When I went to driving school, I was taught the “10 foot” rule. This rule states that for every 10 miles per hour that you are traveling, you are supposed to leave 10 feet between your car and the car in front of you.
The problem with this rule, other than the fact that it is stupid, is that if you are going 60 miles per hour, you should be leaving 60 feet between your car and the car in front of you. This is hard because there is always, without fail, some cretin that just has to squeeze into this space so that (s)he can get to work a half second earlier. This causes you to have to slow down so you can leave 60 feet between your car and the car in front of you — just like the rule says — then somebody lunges into that space, and you have to slow down even more. This happens so many times that you actually have to back up to allow people to cut in front of you.
I have decide that I don’t like the “10 foot” rule. I now have my own rules:
Rule #1 — Whenever you feel that someone is traveling less than 60
feet in front of you, especially if that someone just squeezed into that
space, you are to pull up to their car close enough so you can look
through their rear window and see which radio station they are listen-
ing to. This allows no space for inconsiderate drivers to pull into… so
they do the next best thing — they tailgate.
Rule #2 — Whenever you feel that someone is traveling less than 60
feet behind you, slam on you brakes.
This always seems to provoke a humorous reaction such as the driver behind you going into an uncontrollable skid and colliding with various highway scenery such as other cars, guardrails, bridge abutments. etc. Also you can use your rearview mirror to glimpse some extremely comical expressions on their faces. At this point the last thing that they are thinking about is tailgating you again.
One of the funniest things that I’ve ever seen, was when a driver in front of our car was dozing off and intermittently changing lanes every two seconds. He actually came about a millimeter or so from sideswiping another car. The unfortunate driver of this second car panicked and swerved into a third car. Both the second and third cars ultimately sustained major damage, but the driver of the first car — the one that started the whole ordeal was oblivious to everything he had caused. Perhaps he was still sleeping. He just went on his merry little way frightening other drivers and running over small animals. You can bet that I left quite a distance between our car and that driver. We were able to follow his progress by the smoking wrecks on the side of the highway and a trail of still twitching animal fragments spewed about in the breakdown lane.
I am able to laugh about this because I was involved in a particularly vivid accident with an 18 wheeled tractor-trailer on a snowy highway, and the only damage that I sustained, other than a totaled truck, was a frostbitten crotch. It’s funny how you don’t even realize how much you have to go to the bathroom until you get in a good accident. It’s amazing to see the amount of urine that the human bladder can hold.