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How do you handle aggressive drivers while on the road? - Page 3

post #31 of 57

You should check your sources - where is such sign language against the law? This speech is generally protected in the first amendment of the US constitution.

 

http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2010/03/middlefinger.pdf

 

Regardless, humans are social and territorial creatures. Occasional exchanges are natural and should be expected. In the end its just a pissing match which very rarely progresses to anything further. When given the chance to induce real physical injury to a complete stranger - most psychologicaly healthy indivuals would back down.

 

To mix it up from time to time, I like to react in unexpected (but generally safe) ways. Maybe I should practice a falling in a convincing manner - it would be an interesting social experiment to see how quickly some change their attitudes.

 

Threatening drivers, to me, are a helpful reminder that all vehicular traffic is dangerous - regardless of their intent. Who is more dangerous on the road - the driver that notices you or the one that does not?

 

I like the camera idea, perhaps I will carry a small digital in my pocket. Instead of "discussing" the situation with the driver, take a picture of them and their car.

 

 

 


Edited by maydog - 3/12/12 at 12:24pm
post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by maydog View Post

 In the end its just a pissing match which very rarely progresses to anything further. When given the chance to induce real physical injury to a complete stranger - most psychologicaly healthy indivuals would back down.

 


Beyond sanctioned sparring sessions in the dojo, every altercation I've arrived at in the real world started as a pissing match. Granted most fizzled out but a few ended up in bona fide fist-a-cuffs, not always concluding in my favor. Looking back I could have avoided most if not all of them. Contrary to what many believe, conversations, arguments, escalations, etc, are not a two-way street. In most instances, and almost at any time before the boiling point, we have the capacity to control the outcome from the start. Like one of my riding friends famously tells me when I conciously leave my helmet at home... "all it takes is once".

 

I like the falling down in a convincing manner trick. Reminds me of the character in Chuck Palahniuk's novel Choke, who pretends to choke in public food establishments in an effort to collect symathy and $$ from altruistic patrons.

 

post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by maydog View Post

You should check your sources - where is such sign language against the law? This speech is generally protected in the first amendment of the US constitution.

 

http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2010/03/middlefinger.pdf


 

The supreme court also upheld firearm ownership... following your same logic... it would be OK to shoot at people? Read the newspapers... people are arrested for such "freedoms of expressions" all the time. Nothing new... been happening for decades that I am aware of.

 

In CA the same gesture has been at the beginning of what was later called "road rage". I've always understood such a finger waving as an actual request for violence. I had no idea... there were people that didn't. If you would have gestured at me or my friends or family... we would have seen/taken/understood the gesture as an invitation to do you harm.

post #34 of 57

- foz, I have never gone beyond a few words as they zip by. I figure that most folks are just miserable in their cages and want to vent. I like to remind them of how miserable they are. I would be working on an exit strategy if someone were to actually get out of the car.

 

I envision the bicyclist from the National Lampoon's European Vacation. In my head, the prank goes perfectly and is hiliarious. In real life it may be an utter disaster.

post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post

The supreme court also upheld firearm ownership... following your same logic... it would be OK to shoot at people? Read the newspapers... people are arrested for such "freedoms of expressions" all the time. Nothing new... been happening for decades that I am aware of.

 

In CA the same gesture has been at the beginning of what was later called "road rage". I've always understood such a finger waving as an actual request for violence. I had no idea... there were people that didn't. If you would have gestured at me or my friends or family... we would have seen/taken/understood the gesture as an invitation to do you harm.

 

 

I never saild that regularly "Flip off" motorists.

 

It is not my logic - it is the opinion of a legal expert on the matter; and no, that logic does not allow you to inflict harm on the other. My short search found no statutes or laws making such a gesture illegal in the US. I recall that in a recent, highly publicized athelitic event (Super Bowl), MIA "flipped the bird" was she arrested for illegal activity, what the legality of the gesture even in question? Yes people are arrested for this behavior, though under shaky legal grounds it seems.

 

In the end it is not illegal, inflammatory yes and potentially dangerous. However, should you harm me because I hurt your honor by my flipping you off, well then ....

post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by maydog View Post

 Yes people are arrested for this behavior, though under shaky legal grounds it seems.

 

................ should you harm me because I hurt your honor by my flipping you off, well then ....

I am no legal scholar myself... Yes people are arrested for flipping the bird. Whether or not the Constitution or the federal courts allows such local behavior or laws may be a great conversation.... but it won't keep you from getting your butt handed to you in a Dixie cup when you tick off the wrong guy. And the wrong guy IS out there.

 

Or worse... it won't keep that ticked off soccer Mom from swerving her van in my direction to scare me as a way to get even with a cyclist that scared or angered her.

 

What I am really trying to say is: Everyone who has cycled the roads and streets at times believes cyclist and motorist seem to have an adversarial relationship. I think it would be in the best interests of all cyclist if everyone of us made an effort to improve cyclist relationships with the motoring public.

 

post #37 of 57

Local ordinances vary and gestures can be considered disorderly conduct. It is also a debate for freedom of speech. Some of the statutes specify that a gesture is only considered illegal in some circumstances. If you aim a gun at a target at a range it is not illegal but if you point it a person it is endangerment. Not an exact analogy but similar.

Either way the "bird" is too trivial to spend sleepless night pondering it.

Bottom line, watch your a** and avoid dangerous situations.

post #38 of 57

I have never read in the court reporter or any public police reports of someone being arrested and charged for the middle finger salute.

 

For the on road confrontations or situations I have encountered over the years 1 out of ten are aggressive driving related. The other nine are just people out driving and unaware of the problem they have caused along with myself having made a mistake that caused a situation to develop.

 

Let those who have caused no traffic disruptions amongst us be the first to wave the finger.wink.gif

post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhuskey View Post

 

Either way the "bird" is too trivial to spend sleepless night pondering it.

 


 

I really don't mean to harp on this... and I mean NO offense. Plus... I wouldn't wish a sleepless night on anyone. But I really think the "finger waving" which was adopted by much of the cycling community as a trendy thing to do (thirty years ago) has served cyclist very poorly. Although the gesture may mean little in your culture... the American culture as a whole has a different perspective. I believe much of the animosities cyclist experience on the roads today are a direct result of the finger waving trend.

 

I understand proper research... and I have no data or supporting evidence. This is based just on my own anecdotal experiences. But if I am wrong and flipping the bird actually makes people, happy... why don't we greet our mothers that way? Why not wave at the local police using that finger since it IS protected speech as well as cheerful? Or maybe.... it might be a better representation of cyclist if we kept our hands on the handlebars.

 

post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post


 

I really don't mean to harp on this... and I mean NO offense. Plus... I wouldn't wish a sleepless night on anyone. But I really think the "finger waving" which was adopted by much of the cycling community as a trendy thing to do (thirty years ago) has served cyclist very poorly. Although the gesture may mean little in your culture... the American culture as a whole has a different perspective. I believe much of the animosities cyclist experience on the roads today are a direct result of the finger waving trend.

 

I understand proper research... and I have no data or supporting evidence. This is based just on my own anecdotal experiences. But if I am wrong and flipping the bird actually makes people, happy... why don't we greet our mothers that way? Why not wave at the local police using that finger since it IS protected speech as well as cheerful? Or maybe.... it might be a better representation of cyclist if we kept our hands on the handlebars.

 


It certainly hasn't benefited cyclists. I like my technique of ignoring the offending twit in the car and riding according to what the law proscribes, all the while trying to show as much courtesy as possible to drivers. Granted, most of there's not much feedback from drivers, but I've had more than a few drivers thank me for making way for them, for signaling turns, for being well lit at night, and so on. I'll take that any day over flipping someone off or getting into some juvenile war of words, threats, and dick measuring.
post #41 of 57

Maybe you miss my point. I don't advocate it, I just don't believe it worth the time debating the acceptance of it, and it goes back more than 30 years. We all make our choices and then live with them. I ride for self fullfillment , not confrontation.

post #42 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post

 

Everywhere I've ever been..... “flipping someone off” is an unlawful and obscene act... which besides being prosecutable... really offends the general public. If someone was to “flip-off” your girlfriend, wife, mother, grandmother, or do so in front of your 7 year old daughter I think you'd be offended yourself.


I tend to view it as when you shoot the finger at someone, suddenly they feel THEY'RE the aggrieved party - "I passed this guy on a bike and he flipped me off for totally no reason!" when the real scenario was the car came up behind you, kept laying on the horn, and finally ran you off the road etc. 

 

post #43 of 57
yesterday this person didn't survive to tell the story

deadcyclist.jpg

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post #44 of 57

Sorry for those who pass and those they leave behind to mourn.

 

But I don't exactly get the point. We all know and accept that there is an element of risk involved with cycling. Certainly... it might be safer to practice bowling as a sport. And at such time I feel the risk from cycling is unexceptionable enough... I might switch to bowling.

 

But I sometimes think people confuse the risk. Your [mine, everyones] risk of dieing is 100%. We will all [sooner or later] die. Our behavior on a bicycle only effects todays risk (more or less).

 

If I have to die today... I'd rather go while at peace with the world, with a hot dog in my hand, clutching my chest, in a bowling alley. Than I would on a public roadway screaming, cursing, and making obscene gestures. Or better yet.... I'd rather go while pedaling my butt off with the wind in my face. I love the feelings I get when cycling... (but I hate the pissing contests some think cycling should be).

 

But, then again... that's just me. Your feelings could be different... and are not any less correct.

post #45 of 57

Wow, here is a huge collection of sentimental nonsense! The only thing that matters at the moment are physical laws - put distance an barriers between you and threats to your hide.

 

Ignoring aggressive driving is just enabling - your acts of charity and goodwill simply enable the driver to continue their behavior. Whatever response you have afterward is pointless. It cannot prevent past behavior, they chose to be an ass before you were even aware. More to the point, small acts and gestures will quickly be forgotten. Rude and aggressive drivers do at least acknowledge your existence - so at least you know you are not a ghost riding down the street.

 

Want to stop cagers from encroaching on your space? Make yourself a threat to them. I drag road spikes painted bright orange a few feet behind my bike and have bars sticking out a few feet on each side of my rack. I also have a skunk scent bottle to provide an aromatic warning. I wear blaze orange hunting clothes and have an rotating yellow warning light attached to my hat. I installed a PA system on the rear rack and announce "Please make way, bicyclist coming" every few hundred feet. As I ride I swerve irregularly to alert drivers of my presence.

 

Even with all these precautions I still get hit. Yesterday a car coming out of an alley struck my bike. I got mad and kicked the car which cracked its engine block. The driver was surprised and got out and started some beef with me. He says "Are you crazy" - "Oh heck yes" I responded via my PA system. Then I started twitching and foaming at the mouth, I staggered over to the driver and mumbled "help me, its starting" over and over again. I drooled all over his hand - he was holding his nose - I guess the skunk scent broke. He ran off after I started convulsing and dry heaving on the ground. I guess he learned his lesson - justice eh?

 

 

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