Why yes, I would like you to back off!

wonders why tailgating drivers are so hugely surprised when he applies his brakes. Stopping distance not a concept taught in Drivers Ed?
I've noticed it's pretty habitual stateside, don't know exactly why. Not that it's anywhere near perfect here, mind.

the hatter
My assessment has been that the absence of lane discipline leads to people using this to signal they'd rather like to get by. Because tailgating and passing on the passenger side leads to a *much* safer driving experience, obv. :)
Granted I didn't drive as much in the UK, but I'm constantly shocked at the quality of driving around Nashville. I see stupid, dangerous driving at least a few times on each commute, way beyond what I'd expect at home.

Perhaps I've been fortunate not to have commuted by car too often in the UK (I have done for a couple of summer/easter jobs, but never full-time), but the driving is so bad I'm sure I would have noticed even given my much reduced time behind the wheel.

I think the whole "slow traffic move to the outside" thing really makes all the difference, and it's just not seen as a requirement by drivers I share the road with, leading to people taking all sorts of dangerous maneuvers to get by. Add in the blazé attitude to drink driving and cellphone use and I'm surprised there aren't *more* accidents, to be honest...
That's not to say there *aren't* bad drivers in the UK, there certainly are, but the average behavior I've witnessed is not covering Middle Tennessee in glory, I can tell you.
The driving in France seems to be pretty special i have to say... *significantly* worse than in the UK. Im not sure if its because im pottering about with a big GB stamped on the back of my car but everyone seems to have a psycotic need to be in front.

In ten years of driving on very similar semi rural roads in the UK i never came round a blind corner to find someone overtaking coming head on at me. It has now happened three of four times in the year i've been here. Not good statistics i know, but not going to make me cry out Vive la France either.