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How should bicyclists handle road rage?

Los Angeles is one of the most precarious cities for bicyclists. With heavy traffic and a lot of twisty roadways, many bicyclists simply believe it is not safe to ride around Southern California. 

On top of environmental factors, bicyclists also need to watch out for other drivers getting road rage. Although motorists need to share the roadway with bicyclists, some people simply become angered at the slightest inconvenience a bicyclist may pose. When this occurs, there are some tips bicyclists should bear in mind.

Disengage from the situation

Ultimately, the best thing you can do in most precarious situations is to simply leave. On a bicycle, you will have a simpler time getting off the main roadway where a motorist cannot get to you. In the event that a driver pulls over to the side of the road to confront you, you do not have to stop. However, there may be some situations where you cannot get away. This is why many bicyclists have affixed cameras to their bikes, so they can record the interaction for later use in court if needed. 

Try to defuse the road rage

In many cases, the bicyclist has not done anything wrong to warrant road rage. The motorist merely became aggravated at the bicyclist's presence. If someone yells at you, then it is wise to avoid escalating the situation further. Do not yell back or make any obscene gestures; you do not want a court of law to view you as an instigator. 

Defend only if absolutely necessary

Although it is rare, sometimes a motorist will follow a bicyclist to his or her destination to establish confrontation there. If this ever occurs to you, then you should do everything in your power to not fight back. Put your bicycle between you and the other person. In the event that there are no witnesses in the vicinity, you should call the police. 

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