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Anti-tailgating device

Punish those who follow you too closely
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How about using the proximity sensors that are currently used with car alarms to detect when somebody is tail-gating you. A small device installed in your trunk would then automatically launch a (harmless) projectile at the tail-gater, such as an egg, or a smoke bomb, or clam chowder, or bird droppings...
insaneray, Feb 16 2001

How about some smoke? http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/bonk
If you want to tamper with your car... [jabbers, Feb 16 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

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       My grandfather had a nice one: big trailer hitch.   

       Actually came in handy once. Someone rear-ended him -- only scratches to his hitch, while the tailgaiter wound up with his front end pierced and all twisted up.   

       Even funnier was how my gramps simply got out of his car, pointed at the guy behind him, and began laughing his head off.
Wes, Feb 16 2001
  

       Slamming my brakes on and swiftly accelerating usually has a very positive effect.   

       The idea of dot matrix boards displaying any text you wish has also been tried.   

       A combination of the two would be good, with eggs.
Mung, Feb 16 2001
  

       i'm all for it.   

       on a similar note - my little brother (a tinkering genius) created a remote control roll-down "blind" made of some high-tech aluminum foil that he installed in his '68 VW Beetle. he originally created it for the 18 wheelers that would creep up on him and blind him so he could shine their lights back at them. after a while we found it to be effective on just about all tailgaters.
monkeyking47, Feb 16 2001
  

       Red Green had a similar device involving spray paint and a stencil.
nick_n_uit, Feb 16 2001
  

       Most of these ideas are too likely to incite a lawsuit--how about a giant release of fart gas instead? If there are two or more people in the tailgating car they'll be so busy accusing each other of bad manners that the driver will lose interest in inspecting the fine print on your license plate.
coaster, Feb 17 2001
  

       I had an errant windshield washer once that was aimed such that it arced over the car and delivered a surprising amount of water to the vehicle behind me.

In the few times I used it as a tail-gater punishment, one of two things would generally happen: 1)The car would swerve around a little in surprise, and then promptly back off, or 2)surprised swerving followed by a bar-no-obstacles overtaking of my car (accompanied by various gestures).

In hindsight, it's actually a miracle I didn't get shot. Must've been my smile ;-)
bristolz, Feb 19 2001
  

       Another answer to tail-gaters is to gradually slow down to almost a stop.When they pull out to pass,floor it and leave them sitting in the wrong lane.
SOPPS, Feb 19 2001
  

       Someone sent me a link to these pictures of a truck with what looks like an anti-aircraft gun in the flatbed. It folds down so you can't see it unless you're above it and it can be extended to a standing position. I think it's fake because I didn't see any ammo feeds on it and you'd get your butt canned if you actually had a working one of these. Oh, of course it's pointed backwards.   

       Danged if I can find the link now, and google, for once, is little help.
centauri, Feb 19 2001
  

       I think a rear dash mounted strobe light would do the trick. It would be activated by the driver who when sensing a tailing menace would flip a switch and send the offender careening after his life. Of course such a device would be wildly dangerous and should never be employed but hell, it's a nice thought. Perhaps a more friendly soilution is a driver activated sign that warns "Too close! Please Ease!"
Dolophine, Feb 21 2001
  

       I like coaster's idea. How about a "tributary" exhaust pipe which mixes a variety of gaseous/particulate unpleasantries with your exhaust?
nick_n_uit, Feb 25 2001
  

       Install a spark plug and coil a few inches back from the end of your tailpipe. There's enough unburnt fuel in the exhaust to make a fairly impressive flame...   

       No, really. Search for 'flamethrower exhaust'...
StarChaser, Feb 25 2001
  

       I do hope you're not comparing me to a redneck. I am among them, not of them.   

       It doesn't put out dense enough flame to actually light anything, I believe; but it looks pretty impressive. Kind of like a dragster idling at the start line...   

       My father said people did this when he was a kid to their hot rods...
StarChaser, Feb 27 2001
  

       Aw, he's got his mother's mag wheels.
centauri, Feb 27 2001
  

       Quiet from the peanut gallery...Afterthoughts. 'My father said people did this when he was a kid' was the original sentence, but I figured someone'd jump on it...
StarChaser, Feb 28 2001
  

       Today, I saw a pick-up with a whole mess of stickers on the back telling people behind it, in no uncertain terms, not to tailgate. A straight forward, if not all that subtle or attractive, approach.   

       The thing was, there was no chance I'd want to tailgate this person unless I was driving an even meaner looking pick-up or had a bigger dog or looked like more of a wacko. And then I realized that this vehicle was moving about five miles per hour slower than everyone else. Was this person itching for a fight, or what?
centauri, Feb 28 2001
  

       I have used the method that "bristolz" described--the squirting of windshield washer fluid on the tailgater. It was pretty successful with the particular car I had at the time. Now I have to resort to looking at them in the rearview mirror and doing a backup motion with my hand. I like the fire out the tailpipe idea very much!
human411, Aug 15 2001
  

       How about... explosive back bumpers - and a bumper sticker stating as much... that'll really do away with some tail-gaters. Wha-WOOM!
gorn_the_great, Aug 15 2001
  

       Yes, how effective would a plate of Chobham armour on the back of your car be??? Calculations anyone? External air bags sound good ( pedestrians benefit ).   

       I know a few folk who flip on their fog lights when tailgated.   

       Where can I get a portable programmable scrolling dot matrix display ( I made one once, but it was cumbersome ) ?
Furry, Aug 15 2001
  

       Or just ignore them. If they hit you, it's their fault. At least here in Mass.
blixa, Aug 15 2001
  

       Your local Radio shack shoud stock them or be able to special order them for you. A mains one will do... the shop will also be qable to supply a suitable transformer to adjust the car voltage.
CasaLoco, Aug 15 2001
  

       Here in Florida, too, Blixa.   

       Furry, what good does turning on lights on the front of a car do to get someone behind you to back off?
StarChaser, Aug 17 2001
  

       You just need to ride a pickup or Jeep with roof lights mounted backwards. Tailgater? Poof. Blind tailgater.
drcoopster, Feb 19 2002
  

       Hurray, rednecks.
StarChaser, Feb 22 2002
  

       Very seldom do I get anyone tailgating me. If I notice someone getting close, I figure I'm not going fast enough, so I speed up. If he's still tailgating me as I pass 100, I figure that his red and blue flashing lights are not working and I'm probably going to be in a lot of trouble unless I can come up with a couple of dozen donuts really quick.   

       Seriously though, have any of you people who are complaining about tailgating ever considered just speeding up? Perhaps you are just the the potholes in the road of life?   

       For those people who drive slow in the left lane and refuse to get the hint when a car catches up with them and even when the car flashes their lights at them, I tend to end up passing on the right, getting in front of the offending vehicle and then choosing that time to clean my front and rear windows with the wipers and washers.   

       Quite awhile back, I considered building one of the scrolling display units so that I could have a series of canned messages that I could display in my rear windows. Some would be polite, some would be more like "YOU'RE UGLY AND YOUR MOTHER DRESSES YOU FUNNY"...
grumman581, May 23 2002
  

       Wow, grumman, if you moved to Israel, I'm sure you could solve all their problems in like a week.
pottedstu, May 23 2002
  

       I swear there are people so obsessed with this crap, they'd make a career out of road rage if they could.
waugsqueke, May 23 2002
  

       My 1ton Chevy van has a very effective way of fending off tailgaters. I drop it down into second gear and gun the motor. The trans pump over-pressurizes the system and pushes transmission fluid out the front seal. This in turn is forced out below the bellhousing onto the hot exhaust. Instant smoke-screen. And what doesnt go up in smoke....sprays out on the offending vehicle.   

       Just ask the woman in the newer T-bird. She didn't learn the first time.
MadMax's Brother, Aug 16 2002
  

       Some things I've always wanted to do include:   

       Have a container under the backside of the car behind your own wheels. Have a remote that will slide the container open and release something similar to jacks (like the jacks you play when you bounce the ball and pick up jacks) onto the roadway, except they would be made out of titanium and they'd be razor sharp on all points.   

       I once wanted to sacrifice my windshield washers and reroute the lines to my carburetor, then fill the washer tank with either transmission fluid or Marvel Mystery Oil. Someone tailgates, I simply "wash my windshield" and they're left driving blind. It works best on dual exhaust, and works REAL great if you have headers and no catalytic converter.   

       Oil Slick --- Same concept as the washer fluid lines being rerouted, except this time you reroute them to the back of the car, attach some dispersment tips to get a nice, wide spray, then fill your tank with a thinned out version of KY Jelly. Wait for someone to tailgate you on a curvy mountain road. Hit the washer lever and look out the rear view mirror as the tailgater goes sliding off the side of the mountain. Then breathe a sigh of relief and know that the streets are safer after you see a huge fireball float into the sky.   

       Here's my latest idea. It would involve some body modifications and some of this stuff would be illegal. But have your car set up so that you can press a button, then a spoiler would raise up very slowly and very high. It would look very stylish. It needs to raise slowly, however, so the jerk behind you fixing his hair, picking his teeth, and playing with his cellphone will have a chance to see what's happening. The spoiler would be vertically thick. From the spoiler, six doors would open. Shiny, chrome pipes would then emerge from each hole. From each silver pipe, a grey rod would emerge with a very shiny, bright red or fluorescent orange tip on it which would look like a bazooka rocket. If they still don't back off, there would be one final stage of this warning... a very small, negligible amount of smoke would be emitted from the spoiler so that it would appear to be coming from the rocket. Once they back off, you could then disengage the warning system and all that extra equipment would go back into hiding. :-D   

       There's another idea I like which I think I saw in a James Bond movie over the weekend. As you're driving along, just have some mechanism to sling a bunch of sticky clay all over the tailgater's winshield.   

       I've seen the ideas of others concerning aiming their washer fluid up and over the car to hit the person behind. By all means, do it. But use some kind of fluid that will reduce their visibility to the point where they'll have to pull over and call AAA for some Windex and a roll of paper towels.   

       But the idea I like the most, both for safety and creativity, is the gas smell emitted. There is internet technology now that allows you to "smell" things online. It involves the use of a scent cartridge much like that used by a printer, but there are many more "smells" in the cartridge than there is ink in the printer. The scent cartridge combines various scents to create one particular smell. In that scenario, you could have an on-board computer configured to release just about any smell you want to torture your tailgater. I would choose smells like camel puke, cat dung, sugarglider urine (my nephew has some of those...they have VERY STINKY urine), and chronic halitosis. I would have three or four of these cartridges and I'd combine smells like sweaty socks & armpits, smallpox rot, camel puke, and cabbage rolls.   

       But what would really be fun is first giving them smells like strawberry shortcake, pot roast, roasted corn, peach cobbler, apple pie with cinnamon, hot butter waffles with maple syrup. Just give them one delightful smell after the next until they can't wait for the next one...and you've built their trust so that they're breathing very deeply through their noses about every two or three seconds in anticipation of the next olfactory delight.... and then suddenly hit them with the smell of a commercial chicken farm and a very used Port-A-Pottie with fish guts and maggots.   

       Well, those are my ideas.   

       Damaeus
Damaeus, Jun 17 2003
  

       Buck Lure, empty windshield reservoir and stream nozzle in trunk. Spray the Buck Lure (used in Deer hunting to lure in does and other bucks in rut --nasty smelling stuff) into their hot radiator and...   

       Otherwise, I'd suggest the sulfur compound (mercaptan) used to give natural gas a "parts-per-million" smell, but that would be self defeating, I am afraid, as you would never get the smell out of your car...   

       Otherwise, in the no-holds-barred category, I'd rig my bumper to fall off with a sliding pin and steel cable.   

       That would get their attention...
kinemech, Apr 14 2008
  
      
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