Biking Dangers: Road Rage & Hit and Run

Responding to Road Rage on a Bike

If you ride your bicycle frequently around the South Sacramento area, you may have encountered the first of the biking dangers we will look at: irate and irrational drivers.  You may have been a victim of road rage and had a motorist screaming at you, or worse – attempting to strike you as you rode near their vehicle.  This is a very dangerous situation and one all cyclists would like to avoid.  Why are people so angry behind the wheel?  It’s all but impossible to understand what is going on inside the head of a furious, unreasonable driver.  Maybe they hate bicyclists or believe that you acted in some way that inconvenienced them.  Whatever the cause, the safest way to handle a road rage situation is to hightail it out of the area.  

Don’t Engage with an Angry Driver

Road rage is a potential danger that exists for all who use the roads, and it only seems to be increasing.  Bicyclists have nearly no protection in a confrontation against a raging driver in a motor vehicle.  Here are some tips to avoid injury in a road rage situation: 

  • Do not engage with an angry driver. If confronted, do not argue.
  • Install a camera on your bike. Many times people will avoid acting outrageously if they know they are being recorded.  And if they continue to be aggressive, you will have evidence of the incident.
  • If a driver gets out of their vehicle, quickly leave on your bike.  Bicycles are easier to maneuver and can travel places that vehicles cannot such as through parks or down narrow alleys.  If possible, enter a business.
  • After you have left the area and the incident has concluded, pull over in a safe area and call the police to report the incident along with any identifying information you have – description of the driver and vehicle, location of the incident, etc.
  • Defend yourself if necessary.  If all else fails and you are stuck defending yourself against an angry, aggressive driver, position your bike between the two of you.  While it is your right to defend yourself, do not react physically unless in self-defense, or you could be determined to be the aggressor.

Following traffic laws and practicing courtesy on the roads may help to avoid some entanglements, but not all.  Rage is an unreasonable emotion, and you never know what will set some people off.

Watch the YouTube video.  There are many videos online that show cyclists encountering road rage.  In the clip below, a bike commuter gives tips for handling aggressive encounters.

Hit and Run Bicycle Accidents

The second of the two biking dangers we are examining is the hit and run incident.  A motorist that hits a bicyclist may leave the scene out of fear of being arrested, ticketed, or being subject to higher insurance premiums.  It is illegal and immoral for the driver to leave the scene, but humans are not always motivated by good.  

If the bicyclist is seriously injured, the flight of the driver could cause a delay in medical treatment for the victim, making the actions of the driver even more heinous.  

Traffic Cameras May Help

Having traffic cameras installed in bicycle-heavy travel areas may help to decrease the number of hit-and-run crashes.  If the driver knows that there will be video or photo evidence of them at the scene, they will be less likely to run and more likely to be apprehended if they do.

South Sacramento Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Hello and thanks for reading.  I’m Ed Smith, a bicycle accident lawyer in South Sacramento. There are many potential biking dangers on our California roadways.  Most involve carelessness and simple driver negligence, but in this article, we look at two especially egregious acts of dangerous motorist behavior: road rage and hit and run accidents.  If you are a cyclist who has been injured due to the actions of a negligent or reckless driver, call us at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.

Photo Attribution:

mm llo [cs 684]

Contact Information