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post #1 of 65 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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Safety around irresponsible drivers

On SCOA, it seems we talk a lot about how safe our cars are in accidents, and how structurally safe our cars are. This past week, some unsafe driving by others has prompted me to start this discussion though.

Do you experience other drivers "picking on" your smart and intentionally treating you poorly on the road? If so, how do you deal with it or what precautions do you take?

I'll start with my experiences this week:
4 times this week, I have had drivers flash their high beams at me, even in the right and center lanes on the highway. The speed limit on the two main roads I use here, Rt. 4 and I-95 in Rhode Island have a speed limit of 55. You'll usually find me cruising between 55 and 65 in the right lane (when merging into and off of the highway) and in the center lane when up to speed and traveling. On a two lane road, I stay on the right, unless somebody is moving unreasonably slow. In one instance, I had gone into the left lane doing 70 to pass somebody doing 45. Immediately a Saab sped up, rode my bumper and flashed their high beams repeatedly (blinding me in the process). I got back over when I safely could. The other times, I was in the right lane when traffic merging in from the right (two lanes merging from an on ramp, creating a new right lane where I was). I had slowed down to the flow of traffic as two lanes were merging into the one I was in. People started flashing their high beams at me when they could have moved into the left and passed.

Today was particularly scary. A large lifted Ford truck was riding my bumper on an exit ramp with a 40mph speed limit (I was still doing 50). As I got off the exit, I slowed down to try and get him to pass me since there was a left lane, and he continued to ride my bumper. He then sped up, got in front of me, and proceeded to do half the speed limit (presumably to upset me) and wouldn't let me pass. He eventually pulled aside me and tried to have a stare down, and I think he even gestured a little that he was going to run me off the road. Even worse, he was pulling over at each exit we passed on the road we were now on to anticipate which I was getting off at to tailgate and follow me. I didn't shake him until I drove about 5-6 miles out of my way through an unfamiliar neighborhood. If I didn't lose him, flying spaghetti monster knows what he could have done (slash my tires, injure me, kill me?)

I know if I was in my old supercharged Buick, I wouldn't have been in any of these situations. It seems people go out of their way to pick on my car on the highway, and don't seem to mind risking the safety of me and other drivers on the road. Thanks for reading, and I'd like to hear some of your experiences (good and bad) and how you dealt with them.

Last edited by ColonelPan1c; 12-16-2012 at 07:35 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #2 of 65 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 05:28 PM
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Don't know where you drive but I've never had that kind of harassment. I have two smarts, my wife & I each drive one and we've never been treated like that in the three plus years we've owned them. Not meaning to offend but are you sure it's not something you're doing? I've not heard this kind of stuff from other drivers here.
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post #3 of 65 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 05:30 PM
 
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You're not alone nor is this an isolated incident. There are other threads, quite long on this. Sorry you had to experience it. I have had it happen to me many times.
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post #4 of 65 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 05:55 PM
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I've been bullied a bit. So far, nothing that made me feel threatened, like what you and some others have reported. Mainly tailgating, and cutting in too close to the front ... things that also happen in other vehicles. Seems more common to me in the smart though.
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post #5 of 65 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 06:07 PM
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Nobody tailgates me (I wonder why hehe). I'm sorry to hear about everybody else having issues.
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post #6 of 65 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 06:09 PM
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Sadly it does happen. All you can really do is get the heck out of their way and maybe report a license number to the police. Usually they can't do anything unless they see it happen.

Now of course we will see a bunch of posts about flashing a handgun and ways to retaliate but the best thing to do is get out of their way. Pull into a driveway, service station, or even a police station parking lot.
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post #7 of 65 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 06:57 PM
 
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some people are just A$$#0^s. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting one. It's happened to me before, once in the smart, and once or twice on the free-way driving other cars (and a few times on my bike). Some people evidently enjoy watching other people's misery.
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post #8 of 65 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 06:59 PM
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It's kinda like the big jocks in high school bullying the smaller kids. Some of them never grew up and still try to push their weight around. Just try to ignore them. There are some really crazy people out there.
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post #9 of 65 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 07:03 PM
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I have only had my Smart 4 weeks , and have had more incidents than I can count on both hands ..

So close to the rear of the car I could not see their plate , flashing their brights , or just flipping on the brights right behind you . OR ..

when the pass you , they see how close they can get to you when they go around . ..

Tonight at a light , i just happened to have the window down and this lifted diesel 4X4 decides to wait till I took off and smashed it and filled the car with smoke , I was not happy and neither was my wife .. she gets so upset with me when I lose it ..well the coal burnin diesel got 2 birds flown at him tonight !!!
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post #10 of 65 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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As to the area I'm driving in- Rhode Island, and there are plenty of bad CT drivers and Ma$$-holes around. I miss the calm Pennsylvania countryside driving I'm used to, heck, center city Philly is better.

Thanks for all the replies, I'm both glad to hear I'm not alone, and upset that this is so common in our community. I'm not giving up on my car over it - the positive interactions with others far outweigh the bad. I especially love seeing and waving to other smarts on the road.

Last edited by ColonelPan1c; 12-16-2012 at 07:44 PM. Reason: apparently abbreviating massachusetts is a problem.
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