You might want to look into some aero mods for your car as well. That way you can afford to go 65mph without sacrificing too much mpg, and hopefully keep the morons off your tail.
I've thought about installing a button that would manually turn on my brake lights for people like that. That way you can mash the button good, maybe send them a message in Morse code, without jeopardizing your little car fishtailing from a tiny tap at highway speeds. Wouldn't take much to have you skidding. I think those tailgaters deserve a shot of fear down their spine as often as possible, but I don't want to risk my life doing it.
I don't know about the braking light, but Ive got a swith to turn the reverse light on and off so if someone is too much close to u, you flashed them or turn them on. I made this install since it cheapless then change the all systeme (the lights were turning on when I was in gear and in neutral...). Sometimes its usefull.
As a fellow resident of the "Wastelands of New Jersey" let me say this - When I moved here seven years ago, I promised myself I would never allow myself to behave in the fashion that I have seen so many others here drive. That is, rushing about with seeming little concern for life or limb. I had several instances in which, while stopped at a RED light, individuals honked at me, and then drove around me to go through the RED light. Yes, you read that right. Insanity.
I drive the limit everywhere up 'till 60 MPH. I set the cruise at 58 MPH (2k RPM) and there it stays. I stick in the right lane but for the rare occasion someone is going slower than me (usually up hills) but I almost never speed up. I keep my foot on the "fuel request pedal" and keep an eye on the rearview for those trying to drive through me, and if necessary, I stomp on it - usually only need 5-10 MPH to open some space and get them off your six. With the turbo already all spooled up it gets there quick too. I generally only do this for any extended time for 18 wheelers, since I'd rather allow them to keep their momentum and get by me ASAP.
There are very few places where I actually "go with the flow" one of them being the 287/80 interchange northbound on 287, since the "slow lane" basically becomes a middle lane for the split and there's nowhere to sit out of the way. Perhaps I've been lucky, but I almost never have anyone sitting on my bumper, and if they are they are invariably on a cell phone and playing "follow the leader" while their brain is off. In such cases I put some pavement under me or otherwise loose them. Any of the "close calls" I can think of have not been on the highway at all but often while stopped or barely moving (intersections, parking lots, etc - statistics of course bear this out).
I will note that my average speed has proven to be no different over distance than most other cars on the road. My travel times have not changed significantly, and over very long drives (500+ miles) I will leapfrog with other vehicles multiple times. Because I'm traveling at a slower, steady rate, when traffic slows ahead of me I generally never need to brake or slow because they're approaching my speed, and as I come into it it's speeding back up again. Additionally, of course, I never, ever have to worry if I'm going to get pulled over for speeding...
Keep at it and stick it to 'em. Remember your duty as a rolling roadblock.
Remember anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering. Just keep it cool and remember that those people are spending alot more $$$ on gas than you. Good day!
Yeah, I am always telling people that you don't have a choice in terms of what other people do, but you do have a choice in terms of how you react. If you catch yourself, you can get from A to B without being as grumpy.
I think I am luckier in LA because there seems to be a more cooperative "herd mentality" in highway driving. If you're in the far right lane, the speed-demons mostly give up and pass you on the left. The other ones that tailgate you are are usually lining up for the next offramp.
PS - I remember some Jersey driving a long time ago. It was definitely scarier than here. The Semis made my teeth rattle.
I know that's sacrilege, but seriously, stay within 5 mph of the traffic speed. It's safer. It's better for your blood pressure. Going slower is fantastic for improving FE, but there are other ways.
If you can, switch your hours around so you're not on the road at the worst times, when people are in the biggest hurries to get to work on time. Traffic will be slower and lighter. In the Dallas area, up to about 6:30 AM is good, then from 9:15 AM to noon is pretty good, and, until school is back in, 1 PM to 4:30 PM is okay. After that, 7 PM is when rush hour finally starts winding down, though better to wait another 30 min. After school starts up again, the afternoon from 3 PM on won't be much good.
A hosebag fishwife in a Ford Explorer tried to run me off the road on Friday....when I was on my bicycle.....this is in small-town British Columbia, which does have its share of Bubbas and Bubbettes, but usually no road rage to speak of.
I ride the bike 1500-2000 miles a year and almost never am I harrassed.
Well the first thing she did was buzz me with a half foot of clearance on a city street with a 50 km/h limit (I was riding 35), then when a red light stopped her, she pinched her vehicle right up to the Kerb as she came to a stop, so I couldn't get up to the line, so I conserved my speed and blew past on her left at 35 km/h when the light went green, with the intention of getting right again ASAP. Well the bag booted it hard off the line and came up to within 2 inches of me - still on the left of her truck, and she rolled down her window to hurl abuse, as she was veering left so I would be pushed into oncoming traffic.
Oh what fun!
I called the cops but it seems I got the tag wrong, will have to look for the slug-lady next week and get a positive on the tag. I want her to wear this one. She will kill soon if it carries on. Will I keep riding? Oh yeah!
That's a crazy story. I've seen lots of crazy people like that, I long ago gave up riding my bike on anything but country roads, the places with all the traffic are also intersections with no shoulder and people go way too fast around blind corners without thinking.
I think my biggest peeve though, is when I'm driving in the right lane and I pass and on ramp. I've got my cruise set to 55MPH. Someone comes down the ramp and is about a half length behind me. I don't know proper etiquette but I figure, they're behind me, they should be accelerating and there's no one behind me, so let off the gas for 10 secs and pull behind me! But no, they ALWAYS accelerate until they're going faster then me, pull up evenly beside me and then look at me all confused and then eventually slam on their brakes and pull behind me.
Now keep in mind all this happens within the first 1/3 of the on ramp length, they could easily keep accelerating moderately to a speed faster than I and merge in front of me. Why they can't make their decision of going infront or behind I have no idea but everyone seems to do this, I really don't get it. But that's why I drive the big blue truck, I figure if I'm in that then it's their move because I really don't care about the outcome :-).
As for bike stories, I have one on the other side too. Just a couple days ago I'm transfering from one road to another and these roads come together at a light but if you're going right there's a seperate lane and a yield sign. I coast up and look left and look right and get ready to floor it and there's a bicycle coming AT me. Now I'm not sure about canada but in the US bicycle's are lawfully supposed to be moving WITH traffic, so why he decided to go against traffic on a 3 lane intersection with no curb and turn left down a yield with very little room between the rail and traffic all the while going against the traffic flow... I have no idea. He didn't seem annoyed and I didn't get too close to him, but I'm sure other drives that pay less attention and can't see it from the bicyclists point of view would have ended it differently.
This seemed like the type of ridder that I'd normal lump myself with, you know a nice 10 speed road bike and a helmet, etc. Don't even get me started on all the bikes that like to ride about half into the traffic lane against traffic without wearing helmets with others riding on their handlebars at any of the cities near me. I've never grown up in a city, maybe they just get used to that and think it's safe, surely enough people do it, but everytime I see it I want to ram everyone one of them. Yeah for road rage.