How Cyclists Can Avoid Drivers With Road Rage

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.

How to Avoid Drivers Exhibiting Road Rage

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:

  • Ride with video cameras. This often proves instrumental in establishing what occurred during a hostile road interaction. Additionally, the presence of a video camera will sometimes encourage people to act more responsibly once they know their actions are being recorded.
  • At the first sign of road rage behavior, pull over to the side of the road and situate yourself safely away from traffic. Jot down the details of the driver who is exhibiting road rage behavior (make and model of vehicle, driver description, name of road and direction of traffic etc.).
  • Avoid interacting with the motorist. While cyclists sometimes feel the need to educate drivers about the rules of the road and the duty of caution that should be given to cyclists and others who share it, interactions like this often go poorly. A bad interaction can increase tempers and make a situation like this even more volatile.
  • If you feel threatened by immediate danger or violence, call 911.

Why Road Rage Occurs

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.

Why Gary Brustin is the Right Choice for Cyclists

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.

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