Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Carpoles

Poles preventing tailgating
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(+4, -2)
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Tailgating often results in crashes when the vehicle in front has to brake suddenly and unexpectedly.

However, there's not a great deal you can do to stop people driving only a few feet behind you - unless your car has a Carpole.

Carpoles are lightweight telescopic poles mounted under the rear of your car. They are linked to your speedometer and extend automatically to ensure a safe distance between you and the car behind you (e.g. two seconds at 60mph in normal conditions). Fluorescent for night-time visibility, carpoles reduce accidents.

I admit they sound a bit wussy and it's possible annoyed drivers might try to drive into your carpole deliberately. That's okay, the deluxe version with sharp spikes on the end and sides costs only a little extra.

imaginality, Sep 05 2006

there is a whole category of anti-tailgating ideas. The_20Final_20Tailgating_20solution
[po, Sep 05 2006]

And this one is the best... The_20Whapper
[wagster, Sep 05 2006]

[link]






       Carpole tunnel syndrome.
normzone, Sep 05 2006
  

       I like the idea, but the execution is probably impossible. 2 seconds @ 60 mph is 176 feet, and telescoping tubes that long and rigid would be impossibly heavy and space-consuming.   

       However, maybe have speedo-linked projector that automatically angles to project a chevron on the road behind you? It's not a physical barrier like the carpole, but at least it's a visible one.
Turbofrog, Sep 05 2006
  

       I never thought that "Running Man" could be exclusively from Poland.
xenzag, Sep 05 2006
  

       In farming parts of America, the current style for hay is round bales, about five feet around and six feet long. Many pickup trucks have hydraulic bale spike rigs on the back end. One four-foot spike, two two-foot spikes, all pivoting up and down.
baconbrain, Sep 05 2006
  

       Alternative: Keep a bag of roofing nails on the passenger seat. Throw out when needed.
ldischler, Sep 05 2006
  

       A chain on an electric winch might be more practical. With that whipping around, people are not likely to get close.   

       Also useful: I have an heavy unsprung utility trailer. It tends to hop a bit on bumps; it will jump a foot or more high if the bump is bad enough. It's pretty heavy and the steel plate floor bangs loudly when it does this. I NEVER have tailgaters when I pull this trailer. Sometimes a car will get close, but after the first bump I'll see them back way off.
jmvw, Sep 05 2006
  

       Rather than a retractable pole, a small trailer on a winch cable with steering that keeps it in lane behind you round bends. And spikes.
BunsenHoneydew, Sep 06 2006
  

       A local kid that I know invented a simple bumper sticker that has 3 numbers on it. If you read the the 90kmh sign and are driving 90 or more, your too close. If you read the 70 and driving 70 or more your too close. Same with 50.   

       He won an inventors contest, and it became a real hit with drivers.
pashute, Feb 26 2008
  

       Thing with all these tailgating ideas, it really is as simple as not driving so close to the car behind you.
Ned_Ludd, Feb 26 2008
  

       I feel a joust coming on.   

       Actually, hang on a second. If the guy in front has a 176ft spikey pole protruding from the back of his car, doesn't that mean that my safe following distance is 352ft? I can see this getting exponentially out of control.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 27 2008
  
      
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