How do people handle angry drivers?


New Member
Aug 25, 2023
Hello All,

New user here. I had an incident today where a driver of a car nearly clipped me on purpose because they believed they had the right of way. I yelled at them asking "What's the matter at them" and they proceeded to start yelling they had the right of way. This is a weird intersection caused by bad design that intersects with a stroad.

I'm still feeling pretty shook up about this but it's making me wonder what other people do. I've started trying to tell drivers when they've done wrong because I don't really have a horn but I wonder if that's the wrong way to think about it. Is telling someone they did something wrong going to actually lead to anything beneficial? I think it's a natural response when something scary happens but because people are in cars there is no way for a discussion to happen. Perhaps it's better to just never assert yourself and ride like a saint until someone kills you?

What do others do when people almost hit them, or drive recklessly around them? Or do people rarely have this happen to them and am I riding too recklessly?

Curious what you think,
I don't really pay attention to the right of way.

If someone is showing intent to turn to my right, then I move to the left.

That way no one needs to stop regardless of who's right of way and I'm putting myself out of harm's way if one or both of us failed to observe the right of way.

Do note not every driver that almost hit you is doing it on purpose. They might be distracted, going through get the idea... If you assert your right of way all the time, you're still more on the losing end if a collision takes place. You could die, and the worst they can get is a short prison sentence.

I strongly recommend getting reliable rear view ability like using a helmet mirror. To be able to fluidly change to any lane and greatly improved situational awareness on the road can significantly improve your safety on the road. The best option I found is moving out of the way.

I only protest my right when I'm purposely being run off the road and I have nowhere else to go and ditching the road would still lead to a crash. Most times I encountered this on narrow lane roads. A vehicle on the opposite lane trying to pass a slower vehicle also on the opposite lane...I end up facing two vehicles occupying both lanes abreast and moving towards me at high speed. With nowhere else to go, I shout at the top of my lungs and wave them off.

It doesn't really make the passing vehicle back off. He just will try to make a tight pass on the slower vehicle to try to avoid a collision with me and yet, risking a collision with the slower vehicle.

If it happens often enough, probably the best action is to use front and rear -facing cameras and report incidents of reckless driving to the police.

You might be interested to know that having visible cameras on you can deter motorists from driving recklessly around you.
"What do others do when people almost hit them, or drive recklessly around them? Or do people rarely have this happen to them and am I riding too recklessly?"

I started riding area and times of minimal traffic. Both home and vacation.
And If in residential or business zone - I back off my "racer pace" and just slow down through these areas. What has made me most noticed and cooperated with from fellow motorists broad daylight or dead of night- the brake light. I use the Tailgator , expensive as heck but one impressive piece.
I see from my videos of me from the support vehicle that it is adequate. To get attention from oncoming cars or cars on the side - I use a cheap strobe on handlebar and a decent head-light so I can get their attention by looking their way.
I don't know how ALL these cyclists have so many encounters. 26 years on trails and roads, the biggest threats were cyclists who have no clue. Many who often complain about drivers threatening their lives.

I ride predictably, use all my tools, signals, lights, ankle bands and get nothing other than respect from drivers. Many that often help create safe passage in times of need. I find myself often thanking drivers.

So I guess, my thing is, don't give them reason to hate.

Funny thing, I know several cyclists who ride the same places I do, daytime only but have multiple run ins and accidents. Very experienced cyclists with 25 years plus cycling but yet they can't seem to avoid trouble.

I say after 1 incident, if I don't learn, it's my freaking problem.

Like the idiot in the other thread blocking traffic at 5 moh in a single lane construction zone. Total idiot. I would have pulled over to the curb and let traffic pass if I had to. I expect courtesy from drivers but also willing to return.

That idiot will sooner or later get hit by an angry motorist. Only an idiot won't see that coming.

Heck, I've had ass hole cyclists do that to me on the trail. Doing 17, they don't think I deserve to pass them doing 14. Yes, roadies.

Too many ass holes on bikes.
You know, on the road when I approach an intersection and see the shoulder gets narrow on the other side of the intersection, as the light turns green, I'd slowly swing towards the crosswalk so the 2 or 3 cars that caught me at the intersection can safely pass me knowing I can't keep their 40 mph pace in the upcoming narrow lane.

I think they appreciate that, and I'm safe. I might lose 3 seconds off my average speed but everyone is happy and I'm alive. Not to mention, often drivers return the favor when needed.
Hey! It's great to hear about your experience at intersections. Safety is always a priority, and it's awesome that you consider both your own well-being and that of the drivers. A small adjustment in strategy can make a big difference. Keeping everyone happy and maintaining a good average speed is definitely a win-win. Stay safe out there! ‍♂️

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