Bicycles and Drivers on the Road

Joseph Devine asked:

There is a tendency for car drivers to become very angered by the mere presence of bicyclists on the road. Many drivers tend to feel that the road belongs to those in motorized vehicles and bicyclists are nothing more than an extreme nuisance keeping them from getting to where they are going without changing lanes or slowing down their speed.

Because of this attitude between motorists and bicyclists, a certain sort of bicyclist hatred has arisen. It is a sort of road rage involving bikes. The frightening part of bike road rage is that cyclists are, for the most part, completely unprotected when it comes to being hit by a car. Motorists need to realize that they weight two tons in their cars and can easily kill a biker with one small jerk of their steering wheel. No matter how much a cyclists may annoy a driver, they can never allow themselves to become angry in the same way that they would if another car were to cut them off.

Basically, unless the motorist wishes to be charged with murder or involuntary manslaughter, they should do everything within their power to stay calm.

Reasons Motorists are angered by Cyclists

A lot of the anger drivers have towards cyclists is not completely unwarranted. Many cyclists seem to believe that they are above the traffic laws and engage in frustrating and extremely risky behavior. Some things driver complain about include:

– Bikes with no lights – Cyclists are legally required to put blinking red lights at the end of their bicycle if they are riding in the dark. Bikes without lights can be undetectable to drivers. They may seem to come out of nowhere and many close calls are the result of this irresponsible behavior on the biker’s part.

– Not abiding by traffic laws – bicyclists must abide by all the same traffic laws as cars. They must stop at stop signs and look both ways, stop at red lights and wait until they turn green to move and yield when told to do so.

– Listening to iPods – just like a driver of a car, a cyclist must be able to hear what is happening on the road. It is illegal for drivers to wear earphones for this reason. No matter how tempting it might be to ride to a few favorite grooves, head phones should never be worn while on a bike.

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