What's Behind Me?

Rearview MirrorWhat's behind me and why should I care? I'm driving down the highway and I'm certainly not going to back into something! There are at least two common hazards that occur regularly behind every driver and looking out for them is just good sense.

The first hazard is the impatient driver that follows you too closely. Identify this hazard and you can avoid it by either slowing down or even pulling over and stopping. If you choose to slow down, you increase your own following distance and allow even more time to react if something happens. In a sense, you are thinking ahead for the dummy behind.

The second hazard is the vehicle that is rapidly overtaking you. Anticipating a foolish passing move, postponing a left turn even though your signal light is flashing or deciding that this is not the time to stop suddenly could be very important to you!

For these reasons and more, it is wise to know what is around you when you drive. Scanning your mirrors briefly every 5 to 10 seconds will help you keep that big picture fresh and give you the time you need to decide how to avoid trouble. You must know what is behind you and you should care!

Reference Links:

Learn to Drive Smart, pages 61 and 62

Comments

Submitted by E-Mail

I must most strenuously disagree with the suggestion that someone being tail
gated "slow down" Chances are that the reason they find themselves in this
situation is that they are already going too slow. A better recommendation
would be "if you are not traveling at the posted speed limit either speed up
or signal and move right/pull over"

A significant amount of road rage would be eliminated if the slow driver was
encouraged to move over. The old road sign of many years ago still stands as
good advice

"The courteous driver if going slow would pull to the right to let fast
traffic go!"

Not Always

I certainly would agree with you if that driver were in the left lane of a multi-laned highway.

However, I very often find myself in the right lane on a multi-laned highway or on a two laned highway, doing the speed limit and finding someone 3 meters off my back bumper impatiently waiting for an opportunity to pass me. In this situation I still think that my advice is valid.

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