And WHY are they following me so close?
That was the feeling I had Sunday while driving on the NJ Turnpike. I was travelling in the slowest lane and doing at least 10 miles over the posted 65mph speed limit – just to keep pace with other cars in the same lane.
Then, I look in my rear view mirror and all I see is the white hood of a car following so close that not even the headlights were visible. Now that’s pretty darn close!
What to do?
There was so much traffic in the lane next to mine, that moving wasn’t an option. Besides, I wasn’t the one who wanted to go faster and that wasn’t an option as there was already a car in front, a whole line in of cars. Jamming on the brakes was a bad idea for 2 reasons: the tailgating jerk might ram my back door and than my car front would be pushed into the rear of the car ahead.
Since Libby, my Jeep Liberty, already had the tail gate replaced last September after being hit, braking was not an option.
WHAT was the the guy in back of me trying to prove? OK, if making me nervous was the goal – it worked.
Just when I was wondering how long he would tailgate, he suddenly moved into the other lane.
WHEW, I could relax, but only briefly. When I looked in the mirror a few minutes later, there’s a black SUV, again following so closely that the front grill and headlights couldn’t be seen in my rear view mirror.
Scary, it sure was at the time and annoying even now.
Today, I read online that NJ has a tailgating law, stating: “The driver of a vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to the speed of the preceding vehicle and the traffic upon, and condition of, the highway.” N.J.S.A 39:4-89.
Also learned that especially on the NJ Turnpike and Garden State Parkway – tailgating is the second most common cause of car accidents (ya think?). While the law doesn’t specify a required distance between two cars, in ideal highway conditions a car should have one car length between vehicles for every 10 miles per hour the cars are traveling. For example, two cars traveling 60 miles per hour should have six car lengths between them.
RIGHT – when do cars travelling on not only the NJ toll roads but ANY major highway adhere to this rule?
WHERE is a state police officer when you really need one?
Thankfully, there were no further incidents like this one, although I did watch countless motorists zipping in and out of lanes. And, oh joy, I get to make the return trip home next weekend on this road.