Reflections on road rage
I was involved in a road rage incident a few days ago. I can’t be fair, neutral or unbiased about this topic since I am usually a vulnerable road user riding a motorcycle or a bicycle far more often. I’ve also got experience of driving cars, vans and minibuses.
I’ve been riding a bicycle regularly for fifteen years or so. It keeps me fit and sexy and staves off arthritis and sciatica. I like a mountain bike without any suspension, frame size 53cm and slick tyres at about 80psi is ideal ;) Cromoly Treks from the 90s are nice. About being sexy, you’re welcome to approach me with do-you-fancy-trying suggestions and I’m not too fussy. I am keen on natural hair but whatever.
Back to road rage. I’ve had someone overtake me while I was riding a motorbike in the fast, overtaking lane of the motorway. The car touched me as he passed because there was no room of course. I can’t remember the exact details because it was so long ago but I was travelling at about 80mph. That episode didn’t actually result in a road-rage incident. I followed him for miles. He was manic and going to play golf.
I’ve been involved in a few road rage incidents. Typically a car driver has shown a total disregard for my safety as in the previous example. I get angry that the other driver is so dangerous – to me and not themselves of course – while I am concerned with driving safely being a vulnerable road user. I’ve had vans trying to deliberately hit me on a bicycle. I’ve had cars driving at me because the driver is on the phone or texting. I’ve narrowly missed potentially very serious accidents because the driver is on the phone.
In the most recent incident, I was riding defensively wide in the road stopping him from overtaking where it was dangerous. He overtook me fantastically dangerously to sit behind the bicycle in front. Then he made a rude gesture at me and I followed him. I got off worse. He climbed out of his window and got tangled in my bike. I had to protect myself using my bicycle while he came at me on three seperate occasions hitting my bleeding hand with my d-lock. He was less than half my age and fit.
My undertanding is that the police rarely prosecute in road-rage incidents. What this means is that violent people learn that they can be very violent with impunity in the driving realm. Driving is the one area of contemporary society that is not policed. Drunk drivers literally get away with it for decades, people drive terribly dangerously because they will not be prosecuted, using a mobile phone, texting … Why do some young people drive so badly?
may be extended
5/6/18 10.15am I should have referred to prosecuted instead of ‘policed’ above? Police do attent such incidents but they’re excused as being ‘road rage’.
I find car drivers huge urge to pass cyclists as soon as they possibly can very strange. Danger is the only thing that is acheived by driving dangerously in urban areas and cyclists catch up at the next junction. The way to travel quicker is to select a better route.