There’s always a lot of activity around you when you drive. Cars swerve in and out of traffic, expressways are crowded, and bumper-to-bumper traffic is a constant thorn in your side. However, even with all these distractions, something doesn’t feel right about the car behind you. As you can swear, it seems to be following you.
Now, you may be paranoid, overly cautious, or freaked out by current events in the news about road rage, and your observation about your possible “tail” may be totally off base. But what if it’s not, and how do you find out the truth? Well, the reality is that you can indeed be followed for many reasons. Some innocent and others so malicious that your life could be in grave danger.
Here is where we sort it all out. We answer what you should notice about the cars around you. How to determine if they are a genuine threat, and most importantly, what to do so you can make it home alive and uninjured. here’s how to tell if you’re being followed:
Now, it needs to be known that not all cars following behind you (and at every turn you make) are out to do you harm. There are numerous reasons you may have a tail when driving that is far less threatening to your life and, in some cases, helpful. First, they could be a private detective following you due to some insurance claim, in which they observe that you are physically functioning to the extent you claim.
Additionally, jealous exes, boyfriends, or girlfriends could be tailing you to prove (or, more likely) disprove your fidelity. It could also be someone you may have seemingly wronged on the road earlier, out to throw you a few insults, profanity, or some derogatory hand gestures; not nice, but far from a life-or-death situation. Finally, your tail could be a good Samaritan who noticed your trunk was open or you have something dragging underneath your vehicle. There are harmless reasons you could be followed, but it never hurts to stay cautious.
Okay, so you think you’re being followed. Before you rush to employ the helpful tips below, you must verify your determination using a few trusty processes. First, slow down, move to the right lane and follow the posted speed limit or slip below it. It’s a lot more work to follow someone who is traveling slowly. If the car behind you also slows down and still follows, then you may be right in your initial assumption.
Additionally, making odd driving choices that no one should follow due to randomness is also an excellent test. You may have a trail if a driver follows you multiple times on and immediately off the highway. Finally, think four, as in four turns. If a vehicle behind you makes the same four turns, the odds are stacked that the car is not out for a casual drive but instead has you within its sights.
Though you may consider your home your castle and a secure safe spot, don’t ever go home if you’re being followed. All you’re doing is leading a (possible) “bad guy” to your house and, additionally, to your family. If the car’s driver following you has malicious intent, then if you go home, your home can become a target of this person’s anger, no matter how displaced it may be. If your home was your destination, casually change your route and follow the tips below.
This “safe space” will depend on the level of danger you feel that you are in. If you have doubts about whether the car behind you may be following you, then a public place may be your best bet. Anywhere that sports a crowd of people, such as a busy strip mall, a street lined with bars and restaurants, or a crowded community park, is an excellent option.
If the car behind you follows you at every turn, slows down when you do, and takes even the most erratic courses you have plotted, then heading to a police station is the best decision. It’s also wise to call the police as you drive to the station and alert them of the situation. Make a note of the car’s make, model, and color for future reference, if needed.
There’s a fine line between being cautious and being paranoid. Don’t try to persuade your sixth sense that everything is okay or that this situation could never happen to you. Learn how to pick up on the signs, and how to tell if you’re being followed. Humans, like animals in the wild, can sense danger. However, the brain usually shuts this important alert system down, which could have disastrous results. Be alert when you drive. Be wise in your observations; you’ll make it home safe and sound when you learn to identify and eventually shake your uninvited tail!