In his recent Velo News column, Bob Mionske (author of Bicycling & the Law) dives into the subject of road rage; what triggers it, why it’s particularly dangerous to cyclists, and what we can do to minimize the possibility of it occuring.
In my talks, I sometimes discuss my own experience when confronted with road rage, or even just poor driving that threatens my safety. I’ve had two distinct types of reaction—what I used to do, and what I do now. By nature, I am the type who doesn’t take trouble from anyone; after all, it’s the same type A personality in our sport that enables us to succeed that also directs our response to aggression. What I used to do was react with what you could call a “tough guy response.” Unfortunately, as a response to anti-cyclist aggression, that doesn’t work, for two reasons. At the social level, it’s a selfish response, because even if you win, it only perpetuates the enmity towards cyclists, and worsens the cycling environment for everyone. And of course, at the personal level, a tough-guy response to an automotive vigilante has the potential to escalate into epic road rage, as we saw in Brentwood. In fact, according to Dr, James, even a measured response, as we saw in Kamas, can lead to epic road rage.
Mionske goes on to suggest ways to reframe the inevitable run-ins we have with other road users to help control our reactions. He states that by doing so, we minimize our personal anxiety and stress, while also making the road safer for ourselves and other cyclists.
Read the article at Velo News →