In San Diego, we are fortunate to have an abundance of bike lanes. This helps to avert many of the confrontations between angry drivers and cyclists that all cities have. When you do find yourself on the road and have a driver act less than friendly towards you, here’s what to do to avoid escalating the situation more than need be.
How to Deal with an Angry Driver
- Don’t react – When a driver is yelling at you for seemingly no reason, sometimes it’s really nothing to do with you. After a stressful day at work, traffic can be the tip-over point that induces a road rage beholden to no form of logic. In these instances, the best action to take is usually to ignore them and let them pass you.
- Respond positively – If the driver is out to get you and won’t stop bothering you, try to acknowledge their feelings in a friendly manner. Reacting maliciously is exactly what they want from you, so if anything, try waving and smiling. Anything that might get them out of the mood they’re in helps. Just be sure that you don’t come off as insincere, as this may backfire.
- Bike away – When nothing else works, there is nothing cowardly about creating distance between yourself and the driver. Unless you’re on a road with few intersections on it, you should be able to out-maneuver a car. Most of the time, turning off the road or even just stopping for a moment will be enough to get a reckless driver off your tail.
Drivers who yell at cyclists are rarely actually mad at them for anything they are doing wrong from a legal standpoint. Most of the time, these situations can be deescalated by responding with kindness or not at all. If you ever come across a driver in an especially foul mood and feel physically threatened, get to safety. Memorize their license plate and contact the police if necessary.
If you are injured in a bicycle accident, call or fill out an online form today to find out how San Diego bicycle accident attorney Joshua Bonnici can help you.