A Little Too Close for My Comfort

Anyone else notice this phenomenon lately? I’m starting to wonder if it’s a symptom of the economic turmoil.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
You are driving on a highway and cars are moving at 60 – 70 miles an hour. Then you see one of two similar things happen:
1. A car comes up behind another and begins to follow at a distance of one or two car lengths.
2. A car changes lanes roughly one or two car lengths in front of the car in the other lane.
Often this occurs with no other traffic around.
When it occurs to you, it’s scary.
I see this every day, it seems. For example, tonight someone cut over into my lane with what I would gauge was one car-length to spare (at 60 miles an hour).
Is this phenomenon a response to economic stress? Do people think the laws of physics no longer apply to braking distances? Is this just a St. Louis phenomenon? I’m curious. And I’m not the only one who has commented on this lately.
This is also something different that tailgating out of road rage (I saw an incident of that recently and that’s really scary to see). People appear to think that they are driving normally.
I welcome your thoughts.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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  1. says

    I see that you are based in St. Louis. Please refrain from driving when visiting California. It’s not for the faint of heart where this phenomenon is done at 70 mph and you’re lucky to get a car length.

  2. Ben W. says

    I’ve seen this, although not necessarily more often lately than usual. And it is scary. I wish police would pull people over and give them a ticket for tailgating and doing the kind of driving you mention. Does it ever happen?