Road rage towards bikers remains a major problem and represents a tremendous potential hazard. Most of us have seen the horrific videos of bikers chased down by angry drivers who yell, cuss, and pelt them with their fists. It does not take much to imagine how this scene could unfold in a disastrous way if the driver had a weapon.
Motorcycle road rage can occur on any road, at any time, so bikers should be aware of the potential risks. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to calm down an angry motorist once they become violent. Therefore, it is important to avoid situations that are potentially dangerous and might incite motorcycle road rage.
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1. Ride in a predictable manner. Road rage may when cagers fail to see a biker, and nearly strike them. Although you might imagine that the bikers would be the angry on in this situation, drivers can be caught off-guard by the rush of adrenaline and direct that anger towards the biker. The best way to avoid these situations is to ride your motorcycle in a predictable way. Try not to cut in and out of traffic, or ride too close to other vehicles. In most cases, it is best to maintain a steady rate of speed.
2. Keep your cool. Everyone has had moments when anger flares up – and when that happens at 60+ miles per hour, potentially dangerous situations can occur. If a driver cuts you off, gives you the finger, or drives aggressively, do your best to remain calm. Becoming angry will escalate the situation. Instead, take a few deep breaths and try to avoid the other driver. Do not immediately pull over, as this can be viewed as an invitation to interact with the driver. Instead, slow your rate of speed and try to disengage from the situation.
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3. If someone does become violent with you, contact the authorities. Road rage is a very real issue, and in severe cases has resulted in deaths. If you are confronted by a driver who becomes violent towards you, call 911. It is critical to report these situations to the police so that these dangerous behaviors can be addressed. Assault is, obviously, illegal and should be dealt with by the authorities.
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4. Do not approach an angry driver. If a driver is behaving in an erratic or angry manner following a crash, keep your distance. After a crash, you should contact police immediately. There is no need to interact with the others involved if they are behaving in an aggressive manner. Even if you feel that you are physically stronger or able to handle their aggression, you have no way of knowing if they may be armed. In these situations, it is best to avoid them until the police arrive. Once police are on the scene, they can help you exchange information and make note of the report in a safe, controlled manner.
5. Avoid alcohol and avoid others on the road who have been drinking. We have all experienced drunk drivers on the roads. They swerve, fail to maintain a constant speed, and make erratic movements. These impaired drivers are present a risk to all others on the roads. In addition, if they are involved in a crash, these drivers may behave more aggressively. If you see an impaired driver, note the make and model of their car and their license plate number, and pull over to the side of the road to report them to the police. Do not engage with them and be sure to avoid them on the roadway as much as possible. And although it should go without say, never drive or ride your bike if you are under the influence of alcohol. It is illegal, reduces your ability to safely navigate the roads, and reduces your inhibitions which can lead to road rage.
6. Let the police do their job. If you have been confronted by an angry driver, or if you witness a driver behaving in a dangerous manner, contact the police immediately. Even if you believe this person does not represent a danger to you, notify the authorities. Road rage is best combated when it is dealt with by those who are qualified to handle the situation. Police have been trained in how to deal with angry drivers, and can usually take control of the situation. Do not try to be a hero – it’s not worth taking chances with your life.
7. Maintain a calm demeanor and do not place blame. After a crash, emotions are heightened. Your initial reaction may be to blame or even yell at the other driver. But some people can become aggressive when they feel they are accused of wrongdoing – even if they are guilty. As in many other situations, it’s best to contact the police and let them manage the situation. Do not assign blame or find fault. Instead, simply make a mental note of what happened and be sure to report it to the police once they arrive on the scene. In addition, never admit fault to a crash, even if you believe you were responsible. If you admit fault, this can be used by an insurance company as an admission of guilt and may interfere with your ability to recover compensation in your case.
8. If you have been struck in a motorcycle road rage or a car road rage situation, be sure to take action. We know that statistically, aggressive behaviors escalate. A driver who may cuss at your and punch you in this situation may be even more violent in the next. It is important to notify police of all acts of physical violence so that they may be dealt with appropriately.
Between increasing traffic, distractions like cell phones, and road rage situations, the roads are more dangerous than ever before. It is critical to keep your head on your shoulders, even when you feel that anger starts to take over. Be calm, cool, and in control when you are riding. If you have been a victim of road rage, contact an experienced motorcycle crash lawyer to handle your case. There is no need to be a victim of anger when they can help you recover damages and compensation for your injuries.