5 ways to deal with tailgaters
*updated December 2021
While you've got those L-plates on your car, people will generally make allowances for you. There'll always be the occasional driver who can't delay his extremely important journey by 2 minutes while you get to grips with clutch control - but thankfully they're a rare beast.
And then you pass your test. Suddenly you're like everyone else and there are no special allowances. The gloves - like the L-plates - are off.
Because ingenie black box insurance rewards drivers for keeping to the speed limit, some of our community have felt pressurised to drive faster or get away at traffic lights and junctions quicker than is comfortable. You're going at the speed limit - as everyone should be - but someone behind you just can't bear it.
So, how do you deal with it?
Understand the tailgater
Sure you understand them - they're an impatient meanie.
But here's the thing: not every tailgater is making an aggressive move out of frustration. Lots of people get too close to the car ahead because they're distracted or they've developed bad habits over the years.
When someone is getting too close behind you, don't immediately assume they're angry at you. This will make you feel intimidated or even angry back - which can cause you to make mistakes.
Don't question yourself
If you're insured with ingenie and keeping a very careful eye on speed limits to make sure you don't damage your good driving score, there's a fair chance that you're the one in the right.
Don't speed up because the driver behind is pressuring you: they'll probably speed up and close the gap again, which actually makes the danger worse because now you're being tailgated at speed.
Need some revision on speed limits? Get the facts.
Just remember that going 40 in a 50 is a whole lot safer than speeding up to 50 in a 40 just because someone behind you is a bit too excited about getting home for their tea.
Think about having P-plates after you pass
You can have P-plates on your car for a year after you pass and they may help you feel more confident about making the transition from learner to qualified driver.
Some drivers seem inconsiderate because they're just not thinking about you, so P-plates can act as a little reminder to them that there are other people on the road who are still finding their feet as drivers.
Recognise the dangers to YOU
Remember: You can’t change how others drive but you CAN change how it affects you.
By recognising the danger the vehicle behind is putting you in, you can then do something about it and decrease your risk of a crash.
It is all too easy to be distracted by the tailgater and find yourself looking for too long in your rear-view mirror. Be aware of what they're doing but concentrate on the road ahead - you can always pull over or let them overtake (when it's safe) if they're bothering you.
Get an ingenie car sticker
If you're insured with ingenie and have a black box installed, we'll send out a free window sticker for you to put on your car that lets other drivers know that you're driving carefully for a reason: to stay safe and get your good driving discount.
This may not make a particularly aggressive driver back off but it will make you feel better - it's a reminder that you're in the right and no one can make you do anything you don't want to.
All our stickers are clear with white writing and don't use glue so they're easily removed.