August 28, 2020
The greatest danger to cyclists is those with whom they share the road. Namely, drivers of cars and trucks. It takes just a single flash of inattention for a motorist to change the life of a cyclist irrevocably.
And when a motorist — in a fit of anger — decides to drive aggressively, the danger to cyclists grows exponentially.
So, what can a cyclist do to prevent such a scenario from occurring? Let’s take a closer look.
While you might view road rage incidents as relatively rare, the truth is that they are causing death and injury at significant rates. According to statistics from AAA, road rage accounted for more than 200 murders and 12,600 injuries over a recent seven-year period.
While it’s unknown how many of these incidents involved cyclists, what is known is that cyclists are especially vulnerable, given how exposed they are.
To prevent escalation of dangerous interactions, cyclists should consider doing the following:
A recent article on Bicycle.com that deals with the topic of road rage points out that cyclists are often victims of dehumanization. Motorists don’t see them as people, but rather as objects that are in their way as they try to progress through traffic.
When a driver approaches from behind and cannot see the face of a cyclist, they don’t view the cyclist as a fellow parent, son, daughter, or friend. Instead, they view the cyclist as an obstacle.
In recent years road safety advocates have worked to help motorists overcome this tendency by highlighting the humanity of cyclists in public awareness campaigns and working to develop empathy.
Yet in a world where driver inattention is widespread, it ultimately remains incumbent upon cyclists to take care of ourselves.
Gary Brustin is a lifelong cyclist and a specialist in bicycle accident law. In fact, these are the only types of cases that he will accept. If you’ve been injured in a collision or have suffered from the negligence of another, we urge you to contact Gary for a complimentary consultation.