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Old 08-20-2012, 12:41 PM   #15
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Driving I81 thru Virginia is almost forever I'm sure the people weren't in a hurry and found your rig to set a nice pace for them.
I made that trip from HBG, Pa to Char.,NC last week... Its enough to make you crazy..
I-81 is bad enough but I-40 around Knoxville is, IMHO, worse. There is also a construction area on I-40 about 40 miles East of Little Rock that could make you tear your hair out. They push the West bound lane onto a new piece of blacktop that is beyond where the rumble strip was. Your right wheels are bouncing up and down on the new and very uneven blacktop while you try to keep the driver's side from scraping the Jersey barrier. Every bridge has huge bumps that can just about jar your fillings out.

When we were traveling East through there, the back up just to get into the Westbound construction was more than 5 miles. When we went West, I timed it so that we arrived at the construction area just after first light and we were able to go right through. We almost got to do it in the pouring rain, however.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:49 PM   #16
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I would have called the police. Troopers in and around Christiansburg are very helpful as is the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. Nobody follows a slow MH on the interstate, they pass.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:46 PM   #17
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Gee I used to have a car followed me wherever I drove.. but alas it died of old age.

Now on a serious note: There is a type of driving called "Hypermilling" it is rather dangerous but one of the technicies they use to get better millage is to "Draft" a larger front vehicle, An RV or a Semi truck normally.

This is dangerous because contrary to the popular belief, If you lock up the brakes (And all wheels lock) go into an "All wheel skid" or the anti-lock equivlent. Your rig takes exactly the same distance to stop (At any given speed) as the tailgater's

Plus he needs about 11 feet for every 10 mph to hit the brakes ASSUMING he's watching. In short, he can run right under your tail and kiss his tail "Good by" rather easily should you panic stop.

He should have given up and picked a semi.. but he did not.

You could have reported him for tailgating but that is a low priority call. If there is a traffic car handy, they would have stopped him but .. Well, with today's government cutbacks in all the areas they should NEVER cut.. not much chance of that.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:04 PM   #18
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Gee I used to have a car followed me wherever I drove.. but alas it died of old age.

Now on a serious note: There is a type of driving called "Hypermilling" it is rather dangerous but one of the technicies they use to get better millage is to "Draft" a larger front vehicle, An RV or a Semi truck normally.

This is dangerous because contrary to the popular belief, If you lock up the brakes (And all wheels lock) go into an "All wheel skid" or the anti-lock equivlent. Your rig takes exactly the same distance to stop (At any given speed) as the tailgater's

Plus he needs about 11 feet for every 10 mph to hit the brakes ASSUMING he's watching. In short, he can run right under your tail and kiss his tail "Good by" rather easily should you panic stop.

He should have given up and picked a semi.. but he did not.

You could have reported him for tailgating but that is a low priority call. If there is a traffic car handy, they would have stopped him but .. Well, with today's government cutbacks in all the areas they should NEVER cut.. not much chance of that.
You have detailed the reasons while I dislike tailgaters in the first place. I, as the driver in front, loose almost all of my options to respond quickly to a changing traffic situation in front of me without risking the idiot that is right behind me (and I could often see the front of his car in my backup camera) doing an accordion job on my toad. We witnessed several chain reaction accidents in just this trip along and I'm sure that all of them involved drivers following too close.

I think that Satan has a better chance of having icicles hanging from his nose than I would have had of getting a LEO to write my "friend" up for tailgating. There were stretches were he/she was actually at a safe following distance but much of the time, that wasn't the case. Those stretches of longer following distance are what makes me skeptical of the "drafting" reason for him following me.

My main reason for opening this thread was to see if anyone else had had this experience. Apparently not. Since nothing bad came out of it, I'm ready to put it into the history book and forget about it. It was impossible to ignore while it was happening, however. Those who have driven I-81 understand that it is a full time job because of the heavy volume of vehicles, particularly trucks. Having to worry about some goofball with a weird attachment syndrome at the same time was something that I could have and would have preferred to do without.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:10 PM   #19
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My first thought while reading your post (op) was this was a joke about you buying a new toad and/or forgot which vehicle you were towing. But no, it was a serious concern.
There is another theory that I am surprised hasn't come up yet. The person following was on the cell phone and wasn't paying attention to their driving. I strongly believe also that there are idiot drivers out there that pace off of other vehicles and haven't the slightest idea that they are a concern to the driver of the vehicle they are following. I have this happen to me on my commute to or from work at least once a week. In my younger days I would all but run them off the road with my pickup with the big chrome step bumper. They soon would not follow me when they thought I was drunk or something.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:16 PM   #20
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We were returning from PA to Texas via I-81 in Virginia last Thursday. Between Harrisonburg and Stauton, I picked up a tailgater. I know it was there because I'm pretty aware of tailgaters and do everything that I can to encourage them to pass if they are not happy with how fast that I'm driving. This one seemed to be there longer than normal.

When the same car, a PT Cruiser with VA tags, was still with me after Stauton, I became concerned. What was their problem? Perhaps they had hit my toad. Perhaps I had unknowingly come too close to them. There was no horn or flashing of the headlights trying to signal me and no attempt to pass. Unfortunately for me, my emergency flashers had just quit working.

Approaching Christiansburg, over 75 miles later, the car was still there and, at times, was way too close. My practice is to slow significantly at the top of the long hills to make sure that my speed doesn't get beyond the exhaust brake's ability to slow the chassis. The car stayed right with me. It was on the long uphills that I really got concerned. There are a couple with truck lanes and, while I can usually pass trucks uphill, I always start in the truck lane. As I changed lanes to go to that truck lane, the car did too. Anyone who has driven that section of I-81 understands exactly what I'm describing.

Now, I was considering options:
1. Pull over or take an exit - I didn't think this was a good idea.
2. Call 911 and ask for law enforcement assistance - it was not highly likely that would they be to want to do anything when it was just a person following too close for a long distance.

At Christiansburg, the traffic thinned out somewhat and I made a couple of quick lane changes. The car followed. On one of them, I signaled a change to the left and the car changed lanes faster than I did. I moved back to the right lane and slowed down. Now the car was beside me and had another car behind it. It had no choice but to pass and pull back in front of me - just as I took the exit to a rest area. I simply drove through the rest area slowly and exited.

When I got back onto the main part of I-81, the car was gone. I never saw it again. When I did stop at a rest stop, I looked over the toad carefully but there was no sign of any damage or problems.

I cannot imagine why anyone would deliberately follow a slower vehicle in their own State. If they had maintained a reasonable following distance, I really won't have cared but having someone so close especially under hilly conditions where I was constantly changing speeds was unnerving. I know, I know - FIDO (Forget it, drive on.) but someone who follows me that close for about 100 miles isn't what I'd consider to be a normal circumstance.

We'll see if whoever it was has some kind of a beef with me and uses my license number to track me down.

Thoughts?
I'm thinking it was the same as people following semi's: They were riding your wake for better mileage. Problem is, they get a little bit of 'hypnosis' after the miles roll past and tend to only follow you. i remember a case in OK when I was learning to drive were the guy followed a semi for hours on the Interstate, followed him off an exit, and made several turns down city streets before he realized where he was, or rather, didnt know where he was. Was a funny news story :0
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:33 PM   #21
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Drunks and people who cannot see use you for guidance.

That scares me more than some idiot that wants to draft.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:47 PM   #22
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I'm thinking it was the same as people following semi's: They were riding your wake for better mileage. Problem is, they get a little bit of 'hypnosis' after the miles roll past and tend to only follow you. i remember a case in OK when I was learning to drive were the guy followed a semi for hours on the Interstate, followed him off an exit, and made several turns down city streets before he realized where he was, or rather, didnt know where he was. Was a funny news story :0
The one last Thursday had to do a lot of maneuvering to stay behind me. I had managed to separate us into different lanes several times, only to have them get behind me again. I had one of the cell phone hypnosis types behind me today while I was driving the toad and they were very easy to get rid of. The VA Stalker (I like that title) was not at all easy to shake.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:01 PM   #23
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With my 5er, following a truck at a normal, safe distance, caused buffeting. If your flashers were broke you could have constantly tapped your brakes or turned your lights on/off, on/off, or slowed down to 35-40 and see what they did.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:02 PM   #24
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I doubt calling 911 would have done much of anything. If the tailgater was drafting, then your speed changes should have inited him\her to pick a big rig or other target of opportunity.

All things considered, you probably did the best thig you could and losing the tail...but I would have done it after the first hour (50-60 miles).

In all my travels and advetures I have learned that people are crazy..Id prefer they be crazy far from me.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:08 PM   #25
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I would have called the police or whatever local law enforcement folks were there. If they had tried the stop short in front of me, forcing me to stop, so they could rob me, they would have most likely been unsuccessful in their attempt.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:11 PM   #26
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I think if you exaggerated how slow you went and still couldn't shake them, 911 would respond.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:47 AM   #27
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I doubt calling 911 would have done much of anything. If the tailgater was drafting, then your speed changes should have inited him\her to pick a big rig or other target of opportunity.

All things considered, you probably did the best thig you could and losing the tail...but I would have done it after the first hour (50-60 miles).

In all my travels and advetures I have learned that people are crazy..Id prefer they be crazy far from me.
I did try to loose them as I always do after the first 20 miles. Someone said that noone follows a slow MH. Not true. I had 30-40 of them do it in the course of the trip. Some of the tailgaters started as far as 5 miles from an upcoming exit but all but a couple of them did end up exiting. Normally, a couple of doses of flashers for those who are still tailgating after an exit is enough encouragement for them to pass. I'm a bit reluctant to slow down too much because that could leave me liable if they do run into me because they weren't paying attention.

The reason that I specifically stated where this occurred was to provide perspective about the road. There is very heavy traffic in that area, mostly trucks. The speed differential between me and most of the trucks wasn't that much. If I had tried more aggressive slowing, I would have created a larger problem. I had to temper my actions based on the many other vehicles around me while this was going on.

Let's not even consider following the off topic posts any further. There is no reason to get this thread shut down over an unrelated matter.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:12 AM   #28
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I think I would have called 911 anyway, just to be on record even if they couldn't send someone...
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