Fifty to One - Brian
Along a seven mile stretch of unobstructed rural road this morning, traffic speed about fifty mph, I only had to touch the brakes once.
The brake lights of the car in front came on forty or fifty times over the same stretch.
The difference?
The guy in front was basically tailgating, driving on average about two cars lengths fron the one in front of him. So every time the traffic speed dropped by a couple of miles per hour he had to use the brakes to adjust his speed, whereas I was leaving about a forty yard gap so that all I had to do was ease off the throttle.
We finished up at the same point at the same time, so he gained nothing.

Just shows how driving style affects wear and tear.
Re: Fifty to One - David W
And Brian have we a clue here to the excessive failure level of brake light bulbs mentioned before?

Re: Fifty to One - Lee H

I try and drive in the same manner as you, leaving a sensible gap, on the morning run through Huddersfield, but leaving any space between me and the car in front leads to cars sprinting out from side roads, and me having to brake anyhow to avoid sideswiping the wheelspinning idiot pulling out.

I just can't win! Given up getting upset about it, I now just slow down a little where I know traffic will join to reduce the need for braking.

Along with the knackered bulbs, I think the wheelslip antics of these people may account for a lower mileage from their front tyres...

Re: Fifty to One - Moosh
Another good reason that a mileometer reading does not give a true account of the wear and tear on a used vehicle. Perhaps in the distant future a 'black box' could be used to this end?
Re: Fifty to One - Mike Holland

You are a hero. I wish you would follow me more often.

Mike Holland
Re: Fifty to One - mike harvey
I get sick and tired of people driving far too close in front of me, especially when I'm in a desperate hurry to get there fast before I have another accident.
Re: Fifty to One - careful driver
hey its not braking distance that kills its speed didnt you all know, havent you been reading all the useful info the government puts out ?
Re: Fifty to One - Honest John
It isn't just cushion distance, it's anticipation too. Brian can drive behind me anytime.

Re: Fifty to One - BrianT
I learnt as a club racer many years ago that smoothness is the key to higher speeds over a journey. Anticipation, leaving a gap and not having to brake, smooth out the traffic flow and stop the snooker ball effect of stop/start on motorways. Pity that these days everyone wants to be up the next guys backside, and will try to squeeze into the smallest gap. Take my tip, get laid back, keep falling back and leaving a gap and enjoy better progress, better economy, less brake pad and brake light wear, and less wear and tear on the nerves!
Re: Fifty to One - Tomo
One daft thing I've noticed over the years, the character who was not doing too badly with regard to distance but unfortunately spotted you in his mirror making up places behind him, and promptly pulled up to the vehicle in front of him, presumably (hopefully) to stop you doing any more passing.
Re: Fifty to One - Simon Saxton

Brian T ,
Very sound advice indeed, particularly from a racing driver, I hope
others will read & learn.

Close behind... - ian (cape town)
I'm sure it has been discussed before, but what does one actually DO when somebody is so close behind you that you can't even see their numberplate, and you have no place to go?
Touching the brakes (for the lights) will only infuriate the cro-magnon types...
Re: Close behind... - Tomo
The most you can do is ease up, to make sure that if there is a contretemps only your rear end is damaged, helping the claim.
Re: Close behind... - Andrew Smith
Given that you can't get them to back off you need to leave a good distance between yourself and the car in front of you to reduce the chance of you having to brake heavily.
Re: Close behind... - Brill
ian (ct) wrote...
>"what does one actually DO when somebody is so close behind you that you can't even see their numberplate? Solutions?"

I have a pull cord which releases a small tin of very sharp nails from beneath my rear bumper ... that usually sorts them out. my dreams!

Re: Close behind... - markymarkn
Leaving a large distance in front of you also annoys the hell out of the guy up your backside. This technique is best employed when there is a large amount of traffic on the other side of the road too so he/she cannot overtake.

They get the idea after a while and back away. Works everytime
Re: Close behind... - rogerb
I had a colleague in the Royal Rhodesian Air Force, who was a great inventor & diy man.
He got very p'd off with the local habit of tailgating, at night, with main beams on (dipping mirrors were not widely fitted, then!)

So, he fitted a Harvard landing light, c/w 24v battery, in the boot of his Ford Prefect 100E, together with an intricate system of levers & servos, so that he could press a button, boot would open, lamp appeared , and BLAAAAHHHHH!!!

Never saw it used in anger, but it was some piece of kit!!!

I thought it was just a tad of an overkill solution!
Re: Close behind... - Mark (Brazil)
In Rio traffic, which is stop-start the whole time, there is always some idiot close behin revving his engine, despite the 5 miles of traffic in front.

Fun is pulling away in first, staying in first so that at even 10mph the engine is seriously high revving and then take your foot of the throttle. Car slows *very* fast and no brake lights.

Twice is normally enough.
Re: Close behind... - Ian Chandler
One thing you can do if you have a rear window washer is to keep operating it; quite a lot of the spray ends up on the windscreen of the car tailgating you. There is also a knack, if you have an old diesel car, of emitting choking clouds of smoke - but that's not so easy with more modern cars, and it also wastes fuel .....

Value my car