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.

Littleen Thu 06-Feb-14 22:22:58

Had this happen loads of times, both to me, my boyfriend and when we're both in the car together. I think it's people just being knobs rather than actual "stalking".

AnyFucker Thu 06-Feb-14 22:24:44

Keep your mobile phone charged. Be a member of a breakdown service and be sure to tell them you are a lone woman if you break down. Always drive to a public place if being followed. Do not pull over when indicated. Do not engage in race game playing.

LessMissAbs Thu 06-Feb-14 22:26:20

No, I'm absolutely certain that it was not my imagination in any of the incidents I've described. I'm a very calm driver and don't scare easily, and I was mad and angry rather than scared. I suspect in the majority of cases it is intimidation and that they count on women being scared by it, and by getting a thrill out of it.

DoctorQuinn Thu 06-Feb-14 22:32:04

As I said above, in 999 cases out of 1000 it's just plain harassment and it goes no further.

The risk of being robbed or otherwise attacked while you're driving your car is very small indeed - but never ever pull over in a secluded area just because someone without apparent authority is signaling you to do so.

If you break down when driving alone in a lonely or dangerous area, phone a breakdown service immediately and phone the police on a non-emergency number.

HarrietSchulenberg Thu 06-Feb-14 22:34:14

Been tailgated many times but I don't think it was because I'm female. It was because the tailgaters were all arses.

letitburn Thu 06-Feb-14 22:38:01

this happened to me in the day once on isolated country roads.

I had my 4 week old dd in the back and this guy tail gated me for miles. I got so freaked by him that when a tractor came round the corner from the other direction I swerved so hard I kerbed the car and gave myself a flat tyre.

I then drove about another mile til I got to a village and parked on someone's driveway (I chose it because I could see them in the house) and the utter arse still tailgated me the whole way to the village then pulled over when I did and knocked on my window and told me I had a flat tyre.

I had onltt been driving about 4 months and the whole thing totally freaked me out

FirstLoveMama Thu 06-Feb-14 22:38:50

Thankyou for your advice and this thread!

I've never thought about this before, I know not to pull over for anyone on foot but I've never considered another driver as a threat!
I think if the person looked friendly and it seemed as though it was something wrong with my car I would have pulled over before reading this sad

Silly naive me!

LessMissAbs Thu 06-Feb-14 22:42:18

Well, if anyone else was on that motorway tonight around 7.30-8pm and were dazzled by a car driving with its full beam on, then it was probably the one that was tailgating and harassing me. Other drivers on the other side of the road were flashing at them because of their full beam. It was a 2010 Volkswagen, silver.

BrianTheMole Thu 06-Feb-14 22:45:52

Actually, thinking about it, it happened to me when I was driving in France last year as well. I was definitely being followed, as when I pulled off to laybys, so did he, and when I drove off, so did he. I pulled over to a layby at one stage and waited with the engine running. He got out and walked up to my car as I watched him in the mirror. As soon as he got close to me I put my foot down and sped off. And he ran back to his car and followed me. (I was in a camper so couldn't go as fast.) I eventually shook him off in a busy petrol station by weaving through parked lorries and coaches, and parked next to a big group of lorry drivers who were sitting on the car park eating their lunch. That scared me.

londonrach Thu 06-Feb-14 22:47:19

When i was a young driver one of my female friends had a male large hat in the car and a blow up large clown doll. Either the clown or her would hear the hat when she left my house at night. The clown being fully inflated in the passager seat

Newyearchanger Thu 06-Feb-14 22:52:43

Frequently happens to me driving home after late shifts on country roads.. The car behind tailgates me and seems to be constantly flashing headlights ut then I am not certain whether it could be the effects of going over umps in the road makes them appear to flash?
Gives me the creeps and I avoid tracks where you have to pull in for oncoming cars .

Elderberri Thu 06-Feb-14 22:52:57

Does anyone remember 'justin case' the blow up dummy you put in your front passenger seat for night driving, some lady invented it after she was harrassed by four men. It did not take off. Wearing a baseball cap is a good idea.

Why are blokes such twats.

RandyRudolf Thu 06-Feb-14 22:54:13

drive to the nearest police station.

There was a time this would have been an easy thing to do but they're closing them all! Plus, if you're in a strange area you wouldn't have a clue where to find one and the last thing you want to do is go off the beaten track when some nutter is following you.

londonrach Thu 06-Feb-14 22:55:29

Large male hat not a male large hat.... Not sure how you check if a hat is male or female....grin

Mia4 Thu 06-Feb-14 22:59:14

I

Mia4 Thu 06-Feb-14 23:03:05

I have op. Once on a motorway though in that case the arsehole did it to the two cars up ahead too. They must have thought it funny or a game. The other time was freaky on a back country road, eventually my car caught up with other driver again- a woman in a 4x4. With full beams and her riding my arse I had been very shook up. I would have thought knowing it was just dome test of a woman would have made me less shaky but it didn't.

Mia4 Thu 06-Feb-14 23:03:42

Some twat* even

wlv12 Thu 06-Feb-14 23:10:01

I drive a lot on motorways or dual carriageways in the dark in a Clio and experience this a lot, no matter what speed I use. If I use my husbands brand new focus, I don't get tail gated as much, even going at the same speed I'd stick to in the Clio.
It's getting to the point of a driving phobia now and I'm selling the Clio because its made me a nervous driver.
BMW/Audi drivers are the worst, of course.

Mia4 Thu 06-Feb-14 23:10:04

Newyear, that can make them appear to flash, yep. Also if you see a car coming up hill it can look like it has full beams on but it's just the angle. Those bloody halogen lights however, blinding even on dim!

DoubleHappiness Thu 06-Feb-14 23:19:35

Perhaps do a few things to make sure this doesn't happen or so that you can avoid or deal with it.

For example, if not too expensive, how about having those tyres that if punctured, still go for 250 miles. That way, you don't have to stop if u have a flat. Have a mans hat in the car, have a spare phone (pay as you go cheapo) that you keep charged up. Make yourself acquainted with police stations, petrol stations or other places 24/7 open. Pencil and pad to take no.s.

I think I would get a pad and marker in my car then when got a chance write in bold letters

REG No.
Calling 999
grin

This happens to me often, especially now my commute is on country roads which aren't safe to go 60 down often (lots of twists and turns). I tend to just slow down and let them overtake or pull over to let them just go. It's really scary though when it happens. Especially as you get blinded by their lights.

Yes, has happened a few times. I just ignore it or make the wanking sign with my hand - they can't do anything so I never feel intimidated.

There are cameras everywhere - anyone provoking you into an accident or actually crashing into you is going to face jail.

cakebar Fri 07-Feb-14 13:43:21

Generally I don't think this is a man/woman thing I think there are just idiot drivers around (although it sounds like there are some exceptions above). There are some people who just don't realise how intimidating it is to drive close to someone. I also think some newer cars have lights that are so bright they look like they are on full beam when they aren't. I drive to and from work on a country road and on the way home there is a female driver who drives really close if she thinks others are not going fast enough. She will also overtake dangerously even though her turning off is coming up. I don't understand it.

Custardo Fri 07-Feb-14 13:58:19

ive had this, I used to drive a Sciento - it is a really small car no man would willingly be seen dead in, hell I didn't even like it.

I was going faster than I should - I mean really quite fast, super confident driver etc.

had a guy undertake me and then pull out just infront of me right between me and a lorry on inside lane

so I kept up with him until I had to turn off, and I very visibly did a combination of wanker and dickhead hand gestures

when I told dh, he went white and said " what if he had followed you to work and something had happened"

" oh I didn't think of that " said I, I get mad not scared

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 07-Feb-14 14:09:21

I'd probably report this because, if you were driving through roadworks, there's often an average speed camera picking you up. You accelerated to national speed limit, that might tip you over the 'average' through no fault of your own.

Report it, get a crime number and it's there if you need to defend a speeding charge.

I drive a lot, mostly in the day but sometimes at night and haven't encountered this but I know it happens. Very scary.

Definitely not unreasonable to be concerned about this. Women don't tailgate each or act menacingly on the road. Why do men do it? Very odd.

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