at all

    They wonder why there is an accident epidemic in this country compared to Europe!
    As I understand it, the death/accident rate is much higher in countries like Italy than it is here.

    Also, not defending US drivers AT ALL but omg, I would rather deal w/ a bad driver here in the States than in Saudi or Bahrain or Italy. At least most drivers here-while tailgating-recognize the exact number of lanes, don't pull AROUND you at a redlight to create a "new lane", etc. etc. Driving in any of the above countries feels like a death wish sometimes.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2008
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    1,808

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    Quote Originally Posted by spirithorse22 View Post
    As I understand it, the death/accident rate is much higher in countries like Italy than it is here.

    Also, not defending US drivers AT ALL but omg, I would rather deal w/ a bad driver here in the States than in Saudi or Bahrain or Italy. At least most drivers here-while tailgating-recognize the exact number of lanes, don't pull AROUND you at a redlight to create a "new lane", etc. etc. Driving in any of the above countries feels like a death wish sometimes.
    Yeah belgium was fun.. People would see a parking spot on the side of the road (or rather, a spot that technically a car could fit) and just swerve in front of me, or uturn, to take it. One of the people i was in the car with.. said that "speeding limits are a suggestion" yeah.. it was fricken nuts there.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 23, 2008
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    Da UP, eh
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    771

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Swishy-Tails View Post
    I hope this is a wake up call for truck drivers and that they start to drive more safely!

    At least once a month I drive 4 hours to my father's and I run into the worst drivers EVER.
    Personally, I think it's the drivers of the minivans, compact cars and the 'normal vehicles' who break the distance rule, more so than the truck drives IME.

    I've lost count of how many times I've had someone dart ahead of my rig only to cut right infront of me. Congrats, they will get to the construction zone/light/turn off 3 seconds quicker with total disregard of the fact that the truck and trailer in their review mirror is having a heart attack about jarring my horses so I don't end up in their back seat.

    What happened in the OP is a tragedy, but don't hate on the truck drivers.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2010
    Location
    Catharpin, VA
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    From this corner there is nothing but love for truck drivers.

    Safe distance is something they do not put enough emphasis on in driver's courses! Makes me bonkers. Even when I'm not hauling, I know my vehicle's stopping distances, and adjust space accordingly, that space is not an open invitation to cut infront of me and ride my front bumper. For the longest time I did not think it was even possible to ride a front bumper....NoVA drivers educated me.

    Since I liberally use my horn when appropriate, I'm considering having a custom one put in so instead of a standard horn, the person will hear "You'll make a great hood ornament, but on someone else's truck."

    Firm believer that the reason people do not practice safe driving is connected to their belief that while inside their car, you cannot see them pick their nose. Nothing outside their vehicle really exists.

    ETA: For those who like to tailgate while I'm towing, I'm getting a special magnet...."Caution: Live Horses. Watch For Flying Turds."
    Owned by a Paint/TB and an OTTB.
    RIP Scoutin' For Trouble ~ 2011 at 10
    RIP Tasha's Last Tango ~ 2010 at ~23
    RIP In Sha' Allah ~ 2009 too young at 5



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2010
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,723

    Default Wouldn't it be cool if cars could FART!

    Still waiting for a clever person to devise a button I could push in my car that would squirt out a skunk like smell to the rear!

    Maybe that would back off someone who was TAILGATING me!

    Many years ago in Michigan a truck driver fell asleep and hit a horse trailer from behind. Killed both horses



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,687

    Default

    "Only a fool breaks the three second rule". I was told, on dry pavement in daylight, count three REAL seconds (the kind where you say "Mississippi" between each count) between when the car in front of you passes a stationary object and you do. Increase the distance for wet pavement or nigth time.

    I swear, they should make EVERYONE learn to drive a stick. Automatic transmissions and the resultant lazy driving among many around here cause some of the tailgating problems. At rush hour, everyone drives like this: RACE ahead, slam on brakes just in time to not hit the car in front of you. Ugh. Can't do that in a stick, I creep along in heavy traffice, at the average speed of the traffic, with a big space in front of me, so I don't have to shift constantly! I get there at the same time as the gunners and slammers, but with less wear on my car and my left leg and with lower blood pressure. They get sooooo angry that I won't drive like they do! But, I've never rear ended anyone and never been rear ended, because there are no sudden stops and that big gap.

    Having to shift also gives you some empathy for the truck drivers and makes you realize WHY they tend to leave a big space in front of them...I stay out of their space, it's there for a reason...so they don't have to shift through all those gears every time the traffic moves AND because they need more room to stop because they are big.

    I don't see many tractor trailers tailgating, most of them know how to drive. But, I see many smaller commercial vehicles, box trucks, etc,,, tailgating at speed. I write down the number on their door or the vehicle ID painted on the side and call their employer when I get to work, I hate tailgaters, they risk everyone's lives and make the traffic worse, and if I can identify you, I'm going to tattle . I saw a rented box truck driving right up some little cars ass at 75mph a few weeks ago. I called the rental company and they told me they were going to recall that truck right now, that's why their phone is on the truck in huge letters, they don't want crappy drivers using their vehicles.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2007
    Posts
    4,493

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    Can't use a stick because of an old right knee injury (predating my driving years). I can't switch that foot over fast enough to cover brake too with it and don't feel safe relying on using that foot to brake in a pinch.

    But I wish people would just THINK. And yes, I see big trucks, as well as little trucks, little cars, people with RV trailers or big boats behind their little truck that have to massacre the weight towing recommendations, and just about everybody routinely glued 1 to 2 at most car lengths behind the car in front at 70+. The big rigs are scariest to me because they are the biggest, but I see everybody doing it, and not just because people cut in front of them. When you are looking to see if perhaps a tow rope is between the vehicles, it is too close.

    What I was taught in driver's ed and also from Mom were two simple rules. First, what if something happened right now, this second, in front of you? If the answer to that is ever "I'm doomed," modify your driving. Second, vehicles get better gas mileage and last longer with gradual stops and starts. Easier on our horses, too. We also had all those films in driver's ed like Highway to Death and such. I still remember some of those.

    Wish people would simply think. Of course, they fail to think in a lot of other situations, but driving is probably one of if not the most potentially lethal activity that most people regularly participate in daily. It shouldn't take causing a death to make them realize the potential consequences.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2006
    Location
    Dallas, NC
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    2,331

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    Quote Originally Posted by MunchingonHay View Post
    I Know! I call it my safety bubble, the 3 car length distance between me and the car/truck/van in front of me. When someone moves into my bubble I back off and I swear, sometimes I think I am going backwards more than I am going forward.

    I actually watch the car in front of the one in front of me. that way I cannot be surprised by anything.
    And if you were driving behind me on the interstate I would think you were tailgating. I have always been told one car length distance for every 10 mph you are driving, on the interstate there should be 6-7 car lengths between us, if we were going 65 mph and you were three car lengths from behind me, I feel it would be tailgaiting. You can not stop in time if I have to slam on the brakes, you barely have time to take your foot from gas to brake pedal in three car lengths, you will probably hit me.

    Me and my carpool buddy was talking about this the other day, we leave a gap in front of us, and someone feels the need to dart in there, thus we slow down to increase the gap again
    I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

    Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.



  14. #14
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    Nov. 15, 2005
    Location
    NY
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    7,720

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    Quote Originally Posted by dressagetraks View Post
    When you are looking to see if perhaps a tow rope is between the vehicles, it is too close.
    This.
    And yes the Tractor Trailers are bad too, traveling to see my dad every weekend was torture with TTs and those damned Casino busses tailgating cause they're cruising downhill and don't want to touch their brakes, but you're going as fast as the car in front of you while keeping a safe distance.... grr...

    I routinely will get behind horse trailers to back people off their tailgates, why people think it's smart to tailgate a horse trailer I have no idea.



  15. #15
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    Mar. 22, 2005
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    569

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    i want a bumper sticker that reads 'unless you are my underwear, stop riding up my a**'



  16. #16
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    Dec. 27, 2010
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    Catharpin, VA
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    I wouldn't say everyone should learn to drive a manual transmission, there's some people out there who would just kill the poor cars, and the cars don't deserve that.

    I WOULD, however, say part of every behind the wheel course should include hauling an empty trailer. It would give those who like to cut us off some perspective (and those who drive like idgets around trailers in general an idea of how stressful it is), and I know since I started hauling it's increased the distance I follow at even when I'm traveling without a trailer. It put me in the habit of keeping that extra buffer, and also sharpened my situational awareness skills. It's also made me be more 'proactive'. If I'm cut off, or even think someone is thinking about coming over infront of me, I start to back off before they've even done it. So many times someone's darted infront when there wasn't really enough space, I just make it a game of "Is this a suicidal bunny driver or a sane one?"
    Owned by a Paint/TB and an OTTB.
    RIP Scoutin' For Trouble ~ 2011 at 10
    RIP Tasha's Last Tango ~ 2010 at ~23
    RIP In Sha' Allah ~ 2009 too young at 5



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2011
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    1,513

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    Quote Originally Posted by My2cents View Post
    i want a bumper sticker that reads 'unless you are my underwear, stop riding up my a**'
    I want one too!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    157

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canaqua View Post
    I swear, they should make EVERYONE learn to drive a stick. Automatic transmissions and the resultant lazy driving among many around here cause some of the tailgating problems. At rush hour, everyone drives like this: RACE ahead, slam on brakes just in time to not hit the car in front of you. Ugh. Can't do that in a stick, I creep along in heavy traffice, at the average speed of the traffic, with a big space in front of me, so I don't have to shift constantly!
    I wish this was true for all manual transmission people. I went up to Seattle with my friend last weekend, and the car was a stick. Oh my god, he tailgaited like none other, even behind trucks. When there were empty lanes on either side! He raced ahead then slammed on the brakes so many times I was felt like I was seasick! Seriously, I'm never driving with him again.



  19. #19
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    Jun. 17, 2000
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    Durham/Chapel Hill nc
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    Swishy -
    Food for thought, but I think of the left lane as the "passing lane" not the "fast lane." You may actually be the driver I mentally fume at on the interstate - it there is room for a driver to pass on your right, why didn't you move back into that lane after passing the last car, or at least when you see the "bad" car gaining on you?

    I don't think I have ever had a truck dart in front of me, in decades of driving. Gentle suggestion that it just might be worth considering youor part in the flow of traffic around you...



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2006
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    I did not read the article...My husband is a trucker, and I drive like one- and I hate people who drive their cars, minivans, and light trucks like they are the only ones on the road. People in these smaller vehicles think nothing of darting in front of a big rig. It's like once they pass it, they think it can't hurt them. HELLO- can't stop on a dime! Seriouslyk a tragic accident, but hardly a reason to harsh on truckers.



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