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Anti-Tailgating Button

A button that activates the brake lights, but not the brakes
  (+9, -1)(+9, -1)
(+9, -1)
  [vote for,

I've read somewhere (maybe here) that an effective way to get a tailgater off your bumper is to tap the brakes, then quickly accelerate so they don't rear-end you. I have an improvement for this idea: Add a button that activates your brake lights without activating your brakes, thereby making the risk of slowing down and getting hit, as well as the acceleration afterwards, unnecessary. The tailgater thinks you are slowing down, and will back off, but you will have continued on without any interruption. If they keep riding your bumper, all you have to do is randomly press the button, making you seem unpredictable to everyone behind you and keeping you that much safer. I'm sure this kind of manipulation of the rear lighting system is probably illegal, but it seems to me that risking getting hit isn't a very good idea either.
Bert6322, Oct 19 2002

More intrusive version http://www.halfbake...D_20on_20the_20road
Directional broadcasting into a neighboring car: "Cool your jets, Leadfoot." [General Washington, Oct 19 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

License Plate Database http://ilpdb.com/
[JesusHChrist, Aug 27 2005]

James Bond Used a Number of Different Methods to Discourage http://www.youtube....watch?v=I5FhlzDYl-M
[Grogster, Dec 26 2011]


       I'd prefer to have a small laser pop-up, when the button is pressed, that will burn a hole into the engine (at the right range). Since that would be more trouble than it is worth, I'll settle for a camera which records the time, date and (your)car speed on a photo of the tailgating car. There is unenforced legislation here about the distance cars must be from each other while in motion. 3 car lengths at 60km/h I think and more or less according to speed of travel.
CrumbsDM, Oct 19 2002

       Good idea. Think I might rig up a toggle switch on my truck to do just this.+   

       I uasually just throw an orange or somthing at the offending car and give them the finger.
Gulherme, Oct 19 2002

       I'd rather have the braking distance rules enforced and be able to send the photo to the police so that they could fine them.
CrumbsDM, Oct 19 2002

       Voice of God on the road [link]. What you want are 'antlers' or 'white sifters' with lead blinkers, to jam the tailgater's signals - [8th of 7] could probably tell us about them.
General Washington, Oct 19 2002

       Simple enough to wire a "momentary contact" switch in parallel with the brake switch. Radio Shack has all the parts you would need. Or go to Auto Zone and get a generic windshield washer motor and a small plastic gasoline (petrol) container. Wire the washer motor (located in the trunk [boot]) with a momentary contact switch located on the dash or the turn signal stalk. Securely mount the gas can in the trunk. Connect the washer motor with plastic tubing so that it sucks motor oil from the gas can and sprays the road behind the car, causing the tailgator to lose control and-   

       Not that I have or would, or that anybody should EVER do such a thing...
whlanteigne, Oct 20 2002

       I've heard that there are racers who do exactly this to fake out the following drivers so that they cannot mimic their braking patterns.
bristolz, Oct 20 2002

       I'm actually planning on mounting a auto strobe light behind a spare lense on my tail gate. It would be usefull for warding off tail gatter purposes.
Thylacine, Oct 29 2002

       On my SAR rig I now have a "super brake light" high mounted above the roof rack that I created from 8 led brake lights 3/4in high x 18in long mounted 4 high and 2 across. It operates 6 ways 1 with the normal brake lights steady 2 with the normal brake lights pulsing 3 with the normal brake lights rapid flash - pulsing 4 by itself steady 5 by itself rapid flash 6 with a momentary contact switch [can even flash morse code] I use it to back off tailgaters and I also activate it whenever I'm the last vehicle in a line of stopped traffic and concerned about the speed of a vehicle approching my rear. In addition to to augmenting the strobes, flashers, and rotating beacons I normally use to CMA [cover my a--] while "on scene". I HIGHLY reccomend to anyone capable of doing so that you DO what you can to IMPROVE YOUR brake lights to MAXIMIZE their noticeability! and -- for those not able to make modifications WATCH your rear-view like a HAWK and use your hazard flashers to protect yourself!
highwayman, Oct 30 2002

       I have a chip in my head that alerts me of clear and present dangers.   

       I am aware of tailgators before I even leave my house. Before I even get into my car.   

       I can see them now.   

       I'm going to get a "large breasted young girl" chip next.   

       I hope my tailgate chip doesn't interfere with my new one.
trainjustleft, Feb 24 2003

       u actually can rig up a switch quite easily.but you can go one step further and connect it to your reverse lights so that they'll slam on they're brakes, therefore placing even more distance between you anh they.
fourmblue, Feb 26 2003


       Going faster is not the solution when you're already following the "basic rule" (a safe and prudent speed). What I have is a bumper sticker:   

       I drive the speed limit. If you don't like it, call the police!
likearock, Feb 27 2003

       In my experience, tailgaters do not pay attention to brakelights on their own. I've often experimented with this by lightly dragging the brakes, but keeping the same speed. Most of the time they do nothing. Occasionally they'll back off a bit, but it's only moments before they're at your ass again.   

       A much better strategy is to scare the living shit out of them. I swear by the "slam on brakes" method, and if you slam on the brakes in a short enough time span, there is little danger. But your tailgater will surely notice, and then back off, or switch into the other lane and tailgate someone else.   

       I never quite understood tailgating. If you rear-end someone, you're automatically in the wrong. There's no way out of it. It's the stupidest thing you could do while driving. Even stupider is tailgating people when THEY CAN'T GO ANY FASTER. ie., tailgating someone in heavy traffic, where there is no room to accelerate. Gah. Idiots.   

       I shall go rant elsewhere now.
rapid transit, May 18 2003

       Recently, I added a switch to my wife's Toyota that, when it is in "normal" position, the brake lights function normally, but when flipped to "warning" position the brake lights rapidly flash without having to touch brake pedal. This has been a boon to discourage tailgaters AND, should she ever be stranded beside the road, the combination of the yellow hazard flashers and the 6 RED brake lights flashing alternatingly is visually stunning!
highwayman, Jul 22 2003

       Check out what THIS fellow has to say @ "traffic waves" about tailgating & line "diving". Makes a LOT of sense!
highwayman, Jul 23 2003

       Not to beat a dead horse or anything, but I feel I should add my .02. My solution to tailgaters is to turn on my reverse lights. I can do this by "fake shifting" into reverse. The reverse lights switch on somewhat before the gears engage, allowing me to scare the snot out of tailgaters...works like a charm.   

       Another more sophisticated approach would be computer guided lasers which target offending drivers in the eyes...
gabe, Nov 30 2003

       Much more effective is an air bag in the rear suspension. At the same time as you put on the brake lights make the rear of the car lurch upwards, this give the impression of REALLY HEAVY braking and should get the message through.   

       Another method of deterring tailgaters is to always tow a trailer laden with precariously secured lumps of scrap iron.
KiwiJohn, Dec 03 2003

       ...computer guided precariously secured lumps of scrap iron which target offending drivers in the eyes...   

       But trailers are too hard to park.
gabe, Dec 04 2003

       yeah wont it be great when everyones doing it, if ppl are going to randomly flash thier brake lights all the time then whats the point of brake lights? lets all take the bulbs out and be done with it. (highwayman), theres a fine balance between "MAXIMISING your noticabilty" and making yourself look like a prick
skinley, Apr 09 2004

       In my classic Saab 900 (and any Saab 900 upto 1993/94), one can move the shifter near reverse and the reverse lights come on. You don't actually have to move the shifter down to reverse, just move it all the way to the right. Reverse lights do a better job at warning tailgaters than brake lights, but either is better than none. I support hard braking too, especially if you have a worthless car.
jp498, Dec 31 2004

       [highwayman], not that your "super brake light" is a bas idea, because it isn't, but depending on where you live the "constant flash" modes may be illegal under the laws concerning light colors allowed on non-emergency vehicles (red and blue are frequently oputlawed, except for red DEDICATED brake lights), so be careful.
5th Earth, Jan 01 2005

       Thanks for your concern 5th earth.   

       Recently recieved a commendation from a CHP officer for "lighting up" instantly with ALL my rear-facing strobes, flashers, and warning lights as I approached an occuring incident I percieved as inherently dangerous.   

       In the officer's words, I "saved that family's lives by my actions" [ I just happened to be in the right place at the right time ]   

       On the other hand, when I'm changing a flat or providing gas for some stranded soul I oftentimes display no flashing lights at all if I judge the situation to be fairly safe since a passerby's attention is DRAWN to the situation by the lights, that otherwise might have escaped notice. [ It doesn't take much to cause a "traffic wave" that can rapidly escalate to an "incident" where none existed before. ]   

       I've noticed our local CHP have pretty much discontinued using THEIR rear-facing warning lights as well while on routine traffic stops when they judge their situation safe enough.
highwayman, Aug 27 2005

       A technique I've used (and this seems to work BTW) is... If someone's tailgating you in traffic; when you eventually come to the next set of traffic lights, leave the car in reverse as soon as you stop (remember to put it back into forward before pulling away, though). It's fun to keep an un-bothered eye on the rear-view mirror just to watch their expression change. :)   

       - Later PS [inspired by Pa've's note to Drums-Tick ] A "WARNING - Nitroglycerin Courier" sticker in the rear window might help too.
Dub, Aug 27 2005

       If I see someone coming up fast on me where I'm afraid of being hit, I push the hazard lights to get their attention :)   

       I once saw a truck that was carrying a bunch of metal stuff, and one of the poles was sticking out at approximately wind shield height. Rear-end that truck and say goodbye to your wind shield-and your face
Dickcheney6, Dec 24 2011

       As you obviously know, most people have a conditioned response to stop when they see break lights. What you don't see is that your idea would eventually mess with the "red means stop." response, and instead or reacting, they would spend precious millisecond deciding if you were bluffing or not.   

       Dont cry wolf. And if you are going slower than those behind you, let them pass.
bob, Dec 24 2011

       A tincan full of small stones underneath your rear bumper works a treat. Use either a string or, preferably, an electronically controlled tipping mechanism. They bounce very nicely at high speed and no one can be sure whether you've done something deliberately or that your tires merely kicked up some gravel on their own.
AusCan531, Dec 25 2011

       I considered baking this in the 90s on my Citroen GSA. Along with a custom cigarette lighter mounted in the ashtray powered by a line fed by the petrol pump and ignition courtesy of the ignition system and a modified set of points.   

       The anti-tailgating button might have been good. Glad I didn't try the second one.
wagster, Dec 25 2011

       Adjust the free play in your brake pedalto engage the sensor but not the master cylinder.
rcarty, Dec 26 2011


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