Max Draitser - Southern California Bicycle Attorneys

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How to spot road rage from behind your handlebars

Many drivers have trouble controlling their emotions. In fact, according to a recent study, more than 80% of motorists report experiencing some type of road rage regularly. If you encounter an angry driver when you are riding your bicycle, your life could be in danger.

Most passenger vehicles outweigh bicycles and cyclists by more than two tons. If a driver uses his or her vehicle to target you, you are vulnerable to life-threatening injuries. Knowing how to spot road rage from behind your handlebars is an important way to stay safe every time you ride.

Noncompliance with traffic rules

Drivers who are prone to road rage may not have much respect for the rules of the road. In order to stay safe, you should take note whenever a motorist exceeds the speed limit, blows through stop signs, passes in an impermissible place or otherwise violates traffic laws.

Interactions with others

Road rage often starts with aggressive driving, where a motorist infringes on the road space of others. For example, an angry driver may follow too closely or pass without sufficient clearance. Likewise, a motorist who prevents you from performing normal cycling activities, such as merging or passing, may have already lost control of his or her temper.

Personal expressions

Mad drivers often want to share their frustration with others on the road. If you are dealing with potential road rage, you may see a driver gesture wildly or inappropriately. He or she may also scream at you or others. Additionally, if a motorist exits his or her vehicle and walks toward your bicycle, you are likely about to confront road rage.

While you may be able to pursue compensation from the angry driver who caused your injuries in a rage-related incident, you are better off deescalating the situation. Once you have identified suspected road rage, you may be able to take steps to do just that.