I'm posting this here because while I wasn't on a bike when it happened, I have had the same thing happen when I am on a bike.
So, there is a rotary on my way to work. The rules of the road state that people in the rotary have right of way. This has happened the last 3 times I've driven to work. I come to the rotary, look and wait until it is clear and then drive into the rotary. Invariably, some driver will come flying into the rotary from one of the roads without looking and cut off people in the rotary. Today morning was no exception, I was already in the rotary when some woman came flying into the rotary, on her cell phone and cut in front of me forcing me to slam on my brakes. Now, I know she saw me because she was looking directly at me. Essentially, this must have been her thought process "I know he has right of way but I am going to jump in front of him and force him to brake to avoid hitting me". Of course I slammed on my brakes while laying on my horn and the poor guy behind me had to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting me. For a millionth of a second I was tempted not to step on the brakes, plough into her car and wait for the cops.
Last night, my wife was driving home (I wasn't there) when another woman on her left decided that she just had to get ahead of my wife before a rotary. Note, she was slightly behind my wife in the left lane. She revved up, swerved over, knocked the drivers side mirror of our car forward (thank God its one of those that swivels forwards and backwards) and then slammed on her brakes when my wife essentially refused to be forced off the road (this woman wanted to get into my wife's lane NOW!! and the only choice my wife had was stay in her lane or jump a curb) . This woman then rolls down her window and decides to curse out my wife even though she was at fault. My wife kept her cool, took pictures of the car and number plate before the woman sped off. The woman then got into the rotary in the left most lane and immediately cut off another driver to make an immediate right out of the rotary. I told my wife I would find out if there was a number to report aggressive drivers in Massachusetts.
Then some time ago, this one just amazed me. 4 way stop sign. Cars are coming to a stop in an orderly fashion and then going. I come to the stop sign (I was driving) and like a normal person come to a stop, look both ways and notice there is a car coming from the right (not yet at the stop sign). I start going and this driver, a woman with kids , one of them in a baby seat) looks right at me as I start rolling and proceeds to blow the stop sign. I slam on the brakes and miss her by inches.
O.K Done with rant.
This is relevant to cycling because it got me thinking. If drivers here are this bad/discourteous to other drivers just imagine their thought process with cyclists. I know that a number of challenges have to do with ill designed roads and just plain bad engineering but I know in MA the primary problem is driver attitude. If someone is willing to play 'chicken' with another 3000+ pound car when they have their children in the car what would make them not decide to pull the same crap with a 100-200 pound cyclist?