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Why do cyclists and drivers get into road rage arguments?

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2017 | Bicycle Accidents |

You know that drivers don’t always get along with cyclists. Despite the increase in the popularity of cycling recently — some reports indicate that it’s become 46 percent more popular — there are still a lot of conflicts. Sometimes these lead to road rage and accidents. Why does this happen?

There are a lot of reasons. In some cases, both parties don’t know the basic right of way laws. They get into disagreements and grow furious with one another for a perceived slight.

In other cases, drivers and cyclists just don’t have the same experiences. Many drivers never ride bikes, at least not on the street. It’s hard for the two to see things from the same point of view.

This can lead to a lack of rationality. Drivers will sometimes stereotype cyclists, as stereotyping is common when someone doesn’t have much experience with any group that is even slightly different.

For instance, a driver may get cut off by another car. He or she may be furious with that specific motorist, but that driver won’t think that all drivers are terrible. He or she would be included in that group, after all.

However, if a driver is cut off by a cyclist and never rides a bike, he or she may start to think all cyclists are like that. The next time the driver encounters a cyclist, it starts from this negative point of view and it’s easier for things to escalate.

This is unfair, but it can lead to road rage, which can lead to serious — and sometimes intentional — collisions between bikes and cars. Those who are hurt in these accidents must know their legal rights to compensation.

Source: NerdWallet, “Bike Rage Explained: Why Drivers and Cyclists Don’t Get Along,” Alex Glenn, accessed Oct. 12, 2017

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