Road Rage Drivers Show Shocking Disregard for the Safety of Motorcyclists
A recent study by the California Office of Highway Traffic Safety found that just under one in ten drivers are willing to use their cars to block the path of a motorcyclist for various reasons.
A quick search of the internet shows the wretched – and inexcusable – truth. All of the following incidents occurred within the last 30 days, and I stopped searching as my outrage and disgust grew to vein-popping levels.
- Arizona: http://www.azfamily.com/news/Arizona-Bike-Week-road-rage-2-riders-injured-146484045.html
- Ohio: http://www.wdtn.com/dpp/news/local/miami/road-rage-crash-sends-one-to-hospital
- Seattle, Washington: http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/2012/04/23/road-rage-incident-on-alki-suspect-arrested/
- San Bernardino, California: http://banning-beaumont.patch.com/articles/beaumont-man-sentenced-to-community-service-probation-for-road-rage
So what can you do about it?
As looney as it might seem, try to understand that some cagers are actually intimidated by you and your bike.
Ride defensively. Practice constantly vigilance whenever you’re near automobiles on the road. Pay particular attention to the vehicles around you in or near intersections, as those locations are prime spots for driver inattention.
And above all, avoid any sort of confrontation with cagers. There’s just no way to know who’s behind the wheel, and what kind of attitude they might have about motorcyclists. If you have any inkling that a cager is attempting to injure you or impede your progress down the public roads, get out of harm’s way ASAP and please report any incidents you might be involved in with road rage types.
The AAA Foundation’s Aggressive Driving update found that aggressive driving behaviors play a rolein up to 56% of fatal crashes, and while nearly 90% of drivers view aggressive driving as a very serious or somewhat serious threat to their own safety, those same drivers might suddenly fall victim to the heat of the moment themselves.
If you’d like to know what the odds are that you might be prone to aggression driving behavior, you can take the AAA aggressive driving quiz and find out if you might be prone to hostile driving in some situations.
Some tips to avoid aggressive driving:
- Avoid cutting drivers off and apologize if you do so
- Avoid tailgating and honking the horn
- Avoid making inappropriate or offensive gestures
- Steer clear of other aggressive drivers
- Avoid eye contact
- Seek help if you’re being followed by driving to a safe/crowded location or by dialing 911
Adjust Your Attitude
- Leave yourself enough time rather than trying to make good time
- Put yourself in the other driver’s shoes
- Take a deep breath and remember escalating a situation will only make things worse.
Making sure the authorities know about crazy drivers might just save the life of one of your fellow riders.
How much would that be worth to your karma?