Tailgating puts everyone at risk. It is one the dumbest most reckless things that one can do on the highway. While on I41 in my car, I was getting a rear view mirror full of grill. It was southbound near Oshkosh, WI. My plan was to get off on exit 113. The speed limit there is 70 mph. That is how fast I was going. There was slower traffic in the right lane. There is no truck lane restriction. I was traveling at the speed limit in the middle lane. That is when I got the rear view mirror full of grill.

It was frustrating to me. I was put in a position that I did not want, or deserve to be in. The trucker could have easily moved to the left hand land to pass me. The driver was already speeding. I suppose that I could have sped up to get out of the way, but I was already going the speed limit. Speeding up would put me in violation. As a trucker a speeding violation would hurt my driving record and perhaps even cause me to lose my lease. I felt as though, I was not doing anything wrong. Why should I have to change what I was doing, because someone else was driving recklessly?

I continued at the speed limit, and passed the cars that were in the left hand lane. The old school trucker thing to to in this situation is to get off at the next exit and take a short break. The next exit was my exit anyway. THIS YAHOO EXITED RIGHT BEHIND ME. My decision was to go into the truck stop and grab a bite to eat. The truck continued on WI 26 towards Rosendale and I never saw it again.

This situation has been bothering me. I can't get it out of my mind. If I were not a professional driver, how would I have handled it? Imagine, if I were a parent with my children in the back seat. What does that parent do? Does that parent speed up to get out of the way? Then how does that make him feel about truck drivers? I don't know if I am more angry with that driver for tailgating me, or for the way they represented the industry.

WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH THAT DRIVER'S TINY LITTLE BRAIN? Did they think that I should get out of their way. Shoot the exit that they were getting off at was about 3 miles away when this started. Traffic in the right lane was moving at about 65 mph. At 65 mph it would take about 2 minutes and 47 seconds to travel 3 miles. It would take roughly 12 seconds less at 70 mph.

THAT DRIVER WAS RISKING EVERYTHING TO GAIN AT MOST 12 SECONDS. Let that sink in. Don't tailgate. It is not worth the risk.

Comments (5)

Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

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December 13, 2016 13:17:27 PM

Well said and a great message !

October 26, 2016 11:54:58 AM

Thanks. I agree that 4 wheelers are the worst tailgaters. Unfortunately truckers are like billboards. All the good that we try to do can be undone by one stupid act.

October 26, 2016 10:13:27 AM

Very nice article Jeff. In addition to getting the word out to the industry as Stephen mentioned, I also wish we could get the word out to the general motoring public and get it to sink in with them as well.

October 26, 2016 8:33:34 AM

Well put Jeff! Now we need to get the word out to the industry.

October 26, 2016 6:57:49 AM