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kelaog

Defensive Driving...Daily

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I downsized from a 2010 Dodge Ram Quad Cab with 35" tires to my Smart CDI this past spring. I drove it slowly and cautiously and usually on the right hand lane. I didn't kid myself, it was a heavy, cumbersome vehicle that required some braking distance and was best enjoyed slowly. People would pass me, mostly courteously, and when I needed to change lanes, people generally let me in. Rarely did anyone cut me off...I drove courteously, and for the most part people around me returned it.

 

Now, I didn't know the definition of slow until I bought my CDI but, I also try and drive this thing in the right hand lane because, I don't kid myself it's not a sports car, and the only vehicle it will beat in a drag race is a Winnebago. But I do feel a great deal of disrespect on the road regardless of my lane position, speed, or attempts at providing people advance notice of lane changes. Everyone tail gates me, people cut me off like it's a sport for no reason, and I seem to barely avoid accidents daily (people almost rear ending me or turning lanes right into me)

 

I haven't felt the need to drive so defensively since I had a CBR929. (Sport Bike). Back then we always hit the road with the mentality that everyone else was trying to kill you...

 

Anyone else having this kind of experience in their smart? 

 

Need to equip it with an airhorn, me thinks....

Edited by kelaog
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21 minutes ago, kelaog said:

..............I haven't felt the need to drive so defensively since I had a CBR929. (Sport Bike). Back then we always hit the road with the mentality that everyone else was trying to kill you...

 

Anyone else having this kind of experience in their smart? 

 

Need to equip it with an airhorn, me thinks....

 

100% in agreement! I made a dramatic change and sold my RAM 2500 and Honda Goldwing 4 years ago and switched to a Smart. It's my daily vehicle through every season. I have owned 17 Motorcycles over 33 years and combining all of the "Road Abuse" experiences doesn't even come close to my Smart Car encounters. I love my car, but without 100% defensive attentiveness, I would have been "Roadkill" years ago. I'll add to your list, "Invisibility". A great superhero trait.........but not so good for a Smart. I added 2 Dual-Tone Hi-Way Blasters to mine years ago. Definitely made a difference in getting most driver's attention...........but in some cases seemed to elevate  "the haters" aggression. Drive Safe!

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In 12 years of driving smarts, this was generally my experience at first, when they were quite new on the road, but it calmed down a bit.

 

However, there are still some drivers who have an irrational hatred of these cars, and will do all kinds of stupid and risky things to try and intimidate smart drivers on the road.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

yes..its almost like theres a magnet on the rear ...people really like to tailgate

 

i also get cut off often and feel like no one sees that im even there ..especially at dusk (my car is dark like the handyhobbits avatar)

 

this is why i use a front and rear dashcam...ive even considered two more for the sides

 

 

ive also installed electric air horns...they give quite a bit more bite than the stock meep meep horn

Edited by LooseLugNuts

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Posted (edited) · Report post

A remap helps, and surprises the rednecks (usually in pickups, diesel ones especially) who stomp on it when I pull out on the highway to pass someone - they usually boot it to tailgate and I am gone by the time they get there, with me sometimes even hitting 150 during the overtake to deny them their perverted pleasure.  Priceless.

Edited by MikeT
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It probably varies a fair bit with where you live or routinely drive.  Our Smart vs. Richard Cranium driver encounters are relatively rare (maybe once a month at best), but they almost always involve a good ol' boy in a jacked-up half ton.

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I once heard TheHandyHObbit's horns and found out where he got them (Princess Auto). I added 2 Dual-Tone Hi-Way Blasters to mine within days and when I get the nimrods who try to change lanes too soon or without looking, they get the horn.  If nothing else, it wakes them up, because the horns make it sound like a much bigger car.

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Good to know it's not just me....

1 hour ago, dguy said:

It probably varies a fair bit with where you live or routinely drive.  Our Smart vs. Richard Cranium driver encounters are relatively rare (maybe once a month at best), but they almost always involve a good ol' boy in a jacked-up half ton.

I live in the regional area of Vancouver....A city full of entitled drivers with no reasonable amount of skill behind the wheel. A good chunk of the  licenses are transfered from overseas where they were purchased as well.... The pickup type are usually more courteous around here to be honest, unless there is a new driver decal or a pair of steel testicals on the back. 

 

The remap I'm looking forward to, once I get my KWP2000+ working. I'd like those two tone horns, and it might help for me to put my height and body weight on a bumper sticker.

21 hours ago, LooseLugNuts said:

yes..its almost like theres a magnet on the rear ...people really like to tailgate

 

i also get cut off often and feel like no one sees that im even there ..especially at dusk (my car is dark like the handyhobbits avatar)

 

this is why i use a front and rear dashcam...ive even considered two more for the sides

 

 

ive also installed electric air horns...they give quite a bit more bite than the stock meep meep horn

Meep meep... LOL.
Mines red and black, no help there... Dashcams I think are going to be a good investment into my financial well being if I continue to drive this much longer... 

 

Thanks all for your input....God damn ridiculous the irrational hatred of this car. I mean, I don't think it's the worlds best car by any means but I would never intentionally run someone off the road for owning one. =\ my .02

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Yup - back into my Smart after five years. The one thing I really didn’t miss was people speeding up on the highway so that they don’t get passed by a Smart haha!

 

 

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floating by at 150 tends to take the edge off all but the most crazy of them ;)

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Personally I'm not comfortable floating at 150 :D

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