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

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


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

Calling 999

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.

JerseySpud Fri 07-Feb-14 14:11:29

Yes i had this when i was younger and still lived in the uk up the M5 at night. It is very scary!

flowery Fri 07-Feb-14 14:21:38

I've had this. When I was a student driving an ancient Renault 5. Van driver came up close behind me, really close. I couldn't speed up to lose him (because my car was the type that took 10 minutes to get from 0 - 60 and it started shaking if I got above 80). If I slowed right down to try and force him to overtake and leave me alone, he'd overtake, then sit right in front of me, slowing down himself. Eventually I'd overtake and the whole thing would start again.

It was on the A14 and I was going from Cambridge to Ipswich then to Colchester so could have gone on for a while.

I pulled off at the next turning, he didn't follow me, so I went round the roundabout and then straight back on again. I think if he'd have followed me I've have driven to a garage.

flowery Fri 07-Feb-14 14:22:25

Oh, and this was in broad daylight btw.

fluffyraggies Fri 07-Feb-14 14:31:15

Yes, lots of times in lots of different cars. On the motorway and in town at night. As a teen i did the driving to a police station after i'd been followed out of a car park and through west london, late at night, for miles by a bunch of blokes in a car. When they realised what i was doing they buggered off.

In more recent years i've done allot of very late night/early hours of morning motorway driving (M40) and it was a common occurrence to be ''played with'', ie: tail-gated, then driven alongside, then blocked by slow driving by a male or group of males in another vehicle when the motorway was practically empty.

Annoying, and often frightening.

fluffyraggies Fri 07-Feb-14 14:33:44

I wish it was legal to have a sign you could light up in your car window which says ''i've got your number and i'm reporting you!'' angry

ViviPru Fri 07-Feb-14 14:39:47

I've never experienced this. When I'm driving I am usually lone and my car is usually the most powerful on any stretch of road I'm ever on, it's also a rare model known for being nicked to order, so I suppose given the above I'd be a prime target? (Although if anyone ever did try and tailgate me and keep up... well basically, they couldn't keep up)

I do however get motorway "friends" - I heart them. People who are going the exact same speed as I am, we let each-other out to overtake, keep respectable stopping distances from each-other, never race but just keep a steady pace together. I get sad when they exit.

maddening Fri 07-Feb-14 14:41:10

If I have this happen I put on fog and hazard lights - fog to tell them to back off and hazard to draw attention to my car - eg on a motorway there are camera all the way or a passing police car.

tolittletoolate Fri 07-Feb-14 15:00:13

I used to have a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a tow bar, the last time someone tailgated me I slammed the brakes on, that made him back off a bit!

IceBeing Fri 07-Feb-14 15:08:30

Maybe an obvious on board video camera? It seems to work for cyclists....the mere threat of having their bad driving recorded stops some car drivers....

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 07-Feb-14 15:13:41

This happened to me several years ago. I was an Ann Summers rep and was on my way home from a rural party around midnight.
A car came up behind me and stuck so close that I couldn't see its lights! I was dazzled so I tipped my mirror. It was pitch black and I could make out nothing. It stayed there for several miles. As I came up a long straight bit of dual carriageway I pulled over so they could overtake. They didn't. As we came into the street lit area where I lived, blue flashing lights appeared. My tail gater was a police car!
They made me get out, breathalysed me, asked where I was going, had a good look in the boot and a good root around, and a good snigger at the contents, made me feel thoroughly intimidated and let me leave. angry

Cuddlydragon Fri 07-Feb-14 15:23:53

I live in a semi rural location and often drive along a long dark country road at night. It's a prime magnet for young guys speeding and racing. They tend to tailgate til you pull over as far you can to let them past. My neighbour has a genius solution though. She has a blue plastic bowl thingy, and has stuck a small torch inside which she leaves on the passenger seat. If she gets tailgated she switches the torch on and shoves it on her dashboard. The car instantly sees a big blue light go on and she swears that 99 times out of a hundred they slow down and pull back just in case. In any event whilst they're figuring it out she pulls way ahead.

notyummy Fri 07-Feb-14 15:29:42

If be really surprised if people do it because they it's a woman in the car. They do it because they are frustrated (rightly or wrongly) at the speed you are going. I also get frustrated at the Driving Miss Daisy brigade, but I am a civilised human being so I hang well back and the overtake if and when it is safe. I have been tailgates and although I think the aggressive drivers who do it are knobs, I don't think it is a male/female thing- it's just a manners and driving style thing.

notyummy Fri 07-Feb-14 15:31:37

Agree that BMW drivers are absolute prime offenders btw.

ViviPru Fri 07-Feb-14 15:44:21

Oh do behave, BMW bashers. That's like me saying Micra drivers are prime Driving Miss Daisy offenders. They are.

I keep a VERY respectful stopping distance and never tailgate, if anything I get the rage that people jump out into my stopping distance.

notyummy Fri 07-Feb-14 16:48:26

You are right Vivi- it's a sweeping generalisation. But an unnervingly high proportion of offenders do seem be to be in BMWs- honestly. I don't know what % of the population drives a BMW, but there are disproportionally represented in the arsehole driver category. It's something friends and I have discussed. But it's not exactly a scientific survey.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 07-Feb-14 16:54:05

Sorry Vivi, I'm reading that in an Austin Powers voice; very funny.

You're right though, these generalisations are just stupid and have no foundation.

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 07-Feb-14 17:52:49

I don't think this was due to the OP being female, I honestly believe that it is down to some males being dicks.

I have had this done to me when I was learning to drive, when I have had small cars, when I have had large cars and even when I have had old cars.

Some people (mainly men) just have to have a go.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 07-Feb-14 17:55:52

Nah! Round here its Audio drivers! wink

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 07-Feb-14 18:03:13

AUDI! !!!

handcream Fri 07-Feb-14 18:04:42

I have had had behaviour over the years like this. But isnt it interesting. Its ALWAYS men....

Interesting that you mention the M9 lessMiss
I had a horrible tail experience years back.
I 'know' the M9 a bit, but there were loads of roadworks (they removed a huge roundabout that used to be near the Carlise turnoff)

So early morning, road was empty except for me and a lorry.
There were 2 lanes.
There was nothing to stop this other driver overtaking.
There was a 50 limit through the roadworks then.
They drove so close, their headlights were in my rear view mirror. I coud see the grill but not the number plate.
I put on my hazard lights <<flash flash back off>>
They put on Full Blast High Beam

C**t angry

WilsonFrickett Fri 07-Feb-14 18:30:38

It happened to four of us in a car on the way to Glasgow last month. Total wanker being a total wanker. Grrrr.

ComposHat Fri 07-Feb-14 18:36:11

I'm male and tend to drive within the speed limit and I have experienced near identical dickheadish behaviour, so my guess it is over aggressive knobbers rather than harassment.

splasheeny Fri 07-Feb-14 19:18:08

I have had a car following me for 3 miles flashing its lights. It freaked me out a bit and I pulled into a petrol station and they didn't follow.

I don't think its to do with being female. More that some drivers are just arses.

Bonzodoodah Fri 07-Feb-14 19:18:21

Seems like a lot of us have had this.

In my twenties I was driving one night and a car stopped at the lights next to me. It was a man in his 50s and he was staring straight into my car at me. He then followed me onto the motorway and off the motorway where I came off. I was getting nervous as whenever I pulled out to overtake something so did he. This went on and on and I was getting close to where I was going which was down quiet side streets and not to a house.
I was getting really panicky. Then at some traffic lights I had an idea and pulled into the outside lane, when the lights changed, right at the last minute I swung right into a side road. He was so surprised (as I hadn't indicated) that he carried on. But I could see him driving staring back at me as he went up the road. Freaked me out.

Bonzodoodah Fri 07-Feb-14 19:18:53

Now when people act like arses on the Motorway (with no-one else about) I slow right down until they overtake then slam the brakes on as they are speeding up overtaking. This means they accelerate away from me and any silly tricks they are trying to pull - like pull in and brake - can't work.

splasheeny Fri 07-Feb-14 19:22:56

Notyummy I totally agree.

4x4 drivers tend to be arses too.

Its the person who is at fault when tailgating, not the make of car.

I have rarely been intimidated by tailgaters and most of them are just bloody annoying arseholes who like to intimidate women drivers. I have been really anxious for my own safety only one time in such an incident.

Like the idea of the blue plastic bowl and torch!.

parkin2010 Fri 07-Feb-14 19:49:25

Indicate over and let them get past. Not worth them being up ur backside for 40 miles letting them drive like a dick in your space x

WitchWay Fri 07-Feb-14 20:03:46

I had a nasty experience when I was driving with my 6/52 old son in the car. A car wouldn't pull out to let me onto the motorway from the slip lane - not much other traffic - he could easily have moved over but kept trying to stay level with me till I had to slow down or run out of slip lane. I tucked in behind him at a sensible distance & he slammed on the brakes forcing me to brake hard & the baby seat shunted forward - I had strapped the baby to the seat but not the seat to the car shock I'd had a C/S & had only been driving for a few days, baby brain & sleep deprivation. Awful but could have been much worse.

letitburn Fri 07-Feb-14 20:32:43

To be fair, witch way, it's not the responsibility of the other drivers to get out of your way when you want to join the motorway...

Sounds very scary though.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 07-Feb-14 20:49:56

I've had that Witchway Plenty of room for the car on the motorway to make room either slower of faster. Instead they shadowed my own movements until I ran out of slip road and had to jam the breaks on.
I agree it's not a motorway drivers job to get out of your way, but trapping you on a slip road until you emergency stop or crash is pretty Cuntish! It also leaves you with no slip road in front of you in which to accelerate so you have to pull out from a standstill. So frankly, doubly Cuntish!

LongTailedTit Fri 07-Feb-14 20:54:26

I had similar just last night as it happens, several times in varying degrees, tho thankfully not stalking for miles - that hasn't happened to me since I was v young.
First lot last night was a car full of teenage boys in a little Clio type thing, tailgated me so close that I could only just see their lights under the rear window, then overtook me as a long stream of traffic was closing in the other way. Idiots.
Several other blokes in smart saloons tailgated me through short sections out of impatience and clearly trying to intimate me to move out of the way when I needed to be in that lane for junctions/roundabouts/slip lanes etc.

I drive a 10yo granny car Honda that is slow off the mark, so I accept that sometimes it could be irritating as they wait while my pathetic engine works it's way up to 60, but this is part and parcel of driving (and there's always someone slower than me) - I really don't understand why they feel the need to get right up my arse. It doesn't achieve anything.

DH had my Honda until recently and got v v sick of twatty blokes tailgating and trying to intimidate him. He now drives a much newer VW estate and feels like he's driving on a completely different planet - no one tries it on anymore. Utterly bizarre.

NB: one of my NCT mum mates is a terrible tailgater too - it's not purely a male affliction!

MaureenMLove Fri 07-Feb-14 20:57:37

This has never happened to me, but I did hear something you might find useful.

If you suspect a drive to be harassing you, to the point that you are scared, this is the only time you can use your mobile phone to call the police. They will direct you to a place, where they will meet you and deal with the other driver.

This is from the Police trainer at a recent driver awareness course I attended - Don't ask! blushgrin

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 07-Feb-14 21:24:04

4x4 drivers tend to be arses too.

Thanks for that. hmm

splasheeny Fri 07-Feb-14 21:26:34

I love, its just my personal experience.. I am talking about London here where their is no need to have a 4x4.

WelshMoth Fri 07-Feb-14 21:44:56

I was a student in Univeristy college Cork in the late 90's and was returning back at the end of an easter break. Driving the long haul back to Pembroke dock from Cardiff on the M4 and I was tailgated from Bridgend to just outside a place called Llanelli - about 35 miles. i was catching a 3am ferry so was driving at a really late hour.

The journey was utterly terrifying. A ford escort drove so close I could see 2 make sillouhettes gesturing at me. There were no service stations in thos days and, I wasn't familiar with the towns and villages I passed. I was totally alone, dead of night, no mobiles, and was being chased by a car that tailgated, overtook, slammed on, so making me slam on, and drove alongside me.

I finally came to a services exit, took the exit but the services was in darkness, so I drove around this huge roundabout 3 times in the hope that I'd see a police car. The escort followed me each time and, by this point I was a sobbing wreck . In my panic, instead of rejoining the M4, I took the exit to the closed service station and drove into what can only be described as the most relief I have ever felt - about 4 huge goods lorries, lights on in their cabs, with the drivers out talking together and drinking from flasks. I rememeber my legs as jelly because I stalled the car about 20 metres from them, but I was out of the car and running, in floods of tears and stricken with fear.

I was so, so lucky because these lorry drivers saw my fear and cared. The escort had stopped at a distance but was revving its engine until 3 of the drivers started walking towards them. Fucking cowards sped off and I didn't see them again.

Thy gave me sweet tea and reassured me that the car was truly gone. Three of the four lorries were in convoy to Pembroke dock and I spent the next 40 miles driving between 2 of the lorries and feeling utterly, utterly safe. I remember driving into the most hideous of rain storms in St Clare's and still the lorries stuck with me until I reached the dock. I didn't find them onthe ferry, and I so wanted to thank them.

Sorry for the essay, but I've not told anyone this story before - I was home visiting my Dad because he'd suffered a brain haemorrhage so telling my folks the whole story would have caused them to worry about me, so I said nothing to no one. Bullying and harrassment on the roads is fucking terrifying so I hope this thread helps someone remember their road safety.

I only remember one detail - the driver of one of the lorries was in his late 50's, from Newcastle, and his name was Raymond. He had dark brown hair, side parting and hands like shovels. He'd be in his late 70's now, so if someone out there knows of him, give him a hug for me.

Bellini81 Fri 07-Feb-14 21:50:19

This sounds so scary, I would consider as mad as it sounds getting one of those passenger 'dummies' if this ever happened to me. But I am a loon and a nervous person anyway

Twighlightsparkle Fri 07-Feb-14 21:53:29

Yes has happened to me, I used to drive 250 miles each Friday and then in reverse each Sunday.

Some scarey incidents of cat and mouse type things, b
Oohing scarey.

deakymom Fri 07-Feb-14 21:56:05

this even happens to us when my husband is driving he has me and the three kids in a car and some foolish person tailgates lights on high beam one chap thought he would be cocky and stopped his car in front of us asked my husband for a fight hubby got out of car the bloke saw how much bigger he was dived in his car and screeched off down the road at that point the unmarked police car behind us flashed his lights and pulled him over for not wearing his seatbelt and speeding

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 07-Feb-14 22:04:15

Aww WelshMoth scary story but those lorry drivers were ace. grin

salsmum Fri 07-Feb-14 22:14:52

Police advise that lone female travellers have a trilby style hat in the car when night driving to pull your collar up (tuck hair in) and put hat on ...this can give the 'illusion' of a male driver in the night lights and keep you safer.

AnyFucker Fri 07-Feb-14 22:24:49

Gosh, WM, I just had a little sob at your story blush

Iwillorderthefood Fri 07-Feb-14 22:35:27

I had an issue on the M4 a bright red car tailgating so close I was actually scared to make any manoeuvre in case we clipped each other. Finally got away from this car, and left the motorway for a break. A little while later I drove past a car remarkably similar to the one that had been hassling me. It was wrapped around the pointed area on an exit slip. I am pretty sure it was the same car.

WelshMoth Fri 07-Feb-14 22:42:54

I've had a bit of a sob too, AF. This whole thread has brought it all back.

We all consider ourselves safe in our cars, but this thread just serves to remind us all that there are still those out there that have to threaten and intimidate us angry

scallopsrgreat Fri 07-Feb-14 22:49:41

I've had a couple of these.

Once I was driving down a dual carriageway, very quiet and a car was reversing up it clearly wanting to get come off the slip road they had just missed. I also wanted to go up the same slip road and I flashed my lights to both indicate they were being dicks and that they were about to reverse into me. I then went up the slip road and they followed. They then tailgated me, pulled along side me and followed me all the way to the motorway on a suburban two lane road. At one point I was probably doing about 80 in a 40 zone to try and get away from them. Thankfully I was in a powerful car and they gave up the chase when I got on the motorway. I was shaking when I got to my destination.

The second time I overtook a guy on the motorway, pulled back in in front of him and then came off the motorway. He followed, pulled along side me and started shouting abuse at me. I ignored. He then pulled in behind me and followed me down the next motorway we were on. As I tried to get off at the junction I wanted, he tried to squeeze me between the lane and the barrier (there was no hard shoulder at this point). I braked and let him go in front. At the traffic lights at the roundabout I wound down my window and asked what the hell he was doing. He told me a I had cut him up (if I had it was only very slightly). I told him that it really didn't matter what I had done, he was acting like a crazy person and no way had I behaved like that. He had no answer to that and drove off in another direction, thankfully. I was shaking after that too.

Hedgehead Fri 07-Feb-14 22:51:17

I've had the same thing. I drive a car that DH had before we got together. It's high performance and what the media would lead you to believe is a real 'man's car.' I get men trying to goad me into races on the motorway, coming up beside me, following me to petrol stations.

My impression of it is that it's not a sexual thing, it's more that the combination of a woman driving that car doesn't sit very well with them and they want to unnerve me

scallopsrgreat Fri 07-Feb-14 22:52:05

Wow WelshMoth, lucky escape. Hugs to you. Very frightening sad

eatmydust Fri 07-Feb-14 23:19:34

Happened this week to my karate black belt fitness freak DS, who was using DDs car, fairly busy rural A road, toddler asleep in the back, 10pm at night. He was tailgated and flashed at for several miles, slowed and pulled over to let the other car past - it didn't go, just stuck behind him. He turned into the first town, drove around in a circle with the other car continuing to follow him. Eventually he turned into a hotel carpark, parked by the well lit entrance and the car followed him all the way and hovered a short distance away. DS locked the doors, put the interior light on so it was obvious it was a male driver and the car quickly drove off.

Unfortunately DS didn't get the registration and admits he was very panicked, mainly because he was driving alone with a small child. It's DDs first car which she uses for uni and getting to her evening job. We've had hands free mobile access installed this week and also taken off a few stickers and a nodding dog thing she had in the back window which made the car maybe appear that it had a young female driver.

DS says he was driving slowly,as not used to the car or driving toddlers about, but is adamant he didn't drive in any way to cause road rage (not that that is any excuse for someone following him), so can only think some pathetic idiot was trying to get kicks from scaring what he thought was a young female driver. DS says he would have got out and confronted the other driver if he hadn't had the toddler with him, very pleased he didn't.

mindthegap01 Fri 07-Feb-14 23:25:29

I've had incidents like this several times regardless of whether I was in my 25 year old Golf or the newish BMW I now drive (considerately).

My favourite technique to make tail gaiters back off is to hold down the windscreen cleaner and give them a prolonged squirt with the washer fluid.

I would say though that if you're driving well and legally, it shouldn't be possible to undertake you. It really annoys me when people sit in the right hand lane holding up traffic because they're going to turn right in a mile or so.

Newyearchanger Fri 07-Feb-14 23:37:08

Just drove home .. A little on edge because of this thread, when I had to stop at two roadworks, I was expecting to see people jumping out of the car behind me! And I didn't have the central locking on!

chipshop Sat 08-Feb-14 14:54:35

When I was in my early 20s I was coming home from work at about midnight, turned onto an A road in my battered Peugeot 206 and a huge Mercedes came speeding round a far corner behind me.

The driver started going mental because he had to slow down while I picked up speed. The road was clear when I turned out so he was being ridiculous. He was tailgaiting, flashing and gesturing at me for miles. A middle aged man with a snooty looking woman sitting blankly next to him. When I had to turn off to join the motorway I didn't indicate and pulled off last minute, leaving him no chance to follow. I heard angry beeps as I went down the slip road. By this point I was shaking and on the verge of tears.

If it ever happened again I'd call the police, he had no right to intimidate me like that. angry Hate how they all seem to get away with it.

JumpingJackSprat Sat 08-Feb-14 15:51:15

I was with my ex once driving on the motorway and we saw a black 4x4 aggressively tailgating someone in the "slow" Lane. As we were coming to overtake him he cutus up so we practically had to emergency stop to avoid a collision. The 4x4 ended up behind us and started tailgating us, lights flashing the whole works. Over the next few miles he basically tried to bully everyone on that stretch of motorway. We pulled off at the next exit and called the police and when we rejoinedmotorway some twenty minutes later we saw the guy stopped at the side of the road by the police.

toomuchcaffeineagain Sun 09-Feb-14 00:15:24

I have had similar happen to me on several occasions late at night on the M6. It has definitely had nothing to do with me delaying another driver as I drive fairly fast and it has been very intimidating and frightening. On one occasion a car with three lads followed me out of Birmingham city centre and on to the motorway. They knew that I was a lone woman and kept flashing their lights and matching my speed ( ranging between 40 - 110mph) until in the end I decided to really put my foot down and they couldn't keep up. I drive at night regularly and do a high mileage so I am seriously considering getting a camera installed.

rabbitlady Sun 09-Feb-14 00:17:16

when I was young this used to happen all the time, and not just at night. I remember being blocked in on a motorway by three enormous lorries and left with nowhere to go, no escape. i started braking a lot and they took the hint and backed off.

ilovecolinfirth Sun 09-Feb-14 08:04:21

This happened to me once, and when I drove into a local retail park to lose him, he followed me in. Stopped whilst I parked up, and then parked a few spaces away from me. I phoned my husband at that point and gave him his car details, but was really cross with myself for not calling the police. After a few minutes he drove off, but it left me shaken-up.

ilovecolinfirth Sun 09-Feb-14 08:06:22

When it happened to me it was daytime. Certainly wouldn't drive into retail park on my own at night!

chebella Sun 09-Feb-14 08:24:29

I was followed in broad daylight once- tried doubling back etc to lose him: eventually I managed to, parked up and did what I went for, only to return to find a note on my windscreen from the creep saying he wanted to be my "friend" - who seriously thinks a woman would find that behavior friendly?!

chebella Sun 09-Feb-14 08:25:10

This reminds me of the everyday sexism project, sadly.

WelshMoth Sun 09-Feb-14 10:07:07

It's awfully tempting to buy a dashboard camera. I wrote a bit of an essay for my contribution to this thread, but it must be said that this is one if many encounters.

I was a Pharma rep for 10 years, and drove up to 1000 miles a week. The encounters of aggressive tailgaiting and racing I've had are many. DH and I have also been harassed on motorways. I pride myself on safe driving (have my advanced licence) but I've had to really exceed legal speed limits on the odd occasion for my own safety.

I now drive a big VW transporter, thinking I'd be one less target on the roads. Nope. Thinking about it, I am the object of someone's unwanted attention at least once a fortnight (and I'm a regular looking 40r old woman).

It's not on. Is a dashboard camera a solution? How can perpetrators be held accountable?

I love the generalisations re sex and what car you drive in MN.

I drive either a Q7 or a Fiat Panda and it's amazing the amount of wankers who drive aggressively around me when I am in the Q7, I say to DH it's like a wanker magnet.

In the Panda I am almost invisible and have never had anyone behave in an untoward manner.

Misspixietrix Sun 09-Feb-14 10:45:12

Scary stories on this thread. sad A friend who was giving me a lift to the Hospital to visit my DM had to do a whole turnaround along a lot of backstreets to lose a tailgater one evening. They did it to my BIL once when he had my Dsis with him in the car and when he did pull over told him to get out the car. When he got out and they were greeted with a 6ft stock of a bloke they quickly changed their minds and jumped back in the car and sped off!

Chottie Sun 09-Feb-14 10:52:25

I've had this too, when driving DPs BMW. It tends to be middle aged men driving smaller, less powerful cars.

theimposter Sun 09-Feb-14 11:53:25

For those talking about dash mounted cameras my other half is the national distributor and can arrange nationwide installation for these. He has done group buys on motoring forums so if anyone is seriously looking for one then please message me and it can be arranged. Actually I haven't had many issues being followed etc but my car is quite manly looking and also sign written for one of my businesses which is seen as male orientated so wonder if that helps? The story about being followed to the Welsh port earlier up the thread sounded terrifying.

TossedSaladsAndScrambledEggs Sun 09-Feb-14 12:07:57

I had this once - was driving home late at night from a singing gig, a guy in a petrol station tried to chat me up, I (politely) told him I wasn't interested, he followed me out and started taking the piss out of my car and shouting other abuse (like I cared I drove a banger!) and him and his friends followed me in their car when I drive away. I only lived round the corner, but I lived alone and I didn't want them knowing where I lived so I had to drive around for ages trying to lose them. I lost them eventually and went home. This was in the days before mobiles so I couldn't call the police. I absolutely crapped myself, I really thought I was going to get gang raped, and it still chills me to the bone when I wonder what might have happened if I hadn't lost them - he was so hostile to me when I turned him down he obviously felt he had to intimidate me to appease his bruised pride.

TossedSaladsAndScrambledEggs Sun 09-Feb-14 12:09:25

Oh and for ages afterwards I parked my car away from my house in case they recognised it! I forgot I did that!

complexnumber Sun 09-Feb-14 12:31:21

Why are blokes such twats.

...and why do all women write such moronic crap?

Tallalime Sun 09-Feb-14 12:34:23

This has only happened to me once. Driving home at night and another car followed me, very close flashing his lights occasionally. Slowed down and he didn't overtake, kept up the intermittant flashing.

Honestly my first thought was that there was something wrong with my car but still wasn't going to pull over alone on a country road. Luckily my route took me past a prison, so when I got to it I turned up towards the gate house. Other driver sped off.

Checked my car, nothing obvious wrong, tyres OK, brake lights working etc.

Other driver could have been a creap, it did worry me a bit - it's never happened again.

nessus Sun 09-Feb-14 12:43:04

Women don't tailgate each or act menacingly on the road.

Umm, yes they do confused

Op, I doubt it was anything malicious. Some people like to drive faster than those toeing the line. I am one of those drivers and equally get fucked off at men and women when in a rush!

ComposHat Sun 09-Feb-14 12:52:32

Women don't tailgate each or act menacingly on the road

Well it must have been a hell of a funny looking bloke tailgating me on the A74 on Wednesday.

I don't think it is a gender issue but a fuckwit issue.

nessus Sun 09-Feb-14 13:17:01

Exactly ComposHat! It is not a gender bias.

I am baffled at the subordinate tones of some commenters in here. Where do some live (and drive) where women are these passive types that would never act/drive like those strong scary men do.

Having a cock does not give men a monopoly on being dicks.

ComposHat Sun 09-Feb-14 13:22:55

I am baffled at the subordinate tones of some commenters in here. Where do some live (and drive) where women are these passive types that would never act/drive like those strong scary men do.

From my experience they can't live anywhere between the east coast of Scotland and the Northwest of England (a route I drive nearly every week) where driving like an utter arse truly knows no gender distinction.

WitchWay Sun 09-Feb-14 13:32:17

In my experience, on average men tend to drive more aggressively than women & women do more of the stupid "just not concentrating" stuff, but it is certainly not exclusive. There seems to be an increasing number of young women who drive too fast & too close, compared to when I was first driving 30 years ago, & more who will rant & gesticulate if they feel they've been thwarted in some way, compared to previously. The scary following & intimidating mentioned above, however, seems to be almost exclusively the preserve of the male driver.

VenusDeWillendorf Sun 09-Feb-14 13:42:11

This used to happen to me when I drove my mini. Once a man actually got into my car at a red light, so I drove very fast way out of town, and told him to get out miles away from anywhere. I was more furious than scared.
I left him on the side of the road crying his eyes out. He just "did it for a laugh".

So then i decided that i was going to be more proactive. I used to have cigarettes and a few lighters always on me too at any truck stops I went to have a cup of tea in- I figured I could stab anyone with them, if things got hairy. I didn't even smoke!
I drove a lot in those days, and I met a lot of weirdos.

I changed car to a big diesel golf and left my dad's hat in the back, hey presto no more fucking wankers.

I also have a crow bar in the footwell of the passenger seat.
In these days of mobile phones, it's easier to ring the police, or with sat nav to find a police station, but when I started driving I really was all alone driving miles after miles on motorways and on little rural roads, and no one knew where I was.

I get my mum to carry wd40 in her car to spray at anyone - can't stand the feeling of being a victim waiting to happen, and that predators have all the power.

I always have my phone at the ready too.

Hope you're ok OP. with cameras now everywhere you should report it to the police, as they might have video of it.

BookFairy Sun 09-Feb-14 14:15:38

I have had similar experiences on the M25. I drive a Micra but always drive the speed limit - no annoying and dangerous pootling! It's very frustrating people can drive dangerously and in an aggressive fashion with seemingly no repurcussions.

AnyFucker Sun 09-Feb-14 15:16:02

Are people really trying to throw doubt on women's experiences of being threatened by men on the roads ? hmm

I think you need some education. I'll be a non-brash feministy type (today) and point you in the direction of some "light reading" shall I ? here

ComposHat Sun 09-Feb-14 15:29:36

I don't think anyone is doubting anyone else's experiences, just that other people have experienced intimidatory and hostile driving from female drivers as well. Suggesting that it is not wholly a gendered issue.

harticus Sun 09-Feb-14 15:33:12

I used to drive all over the country with my job and often ran into trouble on the roads at night with young men targeting me.

There were the blokes in 3 separate cars who hemmed me in on the M25 and were wanking against the window.
Then there was the bloke who reversed at me down a dark country lane then got out of his car and tried to get into my car. When he couldn't he began kicking the door in and calling me a cunt.
And there was the one in a London petrol station who tried to run me over. (He was arrested).

Anyone who thinks that women aren't aggressively targeted on the roads by certain men is delusional.
If I were doing a huge amount of travelling now I would definitely invest in a dashboard camera.

ComposHat Sun 09-Feb-14 15:40:25

Yes, I agree that those sexually aggressive acts are perpetuated almost exclusively by men against women, but the conversation on this thread isn't exlclusively about that.

It has also covered forms of dangerous and aggressive driving (tailgaiting, flashing lights, engine revving) that are perpetuated by both sexes, towards both sexes.

AnyFucker Sun 09-Feb-14 15:43:13

Compo, OP's experience was a gendered one and she is the one we are supposedly trying to support. So, tbh, insisting that it isn't would feel (to her) that she is being disbelieved.

ComposHat Sun 09-Feb-14 15:49:25

I'm sorry any I politely disagree.

There's a question 'has anyone had similar experiences?' I think it is perfectly valid to respond 'yes I have, but the same intimidatory behaviour (flashing lights/speed matching/tailgaiting) experienced by both sexes in similar circumstances.

AnyFucker Sun 09-Feb-14 15:53:35

then we have politely agreed to disagree smile

have you ever perused the site I linked to ? This is what women are living with, every day of our lives.

AnyFucker Sun 09-Feb-14 15:54:20

I guess you would see it as a derail, whereas I see this issue as fundamental.

ComposHat Sun 09-Feb-14 16:02:58

Yes I did. I don't see it as a de-rail, but I think we are slightly talking at cross purposes.

Some people on this thread (me included) are talking about (gender neutral) bad/aggressive/intimidatory driving they've experienced and whether this is a product of male drivers trying to frighten females off the road. (to which I said: 'no not always' both sexes can and do behave aggressively behind the wheel of the car and I have direct experience of that) and another discussion about sexual abuse/predatory behaviour targeted at women by men in cars.

In the context of this thread I think either is a valid discussion and is worthy of sharing and I don't think either needs to be shut down.

AnyFucker Sun 09-Feb-14 16:13:25

I wasn't attempting to shut anything down

I was simply pointing out that repeatedly saying "women do it too" is taking something away from the women that have posted here with quite clear examples of gendered violence (whether direct or indirect) against them

I am only singling you out, Compo, because you are conversing with me about it. You are by no means the only one.

ComposHat Sun 09-Feb-14 16:25:57

No it really isn't taking anything away from those who have experienced gendered violence. No one has pooh-poohed these experience or disbelieved them. They have shared other different experiences where they have felt scared or intimidated by someone else behind the wheel of the car.

I am going to leave it at that, as I don't want to de-rail this thread or turn it into a slanging match.

WelshMoth Sun 09-Feb-14 16:29:58

I don't see a slanging match Compo.
I only see posters holding other posters accountable for what they type.


ComposHat Sun 09-Feb-14 16:35:16

Okay, fair point welsh.

I will re-phrase.

I am comfortable with everything I have written on this thread, but don't feel that this is the place or necessarily productive to the wider interests of the thread to be arguing the toss over it.

That really is all I have to say.

nessus Sun 09-Feb-14 17:50:49

Anyfucker no-one can deny the experience of another. I don't think stating that there is no gender bias when it comes to aggressive / intimidatory drivers is denying or devaluing the experience of the OP. Just stating that it is a misnomer to think otherwise.

The OP posted an AIBU about tailgating not gender based violence. From reading the posts on here tailgaiting happens to women, men and even young families travelling together at the hands of men and women.

And as I said before and will say again I myself have been known to be the kind of bastard driver described and I don't care if the car in front of me is being driven by a man or woman.

fluffyraggies Sun 09-Feb-14 18:03:58

The harassment i experienced (detailed upthread) was always by men. Out of no-where, on an otherwise empty motorway. Leering, waving, driving in the middle lane right next to me, driving 3 inches away from my arse, or getting in front of me then slowing down to 30mph. Same car - empty motorway. So no, not borne out of ''frustration with my slow driving'' hmm (would this be a good time to mention i drive a BMW?)

Yes i could have accelerated away easily, but that would mean doing over 90mph to get away and i'm not prepared to risk my life or others by doing that.

'Normal' bad driving, such as tailgating, dangerous overtaking, etc. is def. not gender exclusive, but i have never been harassed in the way i have described above by a female driver.

Personally i thought that was the thrust of the thread.

Elderberri Sun 09-Feb-14 18:14:18

No women has ever intimidated me while driving,cycling or walking.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 09-Feb-14 18:16:06

For the posters picking up on my post saying that 'women don't tailgate or act menacingly on the road', I would have thought it was fairly obvious that I was talking of my own experience. How could I comment on anybody else's? It is not my experience that women behave this way, I've never encountered it personally. I've experienced it from plenty of men though.

Whilst I think that the type of car someone drives is nothing to do with their driving I do think it's possible to conclude that twattish driving and aggression towards other road users can be very frightening - and is more frightening when levied at a lone woman.

Some posters just want to argue for the sake of it and yes, it is an attempt to quieten others, which is very annoying.

Done lots of nighttime driving on motorways when dc were little and have been tailgated empty motorway and the car come up alone side alude back behind me full beams on I was able to get off at the next junition go aroundabout to make out I was going on a diff road and sped off back onto motoway scared the hell out of me

Yy to say if you do breakdown say you are a lobe female driver I had a flat tyre called up said they get to me asap as had young dc with me then a car stopped man got out wouldnt go away I ended up shouting at him and he just stayed in his car staring at me

so called breakdown again saying this within a few mins a police car came round with blue and twos the car sped away ( it was a longish strecth of road) the policeman stayed with me in his car catching up on paperwork till the breakdown ppl came

LessMissAbs Sun 09-Feb-14 18:43:23

OP here. I am certain (and I am a lawyer, and used to weighing up evidence) that the tailgating was because they could see I was a lone female. I overtook their car before it and the roadworks started, the roadworks were very well lit and it continued long beyond the roadworks (for around another 10 miles).

The thread isn't only about harassment by males though - females could also harass another female, or a male, or a mixed group, but in my case the impression I got is that I was a man, I would not have been targeted. And furthermore, that it was a car with 3 young males in it who were purposefully on the motorway to harass other drivers, and I was seen by them as a suitable target.

Harticus really frightening. In fact everyone has described horrific incidents. It is shocking how many men out there are full of such hatred. Certainly the other two incidents I described, were very much about sexual harassment.

WelshMoth Sun 09-Feb-14 18:58:09

And as I said before and will say again I myself have been known to be the kind of bastard driver described and I don't care if the car in front of me is being driven by a man or woman.

nessus How about you do something about that?

theimposter Sun 09-Feb-14 18:59:59

Actually this has just reminded me of something last week; I was stopped at a junction waiting for another car to pull out as loads of cars parked both sides of the narrow road I was turning into and suddenly this old chap opened my passenger door and started to swing his leg into the footwell to sit down! Made me jump and I waved my hand in front of him saying 'I'm not a taxi!'!! He said 'oh very sorry' and shut my door. I felt sorry for him as he obviously mistook my sign written car as a taxi bless him and was over 80 I'd say but it did make me lock my doors for the rest of the journey as not the nicest area...

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 09-Feb-14 19:13:29

Nessus You sound very proud of your aggressive and pointlessly bad driving. I hope you get pulled over and booked very soon if it's a habit that you've made yourself acquire.

AnyFucker Sun 09-Feb-14 19:16:02

Ness, you sound like a dick

nessus Sun 09-Feb-14 19:37:05

I don't do 'pride' but I am honest to a fault. Yep, I can most definitely be a dick at times. And at no point did I say I was a bad driver. On the contrary, I am a brilliant driver :p

I call it defensive driving to some it might be aggressive. What can I say but move to the left!

What am I doing about it? Meditating and avoiding driving on Sundays!

AnyFucker Sun 09-Feb-14 19:44:17

You are not a brilliant driver, Ness

you will cause an accident by intimidating a nervous (but perfectly safe) driver one day. Let's hope no one too precious to you gets killed, eh

Go you, dickhead

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 09-Feb-14 19:47:24

Agrees with AnyFucker.

How about you get off the road altogether because it's obviously beyond you to comprehend that it's not your driving that is 'brilliant', it's the reactions of those around you having to avoid you that deserves applauding. I'm on the road most days, huge mileage, and see lots of drivers behaving in that selfish, entitled way you're so very proud of.

I hate to say it but, if you're a woman, you've sold out, 'adopted' what you think is a macho, hard living, hard driving, Gone-in-60-Seconds-stylee put on job. You'll kill somebody one day with that pathetic loser attitude. Come back and brag about it then maybe? See if we all pat your back in admiration? Nobody will.

AnyFucker Sun 09-Feb-14 19:51:10

My dc is just setting off on her life of driving

She is a bit hesitant, but safe

I dread her coming across an aggressive driver because she is likely to panic and do something stupid

In my early years of driving something similar happened. I was on the motorway and got intimidated by a truck driver trying to force me out of the fast lane, even though my speed matched the rest of the traffic

the weather was poor, I was in a very light Vauxhall Viva

I nearly lost control of my car and went into the central reservation

that trucker would have been devastated had I been killed

for what ?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 09-Feb-14 19:55:59

Maybe go and show off at Santa Pod? Lots of 'look at meeee' 'drivers' there, nessum. You can rev your engine and be as aggressive as you like. Nobody will be looking at you in admiration though because they're all like you... utterly pointless, donors-in-waiting, but at least you'll all be sequestered off the roads where everybody else is driving.

AnyFucker Sun 09-Feb-14 19:58:15

I am annoyed at myself now for getting fucked off by some prick on t'internet

nessus Sun 09-Feb-14 20:05:42

I find meditating great for dealing with stress Anyfucker

It also allows you to see beyond the illusion of duality so you can get to the place of seeing yourself as not separate from any dick out there. And best of all you do not get annoyed by the comments of faceless randoms because you know everyone has an off moment and that we are all capable of being dicks.

AnyFucker Sun 09-Feb-14 20:11:31

My conscience is clear, ness

Can you say the same ?

AnyFucker Sun 09-Feb-14 20:12:01

and you sound like a dick in more ways than one smile

WelshMoth Sun 09-Feb-14 20:15:20

AF, this thread has me thinking about my eldest DD too.
She's just had her list of call-out locations for when she's on night shift (SHO) and I'm trawling through internet forums looking for the quickest responding breakdown service.

I'm also sorely tempted to buy her some illegal pepper spray things that could be used in self-defense should anyone ever approach her car with negative intent.

Still, good to know that not all posters on this thread will need to be cautious. Y'know, the brilliant drivers, and all that.

Gotto laugh.

grumpyoldbat Sun 09-Feb-14 20:15:50

Tailgating and acting aggressively towards other road users aren't signs of good driving.

The time of my worst incident I thought I was going to die. I was on the Cumbrian section of the M6. It was dark and quiet. There were 3 lanes, I was in the left hand lane driving at 70mph. A car sped up behind me from a distance I was expecting him to overtake when I saw him in my rear view mirror. He didn't he slammed on his breaks right on my tail flashed his lights a lot blinding with his high beams. He then swerved suddenly into the next lane I thought he was finally going to pass. He didn't he sat along side laughing, making throat cutting gestures and intermittently swerving in towards me. I thought I was going to go off the road, I tried slowing down to let him in in front but he kept pace.

When he started his bullying I was approximately 22miles from the nearest services. It felt like a lifetime getting there, I thought it was all I had left of my life. I drove into the services but he swerved again to follow me but luckily he sped off when I pulled into a space next to a mini bus full of soldiers. Guess he wasn't so brave when he was outnumbered. I was scared to drive away from that services in case he was waiting for me further down the motorway. Before I left I put 999 into my phone so that all I'd have to press was press dial.

So tell me ness why was this my fault? Why does this indicate I'm the bad driver? In what way is he being defensive? In what way was I impeding him, I was driving at the speed limit and there were 2 empty lanes which he could have overtaken if he wanted to break the speed limit?

nessus Sun 09-Feb-14 20:16:17

Are you flirting with me Anyfucker wink

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 09-Feb-14 20:22:41

So irritated was I that I looked at nessus's previous posts just to see if he/she was perhaps hairy handed and new. Alas no, not a new poster but a woman who has a child/children. I honestly don't know of any women who would boast about driving like this, you know, having given birth and all.

Backinthering Sun 09-Feb-14 20:24:40

Ness you are a dangerous arsehole and a shit driver.

WelshMoth Sun 09-Feb-14 20:32:55

Seems like it isn't only on the roads that some drivers play silly games.
Go away Nessus, you are indeed sounding a bit of a plank, both behind the wheel and behind your keyboard.

nessus Sun 09-Feb-14 20:33:22

And your point is?

Proseccoisnotrah Sun 09-Feb-14 20:35:51

Oh God I hope this never happens to me. I drive a high performance car and often drive alone at night but am a very nervous driver so something like this would floor me.

AnyFucker Sun 09-Feb-14 20:36:19

I am sorry that happened to you, grumpy

FreyaFridays Sun 09-Feb-14 20:38:23

How does giving birth give anyone an automatic moral highground?

AnyFucker Sun 09-Feb-14 20:38:30

Prosecco, I drive a high spec Audi. For some reason this gives some blokes with tiny dicks the hump.

Their problem, not mine.

it's my problem if their aggressive driving kills me or other road users though sad

Anniegetyourgun Sun 09-Feb-14 20:39:35

Actually, I think people may be wondering what your point is, Nessus hmm

AnyFucker Sun 09-Feb-14 20:39:36

I think ness has been on the wine

best ignored, really

Proseccoisnotrah Sun 09-Feb-14 20:41:18

AF me too! grin

I've no idea how I would react if someone was trying to ram me off the road. I haven't been driving long and have had the usual dickery at traffic lights and a bit of dangerous overtaking but some of this stuff is really frightening.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 09-Feb-14 20:42:48

Freya It doesn't, of course. For many women though, the thought of their own children or loved ones being killed due to thoughtless and erratic driving is just too much in an almost visceral way. But, being a parent, male or female, having given birth or not, having a loved-one - and thinking of them wiped out in seconds because of self-aggrandising idiots... that's what I should have said.

AnyFucker Sun 09-Feb-14 20:42:53

prosecco, this behaviour is in the minority, sweetie, honestly

my advice to you is at the first instance of it, pull off the road and have a cuppa

let the dickheads play with someone else

Anniegetyourgun Sun 09-Feb-14 20:46:13

Sorry, you're right, didn't mean to FTT.

I drive a smallish family-type car which doesn't do accelerating uphill perhaps because my mighty weight drags it down . I do tend to suffer from the go-faster tailgaters as a result, but have taken to ignoring them, which I think they find even more annoying than the brake-accelerate-brake method. I agree that kind of pushiness is not particularly gender-specific.

Don't remember ever having the sexual harassment kind of experience perhaps that's due to my mighty weight too . Hope I never do. (Damn, probably jinxed m'self now.)

WhatWouldFreddieDo Sun 09-Feb-14 20:48:13

I've been thinking of getting a dash cam cos of a few incidents - but even one of these might help?

Livingthedaydream Sun 09-Feb-14 20:53:39

You should have brake tested them.

Shannith Sun 09-Feb-14 20:57:56

Nessu fuck off.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 09-Feb-14 21:06:32

"You should have brake tested them."

Please don't ever do this If they don't stop, you will be stuck on whatever road you are on with a (possibly violent) dick

nessus Sun 09-Feb-14 21:13:43

Anniegetyourgun my point is quite clear; regressive and gender limiting views should be challenged wherever encountered.

If anyone has any more name calling to do feel invited to pm me directly.

OP, apologies for the diversion.

WelshMoth Sun 09-Feb-14 21:26:13

I have used the break testing methods if on a long stretch of road a few times but I've always considered careully who's tailgaiting me before doingit. I've only done it on what look like regular, distracted drivers who don't realise how dangerous their driving is, and it usually works.

I more recently tried my hazards for a few flashes on an aggressive male driver who was taking tailgaiting to a new dimension -- the twat-- and my two DD's were in the car, but it only suceeded in making him worse. I felt fury that day because DD's were aware of the danger, and were crying.

AnyFucker Sun 09-Feb-14 21:42:22

I would not ever take a dangerous driver on

I can hold my own in a verbal skirmish, but do not ever take risks outside of that

take evasive action to remove yourself is my advice

Livingthedaydream Sun 09-Feb-14 21:43:27

BoneyBackJefferson - It's always worked for me.

Violent? What they gona do when you are both in motion? Hardly gona punch you in the face!

Livingthedaydream Sun 09-Feb-14 21:47:59

What you have to remember is that these guys (and yes it is generally men) do not actually want to damage their car. If you match them to a point they cannot do anything else unless it would cause cars to touch, they will not do it!

I understand that doesn't help you if you are a nervous or anxious driver though. I am not at all and have always ignored or brake tested and they soon fuck off.

If the arse passes you giving you the finger or pulls in to be in front of you then just be prepared to brake or just hang back as much as possible.

I honestly do not know why people act like arseholes on the road. But just try to ignore and they soon get bored.

AnyFucker Sun 09-Feb-14 21:48:24

BBJ is right

I wouldn't advise my daughter to take an aggressive driver on, so the same for anyone else

grumpyoldbat Sun 09-Feb-14 21:52:23

living I thought she meant what could happen if brake testing went wrong, they smashed into you leaving your car undrivable.

Queenmarigold Sun 09-Feb-14 21:53:17

Yes by a lorry. I called the police who stopped him and I carried on in peace

FreyaFridays Sun 09-Feb-14 21:54:56

Ah, Witch, that makes much more sense now. Didn't quite get the angle you were coming from before, since mothers who've given birth are quite as capable of killing as the next chap.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 09-Feb-14 21:58:56

I've mentioned on another occasion the coach that tailgated me on the ice a couple of years ago. Reported him to his company. Hope he got a proper earful.

CrohnicallyFarting Sun 09-Feb-14 22:00:14

I just remembered an incident a few years back. It was fairly late at night, I was the passenger and my (now) DH was driving. We were on a stretch of wide single carriageway with a 50 limit. I expect DH was travelling faster than that, maybe 60, when a car started tailgating us. DH braked hard, driver behind was forced to swerve round and sped off ahead. We thought that was the end of it.

Further along the road there were some road works. It's hard to describe, but they were putting in crossing islands and improving a roundabout, so there were some of those 6ft high metal fences along the edge of the road, and also along the white lines in the middle. This meant that the road was reduced to 2 completely separate carriageways, each just one car width therefore no way of turning the car round.

The car in front stopped and we realised it was the one that had tailgated us previously. The driver got out, went to his boot, and pulled out something long, thin and made of metal- in my panic I thought it was a shotgun but I guess it was really a crowbar or tyre wrench or similar- and came at us.

Luckily the road was empty and there was nothing behind, else we'd have been trapped. DH put the car in reverse and sped off backwards as fast as he could, as soon as we were out of the roadworks and the carriageways rejoined he pulled a handbrake turn. As the man had to get back into his car we were able to get out of sight, down a side road and parked up with some other cars with our lights off (but engine running just in case). I don't know how long we waited before we plucked up the courage to drive off (in a different direction of course!).

Unfortunately neither of us got the reg plate or even a description of the driver, so couldn't report to the police.

pigletmania Sun 09-Feb-14 22:03:53

Nessus the roads would be a much better place without wankers like you about! Aggressive not defensive. I bet your the the that intimidates somebody if they are too slow.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 09-Feb-14 22:08:33

CrohnicallyFarting shock

Nessus you can aggressively drive behind me if you like. I'll simply slam on the brakes, you'll be far too close to come to a safe emergency stop and you'll land on the tow bar of my nice big strong 4x4. Then I'll report you for dangerous driving, take your insurance company to the cleaners, you'll receive penalty points if not a driving ban and the world will be just that little bit happier. smile

Livingthedaydream Sun 09-Feb-14 22:09:37

grumpy - I see. But it's their insurance it would have gone on. Obviously not a great outcome but hopefully it would teach the fuckers a lesson.

CrohnicallyFarting - wow that guy sounds unhinged. I'd have been tempted to either a: run him over and drive off. No? I wasn't on that road at that time? I was at home watching top gear having a cuppy ;)
Or let him smash the car and call the police. He gets done, his insurance pay out. Twat gets taught a lesson.

pigletmania Sun 09-Feb-14 22:18:07

Chronically that s awful, sounds like something Nessus would do.

grumpyoldbat Sun 09-Feb-14 22:44:03

It's irrelevant whose insurance would be liable if you're badly injured or worse.

Not quite the same but I was once stationary at the back of a queue of traffic at temporary traffic lights. A speeding driver smashed into my car. I lost conciousness, I was pregnant at the time. I came to in the ambulance and spent the next 6hr in pain and not knowing for sure if dd was going to survive. Thankfully she's fine but I had a week on bed rest with lots of worry and losing pay. I still get some pain years later. He was arrested and convicted by not before I had to face his lawyer trying to humiliate me in court.

I think he has learnt his lesson but why should I or any other innocent person have to pay the price.

Permanentlyexhausted Sun 09-Feb-14 22:51:14

I have had this sort of thing happen too many times to count although, strangely, my initial reaction to the OP was that I'd never experienced it. I guess this is because I focussed on the lone woman being intimidated aspect of the OP and I generally don't find this (tailgating)particularly intimidating and have never considered that it might be because I am a lone woman. I tend to assume that it is my car which is an easy target, rather than the person driving it (it's the roof bars and if I ever have the roof box on, there is a very marked increase in the aggressive behaviour from other drivers. I love watching them think they'll squeeze past me on the hatched markings at the end of the dual carriageway, only to find that my car is surprisingly zippy with an empty roof box on - suckers!).

FWIW I think the OP did the right thing.

I don't know what you can do to try to reduce the intimidation people feel in these situations. I would however suggest not driving around with less than half a tank of petrol if possible (so you know you have enough to keep going if you need to) and keeping your phone within reach at all times.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 09-Feb-14 22:53:55


If you slam your brakes on when they are tailgating you, you run the risk of damaging both cars to the extent that you will both be at the side of the road waiting for the police to arrive.

You are gambling your safety on the response time of the dickhead behind you.

Do you really want to be on the hard shoulder or middle of nowhere with a numpty who now believes that you have destroyed there car?

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 09-Feb-14 23:01:31

You didn't mean me did you BoneyBackJefferson? grin

I wouldn't really. But I'd like to.

Years ago my mum got caught up in a shunt in her Volvo. The car behind her got impaled on her tow bar. The car in front had it's boot stoved in by her front bumper. She had a couple of scratches. Those cars were built to last.

Mimishimi Sun 09-Feb-14 23:08:58

I hate tailgaters and have been harassed by them but I've never felt targeted solely because I'm a woman - generally these jerks move onto the next car once I've let them pass/have moved over. Do not do that much driving by myself at night though.

Beavie Sun 09-Feb-14 23:10:07

In 16 years of driving I can thankfully say that nothing like this has ever happened to me. And I have driven A LOT, I was even a van driver for my job for a while.

Possibly this is mostly because I have always, without fail, owned shit old cars. My current one looks like the pope-mobile.

WitchWay Mon 10-Feb-14 07:21:59

I don't ever slam on my brakes when being tailgated but I do use my left foot to gently press the brake just a little, keeping my right on the accelerator, thus lighting up the brake-lights without slowing the car. Makes them think I'm braking & they back off.

notyummy Mon 10-Feb-14 07:47:48

It seems like there are two kinds of incident here. One involves aggressive drivers tailgating others and behaving like a knob. I face these occasionally, as does my husband. The other incidents involve clearly dangerous individuals in terms of their specific intent to women and strike me as people who are intent on committing a criminal act (as opposed to an impatient-"/aggressive idiot in a car. I have never encountered one of these in 20 years of driving and none of my friends appear to (it sounds like that sort if thing you would mention.) Now we may have been lucky. I would say that I drive a lot, and have always needed to. I spend at least 12-15 hours a week in the car driving long distances for work, before factoring in all the short journeys that are domestic related. I drive all over the UK on my own for social reasons and always have done. I hope this thread doesn't make a nervous driver think that they are going to be the frequent victim of a sexually motivated crime because I would question the amount of evidence for that. There is plenty of evidence all around of equal opportunity knobs in cars- I watch them scare a range of people on yen roads everyday. It is true that the vast majority of men, but I think they choose to pick on anyone who happens to hold them up.

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