As a cyclist, you likely understand how important it is to remain alert while riding. Many motorists do not understand how to – or choose not to – share the road, yet in most cases, you have plenty of ways to stay safe around them. On occasion, though, motorists can become aggressive and volatile when near a cyclist. It is crucial, then, to know what you can do if you are at risk of becoming a victim of road rage.
The dangers cyclists face
In road rage incidents involving bicycles and vehicles, the cyclist is almost always in greater danger than the motorist. Passenger vehicles are large and have plenty of features that offer drivers protection. Bicycles, by contrast, have neither the size nor protective features that passenger vehicles possess. Because of this disparity, many cyclists feel defenseless when motorists act in an aggressive manner toward them. If one or both parties escalates the incident, the cyclist could be at risk for injury, due to the motorist’s easy access to them.
How cyclists can protect themselves
So long as you follow the rules of the road when riding your bicycle, you are likely doing your best to avoid confrontations with motorists. It is up to you, though, to respond to aggressive motorists in a calm and measured manner. Approaching them with civility could help you diffuse the situation. Besides keeping your cool during the incident, you will want to capture it with a helmet camera or cellphone camera. The presence of either may prevent a motorist from acting in as aggressive a manner as they would otherwise. And if you sustain injuries from the incident, your recording will provide evidence of how they happened.
If a motorist injures you during a road rage incident, know that you have options for protecting yourself afterward. An attorney who understands the dangers that cyclists face can help you hold them accountable for their actions.