This morning, Sunday February 3, I was driving north on Highway 22, fifty miles south of Dickinson. The temperature outside was -23 degrees Fahrenheit, and there was a 30 mph cross wind, making the temperature with windchill effect about -50 to -60 degrees Fahrenheit.
I did not want to hit a deer, go off the road, or have any kind of car problems because it was so cold, that getting stuck in such a remote area with a vehicle that is not running, could literally be life threatening. The speed limit on this section of Highway 22 is 65 mph all the way to Dickinson. I planned on driving 60 mph to 65 mph just to be safe. There was very little snow on the road, but snow was blowing in the air across the road.
When I was about forty miles south of Dickinson, I caught up to a maroon color Ford F250 pickup truck that was travelling at about 55 mph. I could tell from the large tires and suspension lift that this F250 truck was four-wheel-drive. I didn’t know why the driver of this truck was going so slow, with such a big, heavy four-wheel drive truck. I thought that maybe they were just being cautious due to the weather conditions.
I was trying to be cautious too, and I thought that maybe they knew better than me, maybe they were aware of some deeper snow drifts across the road further up ahead. I decided to stay at least three hundred feet behind this F250 truck, because I was not in a hurry, I didn’t want to pass them, and I didn’t want to tail gate them.
For the next twenty miles, I stayed at least three hundred feet behind this Ford F250 pickup truck, though I thought that I could probably drive safely at about 60 mph to 65 mph, instead of the 55 mph that this truck was doing. About twenty miles south of Dickinson, where the wind was much less strong, I passed this F250 truck, driving at about 70 mph in order to get around them, when there were no oncoming cars at all.
I then saw that in the back of this Ford F250 pickup truck there was a black piece of travel luggage with a pull-handle on the top of it. I thought that they must be headed for the Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Airport ten miles up ahead. I thought that is why they are driving only 55 mph, they want to be sure to get to the airport in time to check in, but they don’t want to get to the airport too early either.
About ten minutes later when I drove past the Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Airport, I looked in my rear view mirror, and I saw that this F250 pickup truck that I had passed earlier, it had really gained speed and it had nearly caught up to me. In order to catch up to me so quickly, they must have begun driving at more than 70 mph.
They didn’t turn into the airport after all, but continued driving at about 70 mph, until they were tail gating me pretty aggressively just as I was reaching the Dickinson City Limits where the speed limit decreases from 65 mph to 45 mph. When I began slowing down for the 45 mph speed limit sign, this F250 pickup truck got to within ten feet of my rear bumper.
I was pretty angry about suddenly being tail gated like this in an aggressive manner, considering the circumstances. This truck had driven 55 mph, ten miles per hour below the posted speed limit, for almost the entire fifty miles to Dickinson, and I had followed them at a safe distance for twenty miles while they were driving well below the speed limit. Then for some reason, in the last ten miles they drove at least 70 mph, and then began tail gating me aggressively while I was driving at the posted speed limit.
I was about ready to come to a complete stop in the middle of the road, get out of my vehicle, and see if they wanted to get out of their vehicle to tell me what their problem was. This F250 pickup truck then made a left turn onto 20th Street SW, and I could see clearly that it was the same maroon color four-door truck that I had passed ten minutes earlier that was going so slowly for almost the entire fifty miles to Dickinson.
I wanted to turn around, and follow this truck to wherever it was going, get out, and ask the driver, “What are you doing? Why were you driving at 55 mph the whole way to Dickinson when the speed limit was 65 mph, and then just before you get here you want to drive 70 mph and tail gate me, ten feet behind me, like you have some kind of emergency. What is wrong with you?”
I have written a blog post before about tail gaters in Dickinson. I can’t understand why the people in Dickinson are so stupid that they can’t understand that there is no way that running into the back of another vehicle is not going to result in them getting cited for an accident and being held responsible for the damage done to their own vehicle, the other person’s vehicle, and possibly the other person’s medical bills for neck or back injuries.