Tailgating is a hazard
Editor of the Reformer:
Have you ever had a rear-ender coming into you when a slow-down or a stop was needed? Have you ever been in a car or truck that rear-ended the vehicle ahead? In my case, it was a school bus, which stopped unexpectedly on a major highway. Perhaps too many of us have had close calls on the road. A neighbor of mine lost his own mobility when his vehicle was rear-ended; a spinal injury from which he never recovered leg movement.
How close should we be driving behind the car or truck or bus ahead? I have been bothered recently by too many tailgaters; those drivers who want to catch up to my speed, then hang right behind, not bothering to pass. So, I asked my grandson, who had just passed his driver's permit test, what the Vermont rules of the road said about driving space between vehicles. They are currently teaching a four-second count past a phone pole or other road-side object, to give enough space to stop suddenly. It may be only a squirrel or a chipmunk, darting in front of the guy ahead. He sees and reacts, but you don't in time. On back roads it's often a fawn or a deer, or a slow-moving parade of turkeys.
I'm just passing on this problem of our haste making waste on the road, about always being in a rush to get somewhere on time. Passing the car or cars ahead may save us two minutes on a crowded road. But harrying the driver ahead by driving too close can be extremely dangerous. Even on a race track.
John Spicer, Newfane, July 16