Bike Riders Must Protect Themselves from Road Rage
Road rage, unfortunately, is becoming increasingly more common. If you are a bicycle rider, you may think it will never happen to you. Think again. You don’t have to be riding in a car to be a victim of road rage.
Bicyclists are extremely vulnerable to an attack of road rage. An enclosed steel cage protects the driver of the car, while the cyclist is exposed to open air and, consequently, has no protection at all.
If you are a bike rider, you need to be proactive about your protection from road rage. Here are some of the ways you can take your safety into your own hands:
- Carry a cell phone at all times
- To borrow a famous football quote, have your head on a swivel at all times and be vigilant about your surroundings
- If a vehicle pulls up next to you, get your guard up. The driver may just be asking for directions, but you never know.
- Follow safe biking rules and never cut in front of a vehicle, behavior that can only serve to anger a driver
In spite of following these safety tips, if you are a victim of road rage, adhere to the following principles:
- Stay calm, remain level headed, and try to reason with the driver
- Do not be the aggressor in any manner (physical or verbal), no matter how angry you might be
- Never reach inside the driver’s vehicle for any reason. This can be misconstrued as an act of aggression promoting retaliation.
- Threaten to make call police with your cell phone and actually make it if the situation is escalating
- After the encounter is over, make sure you write down (smart phones are so handy) a description of the driver, the occupants, the vehicle, and license plate number if possible.
- Report the incident to the police as soon as possible
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses to substantiate your claim. (District attorneys usually need the encounter to be substantiated before they can move forward with a prosecution against the aggressor).
If you are injured as a result of a bicycle road rage incident, consult with a knowledgeable and experienced bicycle accident attorney to understand your rights.