Road Rage: What It Is And How To Deal With It As A Cyclist
These days, more and more of us are getting on our bikes and cycling along our nation’s roads and countryside paths. Cycling is a great way to spend time outdoors, which we all know is vital for both our physical and mental health. However, if you’ve been cycling on main roads for long enough, chances you’ve come across some form of road rage. This could be as a spectator, as the incident could be between two cars, or a pedestrian and a car. But more and more road rage incidents are involving cyclists. In fact, some people are even going to extreme lengths to deter cyclists from the roads, such as putting pins and fishing line along popular cycle routes. This kind of behaviour unforgivable, although thankfully not that common. But, just how should you handle the situation if you are a victim of road rage?
Avoid it completely
Most of the time, drivers are simply throwing their weight around when they engage in road rage. Or, there has been some kind of misunderstanding on both sides. But unfortunately, mistakes do happen, and it some instances you could have actually been in the wrong. Make sure you learn the Highway Code off by heart before you start cycling on any busy roads, and know which roads to avoid at what times. Even though you have just as much right to be there as any car, some traffic situations can be very dangerous, especially at rush hour. Lorries, in particular, pose a huge risk to cyclists, as do busy junctions. In the event that you do suffer some kind of injury on a busy road, make sure you have adequate bicycle insurance to cover the cost of any repairs.
Don’t take it to heart
Many road rage incidents are simply a copy-cat tirade. For some drivers, they truly believe that they are the King of the Road and that shouting at a cyclist will let everyone else know that too. You may be yelled at from a passing car, which clearly gives you no time to retaliate or discuss what went wrong. Consider what happened and if you were in the wrong, learn from it. But if it was just a display of brutality, don’t take it to heart. There are unlikely to be any repercussions from such an incident, so unless you or anyone else is hurt don’t give it a moments thought.
Be the bigger person
It can be so hard to keep your cool when ANYONE is shouting at you unreasonably – let alone a driver. But, avoiding antagonising the individual any further is the most important thing you can do. Explain calmly that you were just trying to get to work and that you do not want any trouble. If the person in question gets out of their car and appears to be violent, you have every right to call the police, as they could be engaging in threatening behaviour.