Drive Responsibly....Please

Drive Responsibly....Please

My wife and I love our MS. We live in the SF area. We love the social aspect of the TESLA family.
We love waving at other Tesla owners and often get a big thumbs up in reply.

However, yesterday a MS driver did not represent this amazing social network well.

My wife was trailering horses back to the Bay area from Gilroy and was delighted to see a MS coming up to pass her. She was talking to me on Bluetooth and I could tell she was grinning.

A few moments after finishing our conversation, she called me back to report that this MS driver passed her and abruptly pulled in front of her truck leaving nearly zero room for stopping if she needed to. She was really pissed that someone driving our favorite car could so poorly represent the Tesla community and potentially put her and our horses at risk.

She asked me to post this to remind Tesla drivers that we do represent this amazing group of people and to some extent Tesla. My experience is that most Tesla drivers drive safely. Just be aware that folks are looking and evaluating in this formative stage of the Tesla era. Do what you can to enhance that image through thoughtful and safe driving.

dbrooks | August 25, 2013

I don't think this post is appropriate for this forum.

Mike C | August 25, 2013

This is definitely something to keep in mind with a car as powerful as a Model S. I do try to not drive like an a-hole, but it's really hard not to drive this thing fast.

J.T. | August 25, 2013

Though I applaud the sentiment and I hope everyone drives responsibly regardless of what vehicle they're driving I think attributing Tesla owners with some kind of quality that sets them apart is a whole new form of Tesla Psychosis.

GeekEV | August 25, 2013

You get assholes in any kind of powerful car, and even some not so powerful cars... How many times has the same thing happened with a BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, etc?

Mathew98 | August 25, 2013

@GeekEV +1

I just got back from a long trip from Hershey Park and there was an 18 wheelers who was tailgating my behind for a good 5 miles. I was driving an ordinary hybrid at 70 on the left lane of a 2 lanes highway. This trailer probably gave me about 3 feet from my rear bumper to his front bumper.

It didn't matter if I increase the speed or not, this ahole was determined to tailgate me on a two lanes highway. He had the option to go to the right lane but he declined to do so.

I finally got rid of this giant ahole when a four lanes split appeared. He couldn't catch up to me at that point.

The point being that car drivers of any make and models are capable of being giant idiots on the road.

Mark2131@CA-US | August 25, 2013


I DO think this post is appropriate.

There you go... I just cancelled out YOUR opinion!

HGP16 | August 25, 2013

@Mathew98,Was the truck driver possibly sending a message about the "keep right except to pass" law, or does that not apply in PA?

Tâm | August 25, 2013

It's an entirely appropriate reminder that we don't want to be portrayed badly in the UC Berkely research result of observing drivers of different car models:

Jimsav1998 | August 25, 2013

5 miles huh? In a plain hybrid? So 5 miles at 70 miles per hour is equal to
about 4 1/2 minutes of playing chicken with a truck that can weight up to 80,000
Pounds! Ever think of yielding by moving to the right lane? Ever think that you too were
breaking the law by staying in the passing lane and surpassing the speed limit?
If you want to speed - fine but if 80,000 pounds is up your butt, move over or get
Trampled regardless of what you are driving

AlMc | August 25, 2013

This is quite an appropriate post IMO....One level..The TM forum level.. Courtesy, in general, as we represent the company as early adopters.

Second....not forum level, but as an aside....My wife also drives a horse trailer from time to time. These vehicles have live animals and jamming on the brakes has VERY negative consequences....Be kind to horse trailer drivers (OK, off the soap box)

EMDoc | August 25, 2013

reitmanr -

Thanks for posting.
I think this is a valid post for the simple reason that we need to drive carefully. Other vehicles may not be able to speed up or stop as quickly as the MS.

That said, there are stereotypes associated with some car brands. I think the general intention of the post is that Tesla is up and coming and becoming popular. As a community, you would want to have a good public opinion of Tesla and the drivers. You will always have your rash self-absorbed drivers...but I for one don't want to be associated negatively with the car.

J.T. | August 25, 2013

@admjr All vehicles have live animals in them, or are 4 legged animals more worthy of consideration than the two legged kind?

CalabasasKid | August 25, 2013


What on Earth is it in people that compels them to attempt to censor and moderate this forum to no end?
The OP's post was consistent with his subject line. So sad that our society is so trigger happy on the PC issue.
If you don't like the message, move on and keep it to yourself. Geez!

NKYTA | August 25, 2013

@ jtodtman
We were driving back west on I-80 today and we were on the right/slower side of a dual horse trailer.

My wife commented [Look, that horse is looking at us saying: "What kind of car is that?" "Who makes it?"]

Laughed most of the way to the new Fremont SC!

AlMc | August 25, 2013

jtodman....Good point. If you ask my wife the four legged kind are more important :) (joking)

I do value human life more than four legged animal life (and I am a vet by profession)....but I have driven a horse trailer before and I assure you that people seem to cut me off more in these vehicles than when I drive a car...and the horse trailer stops much more slowly.

Back to original subject: We should all drive with courtesy to all fellow drivers (even the aholes)

EMDoc | August 25, 2013

jtodtman -

Some would argue that 4 legged animals and even those with dorsal fins or flippers are equally (or more) valuable and worthy, myself included. Had to chime in...difficult to ignore the post and don't appreciate when humanity thinks of itself as above all other inhabitants of the planet. Animals (other than humans) have been known to save human lives.

moorelin | August 25, 2013


An "ordinary hybrid" (or anyone, but Prius owners seem to be among the worst) who thinks he/she owns the left lane and can mandate how fast others can drive is one of the more annoying things on the road.

reitmanr | August 25, 2013

Thanks for all your inputs. My wife has two legs, my horses have four each and I love them all dearly
I am glad a number of the posts also consider how our young marque is viewed. Mostly I find people are very curious and mostly positive regarding Tesla, the car and the company. I would like to keep it that way.
Heres to happy smiling miles:-)

moorelin | August 25, 2013

+1 reitmanr

EMDoc | August 25, 2013

+2 reitmanr

JKL | August 25, 2013


You might get a ticket in some States. I believe it called lane squandering.

earlyretirement | August 25, 2013

I think this post is fine for this forum but I don't think it's just for Model S or Tesla drivers. I think anyone no matter what kind of car you are driving shouldn't be a jerk.

Don't be a jerk no matter what car you are driving but especially a Model S.

J.T. | August 26, 2013

@EMDoc. Did you just finish watching Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home?

rch1708 | August 26, 2013

The Top Gear guys claim that the fast car on the road is a rental - any rental. But around here my experience is that the fastest car is a Prius. Kinda like Prius drivers think that they need to compensate having an economical by driving like Michael Schumacher. Strange.

On the other hand, maybe there are a lot of Prius rentals around...

Mark K | August 26, 2013

+1 reitmanr

Nothing wrong with encouraging us early adopters to be good ambassadors.

I definitely find myself having to restrain the impulse to drive faster, because the car is so capable.

Mathew98 | August 26, 2013

@HGP16 , @Jimsav1998, moorelin

No, I did not feel the right of being in the left lane because I drive a hybrid also. I was in the left lane because I was going at the speed of the traffic flow.

Let me add a bit of details here. Both left and right lanes were going at the same speed. I only allow the 2 seconds rule of a buffer space in front of my vehicle. My Altima hybrid can and have gone beyond 85 very capably. It is a matter of safety to allow some buffer space in front of you.

There's no reason for any idiots to tailgate a vehicle going with the flow of traffic. The only alternative for me was to be another idiot and tailgate the car in front of me and allow the big rig to tailgate me also. What bumbling idiots will do that?

I think the point that some people are missing is that any one is capable of being a giant idiot. I just happen to encounter one in an 18 wheelers.

BTW, I don't show people off when I drive my MS. I give the drivers in front of me even more buffer space so anyone can cut in if they are in a hurry. I LIKE to drive and enjoy my stealth rocket launcher safely.

Jewsh | August 26, 2013

Agreed. We need to be sure not to put Tesla owners in the same catgeory as Audi or BMW drivers. >:-/

Sanjuro | August 26, 2013


Something similar happened to me the other day while driving the Model S up a 2-lane freeway with a posted speed limit of 55mph.

I got into the left lane to pass some cars and, as is often my habit, stayed in that lane after overtaking them. Not long after that, a pickup appeared and started to tailgate me.

Instinctively I did the following. I assumed since he was driving a pickup, he was most likely a) a redneck or b) Republican or c) just someone with a chip on his shoulder who hates expensive green cars and so I stubbornly stayed at about 70mph on the left lane.

Now unfortunately for me, I had my wife in the passenger seat, and she is my better half, the good angel, my speed alarm and bad driving detector. She yelled at me to get out of the passing lane allowing that 'idiot' to pass.

I gave way, fumed at this for a while, and of course we argued, but then later when more rational I thought about it. Maybe I was wrong in thinking that this guy was a jerk. Maybe he was in a hurry to get somewhere and was willing to risk a ticket. But to him there was this other jerk taking up the passing lane, refusing to let him overtake. And because his truck was acceleration-challenged, he couldn't pass me safely in the slower lane.

So this is the rule the wife laid down: Always follow the flow-of-traffic, if possible, in the right lane. Only pass if I think I need to pass somebody, and then get back to the slower lane as soon as it's feasible. I think this is also pretty standard in most good driving manuals. It didn't matter if the tailgater is an Obama-hating Republican redneck, just don't be a bigger jerk than he is. And yes, as the other posters here have noted, being proud owners of the best car in the world, we need to try even harder to show what good drivers we are.

Mind you I don't observe this rule as often as I should, and I still feel that there are occasions when it is justified in ignoring. Like if I see a 'jerk' hogging the passing lane, and the road is clear, I'll often just pass them quickly in the slow lane. This does give me a guilty pleasure all the time, all the more so if the other car is a BMW or a similar 'worthy' target.

cloroxbb | August 26, 2013

@Matthew, @Sanjuro

You are both idiots IMO. Left lane is to pass. If you are in the left and someone is going to slow in the left, then you flash your lights until they move over, then you overtake and get back over. The truck driver had every right to tailgate you Matthew to get you to move over.

and Sanjuro, you decided to be an asshole in the left lane just because you don't like pickup drivers and automatically label them rednecks or republicans. Yes, you finally moved over because your wife isn't an idiot, but in this case YOU were the idiot, not the pickup driver.

IMO, get your heads out of your ass and drive responsibly like the Thread headline says :)

Just my $0.02.

AmpedRealtor | August 26, 2013

@ cloroxbb,

Nobody, NOBODY has a "right to tailgate" anyone. If there is a slow vehicle in the left lane, then keep a safe distance behind the slow vehicle. If your personality does not allow for that, change lanes. But tailgating is dangerous, illegal and not an appropriate way to make a statement. Flash your lights from a safe distance.

If someone tailgates you, do not engage in the same form of behavior by slowing down or tapping your brake. Just don't engage the idiot and move over if you can. If it is not safe to move over, or the driver continues harassing you, call mobile 911 and report the driver immediately. Engaging in dangerous behavior on the road simply to communicate your disapproval to another driver is never appropriate.

jbunn | August 26, 2013

We need to be mindful about the damage an S would inflict on a mere mortal car. With great power comes great responsibility.

Mathew98 | August 26, 2013

@cloroxbb - Perhaps you should read my posts again. I was not blocking anyone from passing. There was NO ROOM for anyone to pass, period.

There were many vehicles of all sizes in both lanes flowing continuously without any gaps. I happened to be in the left lane going along the same speed with other cars in front of me (not any slower). Any safe driver would allow a 2 seconds buffer at highway speed.

It idiotic to tailgate at highway speed. It takes an extra stupid red neck on an 18 wheelers to do so knowing there's no room ahead of my car either.

Oh, it takes an even bigger idiot to comment without actually reading the posts.

Andercam | August 26, 2013

The left lane is for Passing! I'm not sure about the other states, but it is illegal to "cruise" in the left lane (not that they enforce it). You are not supposed to pass on the right (not sure that it's illegal), so MOVE OVER after you pass! If not, you are the aggressive driver.
BTW - Don't flash your lights at the idiot blocking the left lane. I did this a couple of years ago to a Subaru driving 60 in a 75 (in the left lane), and I'm the one who got a ticket for aggressive driving.

AmpedRealtor | August 26, 2013

@ Andercam, are you sure you weren't doing more than just flashing your lights? :P

blingfocus | August 26, 2013

I don't think that just because I am driving a Tesla necessarily means I am representing other Tesla owners and defintely not the company.

Interesting concept but it's not one I will have in mind while driving my Model S (hopefully early Sept!) on the road.

Mark Z | August 26, 2013

While on a lightly traveled freeway, I find that driving the speed limit in the right lane works best. The range is improved and I relax knowing that I save energy by slowing down. The only remaining problem are the drivers who clog the passing lanes gawking at the Model S. Slowing down a bit more helps that problem.

The busiest Tesla Store is Fashion Island in conservative Orange County. Don't assume that all tailgaters are upset over the car. They may be attempting to get a glimpse of the 17" touch screen. If they own the stock, they may be trying to give the car a kiss. Most drivers hate driving the speed limit, so let them pass.

dbrooks | August 26, 2013

First of all, my post was simply a an opinion that this is a subject for the main Tesla section, or a private posting. I feel as well that it is a good thing all kinds of drivers are buying this car. Some folks posting and reading this forum are not owners at all, but members of the general public. They are gleaning the most information on this car from others. So I think more "visibility" is given in a post like this, than the few people driving unsafely. So if the intent is to raise awareness among other owners to positively effect perception, post privately.

I would add that cruising in the passing lane for drivers of all cars is a pet peeve. Here is the rule of matter your speed, if you are unwilling to pass the car on your right, you are in the wrong lane.

Does this mean my opinion is valid again??

Andercam | August 26, 2013

Nope - the box was checked for Aggressive driving, and in the notes, he put flashing lights. He was in an unmarked car beside me, so if I was following too close he would've got me for that. Not that I won't tailgate! I can be as big of a jerk as the jerk who won't move over! :-)

If I want to go faster that the flow of traffic (or even the posted limit), I will always move over after passing... even if there isn't anyone behind me.
I hate having cars behind me (been rear-ended twice in the last three years by "distracted" teenage girls).

docdac | August 26, 2013

I always drive in the right lane except when I am actively passing another car, assuming two forward lanes. It is the 'slower traffic keep right' axiom. Also, there is better visibility from the right lane. I hate being passed on the right, because the passing car emerges from your blind spot. I never figured politics had anything to do with it.

cloroxbb | August 26, 2013

@Amped, If you are obstructing traffic in the left lane then you deserve to be tailgated. I agree, that no one has the "right" but if someone doesn't move over then you do what you need to. For me though, it seems that flashing the headlights works much better than tailgating.

@Matthew, I read your posts and you didn't specify that there was no room to move over, you only said you were "travelling with the flow of traffic." If you would have actually been specific and not vague, then I wouldn't have said that.

Anyways, I just wanted to see people's response to my post too, as in the state I am from, it is a law that the left lane is for passing, so I get annoyed with "left laners." I lived in North Carolina for 4.5 years and it was very annoying :)

Lessmog | August 26, 2013

Hate to butt in like this, butt ...
It seems a few of the posters here are totally missing the point: Please do not embarass the brand!
Some show signs of incomplete maturity also. Road rage is not good.
Tailgating is a very dangerous "game" to play. That's why it is illegal.
Remember when you drive a Model S, you are in control of a deadly weapon. Do NOT abuse this responsibility.

Sanjuro | August 26, 2013


If you'd read what I said more carefully, you'd realize that it was a mea culpa and I admitted that I was being a jerk in that incident. I posted the comment to remind ourselves that we all can lapse into irresponsible behavior without meaning to. And also how our biases, beliefs and attitudes can affect our judgement and the decisions that we make.

However, there is no need for you to engage in indiscriminate name-calling. This just isn't very cool, especially if they are fellow Tesla drivers.

cloroxbb | August 26, 2013

Its all good man. No disrespect meant. I was just bored at work, and felt like illiciting a rise out of people. :)

lolachampcar | August 26, 2013

Germans (and Europeans as a whole) spend a bucket load of cash getting their drivers license.

We get ours out of a CrackerJack box.

Results are predictable.

cloroxbb | August 26, 2013

@lolachampcar +1

AlMc | August 26, 2013

Lola/Chloro: You mean you need a license to drive? :)

As with many of these threads it all comes down to common courtesy/golden rule.

Also, don't always assume people who drive pickups are rednecks or republicans.

J.T. | August 26, 2013

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

RedShift | August 26, 2013

Most days I am very mellow, tolerate other motorists... May be one day of the week, I drive fast. (That is to say, I average 280-290 wh/mi usage most of the week, and on that fateful day or two, go to 380 wh/mi)

When I want to do that, I don't want a 45mph Leaf in the left lane when the speed limit is 65. I swear to god, I recognize that driver after encountering him 3-4 times on my morning commute. He is always staring straight at the instrument cluster, not the road, and always travels 45-50 in the 65 zone.

That's when I start to cross double white lines to overtake him.

mrspaghetti | August 26, 2013

I don't think I will reflect on Tesla anymore than I now do on Toyota, and I am probably 4 standard deviations from the average Tesla owner, philosophically and politically. I always try to be courteous while driving, pushing a cart at the grocery store, etc, but it certainly isn't because I think I represent anyone else - just because we drive the same make of car? Agree with whoever said this is taking the Tesla psychosis to another level.

RedShift | August 26, 2013


It's 'elicit' (to evoke) not 'illicit' (what you call an affair with your mistress)

You're welcome, BrianH.