Dear Casper: Tailgating in Construction Zones Will NOT Make People Go Faster
No matter how close you ride on another drivers bumper, I can almost 100% assure you that it will not make them go any faster. As a matter of fact, in most cases, the opposite is true.
There is a well known joke about Wyoming only having two "real" weather seasons, which are winter and construction. Since we are now (and have been), in the construction season for at least the last couple of months, you would think statewide drivers would be more considerate, but that has not been the case.
Like the majority of Cowboy State residents, I tend to travel a lot more during the warmer months and for several reasons. For one, better weather means less wear and tear on my vehicle. Secondly, if the unspeakable were to happen during a road trip, it's a lot easier to survive the summer elements than it is with the winter ones.
In my recent travels, I've noticed that regardless of whether you're traveling on the highways or through our cities/towns, Wyoming drivers have become less and less considerate as of late, especially when it comes to construction zones.
Now I'm not sure if it's because folks are suffering from cabin fever after the last couple of years of being on lockdown during the height of the pandemic or if it's some other reason altogether, but drivers have definitely gotten worse.
Why anyone thinks riding another vehicle's bumper will force that person to speed up has always been lost on me. For one, tailgating is highly dangerous. The rule of thumb for the safe distance between two vehicles is three seconds, and in some cases, even that isn't enough, so anything closer to that seems crazy to me. The second biggest reason is it's illegal in most places.
Even if it's not illegal (which it is kind of a grey area in Wyoming), again to overstate the obvious, it very rarely makes the driver in front go in faster. I know personally, I'll slow down... drastically!
Also, sometimes it's not even the driver directly in front of the person tailgating that's causing the speed to be slowed down anyway. It can be multiple vehicles ahead. It's a chain reaction.
Furthermore, if you're riding my bumper and I'm going the speed limit, there is no way I'm going to risk a ticket, were fines our doubled (which they are in constructions zones and there are usually signage present to reinforce it).
At the end of the day, a little courtesy and respect on the roads goes a long way. Remember, we have to share these roads... even during the construction season.