Road rage is when a driver of a motor vehicle becomes angry, causing the driver to engage in aggressive behavior. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aggressive driving, specifically speeding, is a cause of about a third of all accidents.
Drivers often direct their anger at bicyclists. Accidents involving bike riders can cause severe injuries to the biker.
Causes of road rage against cyclists
Persons riding bicycles share the roadways with motor vehicles. Operators of cars need to yield to bicyclists when appropriate and provide space between the rider and the vehicle. Bikers often travel at slower speeds than cars and can cause traffic to slow behind them. Sometimes, drivers become enraged due to traffic delays.
The psychology of road rage indicates that persons want control of their lane and space, which can cause a driver to act aggressively towards others who share that space. Bike riders face aggressive driving acts regularly.
How to avoid road rage
Cyclists want to maintain safety while cycling. Although they cannot control someone else’s behavior, a bike rider can take steps to minimize risk. For starters, cyclists should obey all traffic laws and try to stay out of the way of traffic. They should also avoid instigating any actions by not making rude gestures or yelling. If a driver displays aggression, it is important to avoid eye contact and seek a safe pull off. The biker should then note the vehicle information and report the person to law enforcement.
Road rage factors into more than half of all fatal accidents, according to Bankrate. Cyclists can stay safe while on the road by learning to recognize aggressive driving and taking defensive measures to protect themselves.