Monday, February 13, 2006
My Views On Tailgating
In Southwest Michigan there appears to be four kinds of drivers on the road they are (in no particular order), drivers from Michigan, drivers from Indiana, drivers from Ohio, and drivers from numerous other states/countries.
Drivers from Michigan know snow. They know rain. They know fog. They know potholes (that darn freeze-thaw cycle up there kills their roads!). Michigan drivers are unafraid. They are undaunted by a little tailgating. They don't see tailgating as rude so much as… communication. There is nothing a Michiganian can't handle on the road and tailgating is just another one of those things. That's why I personally don't have any qualms about tailgating a person with a Michigan license plate. Because people from Michigan understand that when someone is tailgating them it's most likely because the roads are clear for the first time all month, and the tailgater wants to drive like the wind.
Drivers from Indiana are the opposite. Indiana is a soft, sweet state with no big, huge, scary cities, less weather, and white picket fences. I do not tailgate Hoosiers. It's like tailgating your grandmother. Not only would such a gesture confuse them, but it would be mistakenly understood as offensive and somehow vulgar. When I see the pretty green license plate of someone from Indiana I am on my best behavior.
Now Buckeyes! They are a completely different story! I think there is an unspoken, underlying angst between the drivers of Michigan and the drivers of Ohio. It's not our fault that Ohio has the slowest posted speed limit in the civilized world. It's not our fault that Ohio policemen were trained by retired Nazis. But yet we suffer for it. Because when Buckeyes drive in Michigan they have one of two reactions. They either bring their 55mph speed limit and fear of police with them, or they take advantage of Michigan’s driving liberties. So, if you see an Ohio person on a Michigan expressway, they are either going 97mph or 54mph. So, when I see someone with an Ohio plate on the road I have almost a natural reaction to tailgate them all the way back to Ohio.
Drivers not from Ohio, Indiana, or Michigan should be treated strictly on a case-by-case basis.
I realize that this is highly discriminatory, but half the battle with discrimination is discovering the prejudice, right? So, in the future, I hope to tailgate everyone equally.