Lorries tailgating

Bikeman78

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They'll be able to see the road in front of you is clear and you have no reason to stop. Part of their training is to maintain a steady constant speed and avoid unnecessary braking, so they'll gently ease off instead.

That's precisely the point. They don't ease off. They catch up and then drive too close mile after mile. Seeing that the traffic in front is moving is no defense if something unexpected happens causing people to brake resulting in a collision because they didn't leave a safe gap. My normal response is to gradually let my speed drop to the mid to low 40s so they get fed up and move to lane two and tailgate someone else.
 
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LSWR Cavalier

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Often enough they can not move to lane two because of barriers, or they may not move over because there is a width restriction. I have no idea what to do in such a situation.
 

AM9

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Often enough they can not move to lane two because of barriers, or they may not move over because there is a width restriction. I have no idea what to do in such a situation.
Adjust your speed until it is no more than the safe braking distance that they are leaving themselves. If you end up below 10mph, explain that it is within their control to allow you to go faster. This applies equally to any vehicle that invades your safe space in that way.
 

Dai Corner

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They're probably driving 'on the limiter'. HGVs are limited to 50mph on single carriageway roads and 56mph overall. Drivers know they will get away with doing 56 without triggering speed cameras so they keep the throttle to the floor and that's how fast they go.
 

LSWR Cavalier

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Adjust your speed until it is no more than the safe braking distance that they are leaving themselves. If you end up below 10mph, explain that it is within their control to allow you to go faster. This applies equally to any vehicle that invades your safe space in that way.
How could I explain? Adjusting my speed to the gap makes sense in theory, but the trucker might try to deafen and frighten me with the horn and lights. I am sure that if I ease off, then accelerate to create a gap, they will close up again.

But certainly slowing right down has something to be said for it. I wonder what police drivers (in unmarked vehicles!) are trained to do in this situation.
..
I used to drive a lot, retired now, no longer have a vehicle. Does the situation described occur frequently?
 

PeterC

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That's precisely the point. They don't ease off. They catch up and then drive too close mile after mile. Seeing that the traffic in front is moving is no defense if something unexpected happens causing people to brake resulting in a collision because they didn't leave a safe gap. My normal response is to gradually let my speed drop to the mid to low 40s so they get fed up and move to lane two and tailgate someone else.
Which is part of the reason why so many car drivers hog the middle lane
 

Bikeman78

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Which is part of the reason why so many car drivers hog the middle lane
I try to avoid lane two in a 50 mph restriction. I'm not going to go faster and risk a fine so the only way back into lane one is slow down and wait until there's a gap.
 

Bletchleyite

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I try to avoid lane two in a 50 mph restriction. I'm not going to go faster and risk a fine so the only way back into lane one is slow down and wait until there's a gap.

One thing I wish there was was, as there is for some 30mph limits, a countdown to the 50 limit, allowing more time to move back left if desired before the limit. There is advance warning of works, but the same signage applies if it is 60 or no restriction so this does not serve that purpose.
 

AM9

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One thing I wish there was was, as there is for some 30mph limits, a countdown to the 50 limit, allowing more time to move back left if desired before the limit. There is advance warning of works, but the same signage applies if it is 60 or no restriction so this does not serve that purpose.
There is a 1/4 mile warning of a 50mph limit for the Colney Heath Junction on the A414 between London Colney Roundabout and Hatfield University (a 70mph stretch). See here. (Google maps streetview of signage).
 

Gathursty

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I have a lot of respect for the immense pressure lorry drivers have as is widely reported however the signs at roadworks do not have an asterisk that says *Lorry drivers ignore this 50mph limit and slam it to 56mph* Yes people's speedometers have variable calibration so someones 50 could be different to anothers 50 but it'll be significantly different to a lorry driver maxxing it out at 56mph but that is a weak excuse to be up someones backside in roadworks when there are regular average speed cameras for ALL road users including lorry drivers who should be making sure they don't get speeding points.

A lorry driver isn't losing much in a roadworks as the difference between 56mph and 50mph isn't as great as 50mph and 70mph for most other road users. As soon as I'm out of a 50mph restriction, I've overtaken the lorry who just overtook me which makes the lorry driver seem silly.
 

Bikeman78

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I have a lot of respect for the immense pressure lorry drivers have as is widely reported however the signs at roadworks do not have an asterisk that says *Lorry drivers ignore this 50mph limit and slam it to 56mph* Yes people's speedometers have variable calibration so someones 50 could be different to anothers 50 but it'll be significantly different to a lorry driver maxxing it out at 56mph but that is a weak excuse to be up someones backside in roadworks when there are regular average speed cameras for ALL road users including lorry drivers who should be making sure they don't get speeding points.

A lorry driver isn't losing much in a roadworks as the difference between 56mph and 50mph isn't as great as 50mph and 70mph for most other road users. As soon as I'm out of a 50mph restriction, I've overtaken the lorry who just overtook me which makes the lorry driver seem silly.
If the roadworks last 20 miles then going at 50 mph would take 24 minutes whilst driving at 56 mph would take 21m 25s. My five mile journey to work varies by more than that. Is it really worth tailgating to save such a small amount of time?
 

bramling

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I try to avoid lane two in a 50 mph restriction. I'm not going to go faster and risk a fine so the only way back into lane one is slow down and wait until there's a gap.

This is why many car drivers will simply head for the right-most lane (from which lorries are banned). I must admit I tend to do exactly this - set the cruise to something around an indicated 51-53, and largely ignore all the rubbish in lanes 1 & 2 going on with the lorries. I will move over if someone wants to pass though.

This doesn’t really lead to much undertaking, as any lorries will soon catch up to a slower car.

The 60 mph now being used in some locations avoids all this, thankfully.
 

silverfoxcc

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One other pointWhen tailgating, they are saving fuel perhaps they might be on a fuel bonus,. and i set my CC to 54 according to the satnav ( speedo is neae]rer 60)though the roadwork or 40/44 50/54 ish 60/66 ish being the speed quoted on the signs and what the sat nav says. Anyone that gets up my chuff while i ma keeping a safe distance min 2 sec twixt me and the guy in front if he still persists in wanting a free tow, then .i slow down so my safe gap i now 4 sec plus my 2 sec plus his two sec when i can pull over to let him pass. it is his licence not mine he is playing with.
 

LSWR Cavalier

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Slowing down to a safe gap means going slower, that saves even more fuel.

I am lucky, gave up driving a couple years ago. Is following too close as described a common problem?
 

silverfoxcc

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LSWR

They are saving fuel by sitting in the slipstream of the leading lorry. the downside is that their safe stopping distance is zero. likewise even in a car traveling too close is lethal. There may be a ar in a live lane that has stopped for whatever reason, the car in front swerves and passes it leaving the following car no reaction time
I cannot find the UK example where a car in L3 gets well and truly thumped by the car following too close, but this one in Arizona carries the same warning

 

Dent

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Slowing down to a safe gap means going slower, that saves even more fuel.
They would only be going slower for the few seconds while they are dropping back, but would then have to accelerate again to match the speed of the vehicle in front to maintain the new separation. Accelerating users more fuel than continuing at a constant speed. They would then also be using more fuel to maintain the speed due to losing the slipstream benefit.
 

GB

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They'll be able to see the road in front of you is clear and you have no reason to stop.

Don't know where that quote came from but that is a rather stupid justification for tailgating.
 

D365

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Slowing down to a safe gap means going slower, that saves even more fuel.

I am lucky, gave up driving a couple years ago. Is following too close as described a common problem?
In my experience - yes. Half of the people don’t even realise they are doing it. There are times when I am driving in a lane 1 and get tailgated, even though lane 2 is completely available for overtaking.
 

ATW Alex 101

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I drive vans for a living. Very frequently on our motorway network too so have a few observations regarding this subject.

First of all, this is not a dig at all lorry drivers but there are a fair few out there who drive very dangerously. Not only I witness poor driving from HGV drivers but unfortunately the results of such too.

I often wonder what a HGV driver thinks when they see a 50 sign. It does seem there are a few who see it as an opportunity to bully other road users and sit up their a*se which, may I add, seems pointless because as soon as the speed restrictions end the lorry has no chance of catching up seeing as they are limited to 56mph.

Obviously some speedometers in cars may not be as well calibrated as those inside a HGV and coupled with the 10% + 2 recommendation (not rule as commonly implied) they do see it as some sort of excuse to carry out such behaviour.
 

ABB125

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Obviously some speedometers in cars may not be as well calibrated as those inside a HGV and coupled with the 10% + 2 recommendation (not rule as commonly implied) they do see it as some sort of excuse to carry out such behaviour.
Occasionally, I can be doing an indicated 60mph, and a nearby lorry will be doing exactly the same speed. On a single carriageway. Which demonstrates two things: the speedo in my car is ~4mph out, and the lorry is speeding by ~6mph.
 

Dai Corner

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Occasionally, I can be doing an indicated 60mph, and a nearby lorry will be doing exactly the same speed. On a single carriageway. Which demonstrates two things: the speedo in my car is ~4mph out, and the lorry is speeding by ~6mph.
HGVs are sometimes driven 'on the limiter' when the speed limit is 50mph. Drivers know they'll get away with 56mph.
 

ABB125

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HGVs are sometimes driven 'on the limiter' when the speed limit is 50mph. Drivers know they'll get away with 56mph.
Indeed they will. Admittedly this generally only happens on one particular stretch of dead-straight, extra-wide road near home, which is the highest-quality bit of the road for miles.
 

90019

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Occasionally, I can be doing an indicated 60mph, and a nearby lorry will be doing exactly the same speed. On a single carriageway. Which demonstrates two things: the speedo in my car is ~4mph out, and the lorry is speeding by ~6mph.
It's your speedo - in cars and vans they're designed to over read, while HGVs have calibrated speedos.
 

AM9

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It's your speedo - in cars and vans they're designed to over read, while HGVs have calibrated speedos.
But even if a car speedometer is reading 4mph high and the driver is travelling at a speed that they deem from their indicated speed to be travelling the legal maximum, that is no justification for an HGV driver following dangerously close.
 

Bletchleyite

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But even if a car speedometer is reading 4mph high and the driver is travelling at a speed that they deem from their indicated speed to be travelling the legal maximum, that is no justification for an HGV driver following dangerously close.

For what it's worth I'm observing that the increase in motorway roadworks speed limits to 60mph pretty much gets rid of the issue, as cars can legally do 4mph faster than the lorries physically can (and in practice also get 10% + 2mph or so on top).
 

bramling

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For what it's worth I'm observing that the increase in motorway roadworks speed limits to 60mph pretty much gets rid of the issue, as cars can legally do 4mph faster than the lorries physically can (and in practice also get 10% + 2mph or so on top).

Yes this should have happened ages ago.

50 mph through roadworks has been *extremely* dangerous and stressful as a result of the tailgating issue. Much as it shouldn’t happen, reality is this has been endemic.
 

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