Driving Alone At Night - Harassment - Anyone Else?

(201 Posts)
LessMissAbs Thu 06-Feb-14 21:42:46

Tonight, while driving through roadworks on a motorway with a speed limit of 50mph, I was tailgated by a car with its full beam on. Really close tailgating. Smaller, less powerful car than mine so when I accelerated back up to national speed limit, it got left behind. It then caught up and tailgated again. Went on for miles. Eventually I slowed down to about 40mph, they were forced to overtake, and I continued to drive slowly so they didn't follow me home or find out where I lived. I'm pretty sure I was targeted because even in the dark, they noticed I was a lone woman driver (there were 3 young males in the car).

This has happened to me a few times. Has anyone else experienced it? I once had a much worse incident but want to see if other people have had similar experiences before going into that.

not2nitedarling Thu 06-Feb-14 21:44:31

I have never experienced this but I am a nervous driver and would have hated this... U did all the right things. Glad you got home safely. there are some real idiots on the road

beeny Thu 06-Feb-14 21:44:40

Yes once on route to Scotland not really late but no cars around lorry driver kept driving parallel to me and waving, it was horrible.

ElBombero Thu 06-Feb-14 21:45:23

No never but this would frighten me. I think in your position I would call the police / drive to nearest station hmm poor you

mineofuselessinformation Thu 06-Feb-14 21:48:12

I doubt the other driver knew you were female or alone, they were just being an arse....
You did the right thing.

purplemurple1 Thu 06-Feb-14 21:49:43

I drive a lot on my own and nothing like this has happened - are you sure there was no issue with your car that they were trying to alert you to?

Of your sure then it sounds pretty weird - did you get their reg?

AnyFucker Thu 06-Feb-14 21:50:29

Yep, this has happened to me a couple of times.

I used to drive back to Uni on a Sunday night along very quiet unlit motorways

One time some bloke drew level and indicated I pull over

Very, very frightening

Also, lots of other more minor tailgating, gesticulating/headlight flashing incidents

BrianTheMole Thu 06-Feb-14 21:50:43

It happened to me when I first passed my test and was driving home at night. I thought it was following me so I turned off into a house estate and doubled back on myself. The car did the same, right on my tail. I got back on the main road and turned into a petrol station that was open, jumped out the car and ran in. It obviously was following me as it pulled in too, but sped off when they realized I was safely in the petrol station and not leaving again. This was before many people had mobile phones, so quite a few years back.

Tallforadwarf Thu 06-Feb-14 21:53:55

Lessmissabs, if you were doing the posted speed limit and they had opportunity to overtake but tailgated you anyway then they were bang out of order. If you were sat at 50 in the outside lane when you could've pulled over then you would've been at fault.

Beeny, how fast were you going? Trucks are limited to 56mph so if you were sat between 55-60 he may have kept catching you up and got frustrated.

I'm not wishing to start an argument, just playing devils advocate as sometimes there's a reason for others behavior.

Pilesofironing Thu 06-Feb-14 21:54:07

It sounds like they were typical young guys - demonstrating poor driving skills combined with over aggression. In letting them overtake you did the right thing. The idiot driving got to overtake a more powerful car, thus showing off to his mates, and (in his tiny mind) impressing the female being over taken.
I honestly don't think that there was anything more sinister going on. They would have followed you despite the fact that you slowed down if that was the case.

grumpyoldbat Thu 06-Feb-14 21:57:40

I've spent a lot of time driving in the past. It's happened before, it's very scary.

LessMissAbs Thu 06-Feb-14 21:58:16

purplemurple1 I drive a lot on my own and nothing like this has happened - are you sure there was no issue with your car that they were trying to alert you to?

Absolutely not. I am certain it was because I was a lone woman driving a Mercedes. The roadworks were well lit and with their full beam on, they would have been able to see I was a lone woman in the car (I have long blonde hair so obviously female).

I was in the non-overtaking lane, as I wasn't overtaking. I had to slow down a lot until it got to the point that it would have been obvious to other drivers that they were following me to get them to overtake.

Greydog Thu 06-Feb-14 21:59:43

I drive a lot, and have occasionally come across this, but usually it's just because they're areseholes. You can't really tell in the dark if it's male or female driving, but I often wear a baseball cap anyway. maybe that confuses them?

thenightsky Thu 06-Feb-14 22:02:13

I've had this on the 2 lane, very quiet M180. I was in DH's big company car with two small DC asleep in the back (so probably not visible).

I was doing 70 (as you do) and he came up fast behind me and sat right on my tail. Then I slowed a bit to try and force him to overtake me. He pulled out as though overtaking, but then sat right beside me, staring at me with his interior light on so I could see he was a bloke <scary>

I slowed more to try and get him to pull ahead, but he just slowed more and more until we were both doing about 30 on a motorway!

I speeded up to try and leave him behind, but he speeded up too and overtook me at about 90. He then pulled in front of me and slowed to bloody 40!

By now I was really panicking, so I waiting until a turning off came up and I drove as though I wasn't pulling off, the suddenly swerved over the verge at the last min and up the slip road. He was taken by suprise so couldnt follow me.

God I was scared and freaked.

LessMissAbs Thu 06-Feb-14 22:02:22

Yes, I got their reg no, but I don't want to go to the police every time something happens and when I have no witness to it.

Its only ever happened to me on the M9 in Scotland! One time, very late at night so hardly any other cars around, a car followed me for a while and I felt so unnerved, I pulled over onto the hard shoulder next to one of those emergency phones. The car pulled in behind and a man got out, fortunately alone. I had my phone ready, central locking on, rolled down the window and took a photograph of him and told him to eff off. He scarpered. I've been flashed at by a lorry driver and then followed into a petrol station where he tried to talk to me. I hope people don't think I'm making this up!

AnyFucker Thu 06-Feb-14 22:03:51

I believe you.

Pigsmummy Thu 06-Feb-14 22:04:00

I have accidentally done this in road works when leaving the cruise control on. I would try not to get too worried about it but it tailgated again try to switch into the slow lane.

specialsubject Thu 06-Feb-14 22:04:23

there's a dickhead in the boot most evenings when we drive home here - regardless of which of us is driving. They don't like us keeping to or just below the speed limit on a two-lane twisty road.

there's usually some stupid overtaking too. It isn't because you are female, it is because you are keeping to the speed limit.

3 males in a car driving like that have a high chance of losing an argument with a tree. Fingers crossed it will be soon.

Blistory Thu 06-Feb-14 22:06:09

Don't go home next time, drive to the nearest police station and report it. Whilst it could have been entirely innocent, there have been numerous instances where women (particularly in high performance cars ) have been followed with a view to carjacking being carried out.

Even if it was just an attempt at intimidation it should be reported - you were on a motorway, there's a good chance that they were caught on CCTV at some point and should be identifiable.

Happened to me and slowing down didn't lose them, instead they resorted to stalking me on parallel streets and it went on for almost an hour. I still tried to persuade myself that it was a coincidence and that I was being paranoid. I ended up phoning the police to report it and they sent a car to intercept. Needless to say it was two young men who had no reason to be in the area and no logical explanation as to where they had come from or where they were going. The police found screwdrivers and masks in the car but had to let them off with a bollocking.

It's horrible and it stays with you - I lock my doors even in daylight and leave room at traffic lights to pull out. I also check headlights at night to see if they're following me.

Nobody with good intentions would have just sat behind you for miles with their headlights on constantly. Trust your instincts and keep yourself safe.

CQ Thu 06-Feb-14 22:11:13

Years ago I was towing a horse trailer down the M6, about 9.30 at night on a Sunday I think so not much traffic about. I was just coming down from the Shap summit and was in the slow lane, obvs, as towing.

Some wanker in a saloon car came right up behind me and followed really close for a bit, then overtook me, then slowed right down in front of me so I had to change lanes and go past him. As I was passing him, he sped off. A bit later I caught up with him and the whole ridiculous thing started again.

It really gave me the creeps. This was in the days before mobile phones. I pulled in at the next services and parked right next to a police car. No sign of any police and not sure what I would have said really. Waited half an hour till I'd stopped shaking enough to set off again.

It made me feel horribly vulnerable.

DoctorQuinn Thu 06-Feb-14 22:14:13

It happens all the time to lone women drivers, especially if you've annoyed one or more idiots either by driving a better car than theirs or by impeding their progress by observing a speed limit on a road where overtaking isn't possible or, even worse, both.

It's far more likely to happen at night but, luckily, no matter when it happens, in 999 cases out of 1000 it's just plain harassment and it goes no further.

My golden rule is never do anything to escalate the situation, and get to safety as soon as possible.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Thu 06-Feb-14 22:15:08

3 males in a car driving like that have a high chance of losing an argument with a tree. Fingers crossed it will be soon. bit uncalled for tbh whatever the horrid behavior to wish this is just horrid.

Lookingforadvice123 Thu 06-Feb-14 22:17:38

Even if someone is trying to pull you over acting like something's wrong with your car, DO NOT pull over and get out unless it's in a safe area! This happened to my family on holiday - we were harassed, pulled over, and promptly mugged!

IshouldhavemarriedEwanMcGregor Thu 06-Feb-14 22:17:44

God I'm really shocked at these stories.

I've never had any such experiences and have been driving for over 30 years. But it's making me very fearful for my daughter...What is it all about then, is it inadequate men trying to intimidate women or is it a known ruse to do this ie make a woman pull over and then attack them?

It's so awful - sorry to all on here who have been frightened like this.

FirstLoveMama Thu 06-Feb-14 22:22:14

This is awful!!! I'm driving a long way alone tomorrow so in a way I'm pleased I've seen this.

It has made me nervous! I'm terrified of breaking down and being left vulnerable

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