Tailgating, the act of following another motor vehicle too closely, is considered a traffic violation in Illinois and runs rampant as motorists grow arbitrarily impatient behind the wheel. According to Illinois statute 625ILCS5/11-710, paragraph (a) titled “Following too closely,” tailgating is against the law: “the driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent.” Nonetheless, motorists, according to Deputy Sheriff Lamarr Lawless, “are particularly liberal with what they consider ‘reasonable and prudent.’ Motorists in Illinois, to be frank, are anything but reasonable and prudent. They’re harmfully, sometimes destructively, self-involved.” Deputy Sheriff Lawless commented that “this, in addition to texting while driving, which many motorists shamelessly do every day, is lethal.”
Rear-end collisions caused by tailgating have only worsened over the years as more drivers become self-obsessed, blindly disregarding motoring protocol to take selfies behind the wheel, text, check their Facebook pages, and Tweet every minute of their daily lives. As these motorists view driving as the vessel to transport them to wherever their social lives are taking place, Lawless explains, they grow more impatient and drive more recklessly. One especially troubling accident happened months ago when a young driver, Amelia Adams, braked for a squirrel on I-90 which resulted in a 27 car pile-up. “That bitch!” said annoyed businessman Jack Trapper, who was at the time of the accident updating his LinkedIn profile while driving. “She ruined my brand new Benz!” He went on: “The f*ck she brake for? We were all driving along at 80, business as usual. She had to f*ck up the rhythm, for a squirrel no less!”
In response to many similar violent tailgating accidents, an Illinois newspaper ran a survey in an “attempt at getting to the bottom of the tailgating conundrum.” Preliminary findings of the survey indicate that 100% (or possibly more) of Illinois drivers display sociopathic tendencies. The study indicated initial findings from the Illinois paper’s survey on why Illinois motorists tailgate while driving. The paper found that 50% of survey takers responded to the question of why they tailgate with “In a small way, I wish everyone else would just not exist. My driving experience is ruined if any inconvenience at all encroaches upon it.” However, a shocking 15% responded they felt “All the drivers in front of me should know that I’m in a rush and therefore move aside, treating me as they would any law enforcement officer or medical professional rushing to do something important like stopping a murderer or saving a life.”
The findings, head editor Michael J. Sanderson claims, “indicate exactly what we hypothesized: a goodly amount of Illinois drivers only care about themselves in a troubling way.” While only 5% opted to choose the option “Other: Please use the back of this sheet of paper to write your response,” more than half of those respondents wrote “F*ck you!” or other variations on that phrase. The appendix at the end of this article can be consulted for the full survey and its response options.
In addition to respondents indicating why they tailgate, there seems to no longer be any question as to how many Illinois motorists tailgate, as the paper reported an overwhelming 75% of survey takers indicated that tailgating is “…my fucking life!”
It’s telling, too, that, as indicated by the below graph, 0% of survey respondents view the use of a mobile device while operating a motor vehicle as “a crime,” while 75% view it as “the best thing ever” and 15% view it as “unavoidable.” 10%, furthermore, indicated that they were “doing it right now to answer this survey.”
Sanderson has indicated that there are certain limitations with this study: “We have no way of weeding out those who blatantly didn’t take the survey seriously.” He added that a further in-depth study is something the paper is “considering seriously.” He clarified that “some kind of ethnographic case study into what makes the more insane Illinois motorists tick is certainly necessary before we can make any generalizations about why the majority of Illinois motorists are so voluntarily negligent behind the wheel.”
The editors of this publication ask that the next time you get behind the wheel you consider these shocking numbers before you factor in how extremely important it is that you hit 90 miles an hour while sending a SnapChat of your penis to your current crush. Like seriously, a minor inconvenience–that is, focus on the road, not whatever social media app is trending–can save lives.
Appendix A: Standard Tailgating/Distracted Driver Survey Distributed by an Illinois local paper.
Do you tailgate while driving?
If you answered “yes” to the previous question, how often to you tailgate?
- Once a day.
- Once an hour.
- It’s my fucking life!
- I just may be a sociopath.
What is your opinion of using a mobile device while driving?
- It’s the best thing ever.
- It’s a crime.
- It’s like taking a dump. It’s unavoidable.
- I’m doing it right now to answer this survey.
Which one of the following responses describes why you have a tendency to tailgate other motorists while driving?
- In a small way, I wish everyone else would just not exist. My driving experience is ruined if any inconvenience at all encroaches upon it.
- All the drivers in front of me should know that I’m in a rush and therefore move aside, treating me as they would any law enforcement officer or medical professional rushing to do something important like stopping a murderer or saving a life.
- I know that being one car in front of me doesn’t make any difference granted that traffic backs up anyway but the triviality of my personality dictates that I need to be number 1 in a long line of cars.
- I like living on the edge.
- I experience both homicidal and suicidal tendencies. I may just be a sociopath.
- Other: Please use the back of this sheet of paper to write your response.