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Old 07-22-08, 10:33 PM   #1
veggie_lover
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Do confronted drivers turn over a new leaf?

My guess is most who honk oir buzz you never expect you to catch up with them at the next light. After you confront them, do you think they most likely will not do it again?

Before I started cycling, I was completely ignorant about cyclist. I once had a run in with a cyclist who shouted some profanities at me. It got me so shocked that the incident stuck in my head for days . And that motivated me to try cycling. Maybe I am just weird, what do you think?
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Old 07-22-08, 10:47 PM   #2
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No. They just grow meaner and more aggressive.

Do you like it when a motorist "confronts" you about riding on the road? Or if you run a light (of course, NO ONE here ever does that), or rolls through a stop sign? Does it help improve your behavior?

Motorists who harass cyclists have personality flaws, and you cannot change personality.
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Old 07-22-08, 10:51 PM   #3
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If you dont stand up for your rights noone else will do it for you.
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Old 07-22-08, 10:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veggie_lover View Post
My guess is most who honk or buzz you never expect you to catch up with them at the next light. After you confront them, do you think they most likely will not do it again?
I've never confronted a motorist, but a few have confronted me. Our conversations were always civil, but no minds were ever changed. Two that come to mind were the "professional driver" (his words) who knew better then me where I should be riding, and the "lawyer", who was certain he knew the rules of the road better than I did.

I suppose if I was really pissed at someone for endangering me, and had the chance, I'd probably find it hard not to confront them. But I'd hold little hope that it would be productive or make them a better driver.
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Old 07-22-08, 11:11 PM   #5
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Confronting may make you feel better, at least for a while, but most won't learn from what you have to say. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, but don't expect change.
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Old 07-23-08, 12:10 AM   #6
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What a silly question.
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Old 07-23-08, 01:51 AM   #7
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When I first started biking I think after a while people in my neighborhood would do anything to avoid the crazy guy on the bike. I doubt seriously if I converted anyone I confronted but over time the neighborhood streets have become safer and more people are out riding.
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Old 07-23-08, 07:39 AM   #8
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What a silly question.
Not a silly question at all.
My answer is, you can change some people's minds. I've seen it happen right before my eyes.
I also have a feeling that I can change some people's driving habits because they might not want to get a ticket or get fired from their jobs.
It all depends how you talk to drivers and or their bosses.
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Old 07-23-08, 07:50 AM   #9
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Not a silly question at all. In fact, you're a case on point as to how a confrontation can change a driver's perspective.

Different people react differently to confrontation. Some react defensively and even dangerously, and others back down. But your question raises an interesting point about the longer term effect of confronting a driver, which I don't think you can know unless you talk with him weeks after the incident. I'm sure some of the biggest blowhards on the road might see the error of their ways, upon reflection.
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Old 07-23-08, 07:51 AM   #10
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What a silly question.
Not at all. You can't change something unless you can measure it. However, not all confronted motorists will change, for example the chain of letters below.

Driver tries to run cyclists off road and writes to local newspaper about it
http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/yoursay...ish_attitude_/

Some responses
http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/yoursay...ike_road_rage/
http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/yoursay...he_safest_way/
http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/yoursay..._Highway_Code/
http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/yoursay...horribly_rude/
http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/yoursay...eded_on_roads/
http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/yoursay...cyclists_safe/

Driver still convinced they're right
http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/yoursay...consideration/
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Old 07-23-08, 08:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veggie_lover View Post
My guess is most who honk oir buzz you never expect you to catch up with them at the next light. After you confront them, do you think they most likely will not do it again?

Before I started cycling, I was completely ignorant about cyclist. I once had a run in with a cyclist who shouted some profanities at me. It got me so shocked that the incident stuck in my head for days . And that motivated me to try cycling. Maybe I am just weird, what do you think?
I would say the vast majority of confronted motorists do not change thier opinion. A significant portion may, however change thier behavior as most act under the assumption there will be no consequences/confrontations. I think you stand as the one shinning example of complete conversion although i'm surprised a cyclist yelling profanity at you tempted you to try cycling. And yes you're weird, welcome to the club.

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Old 07-23-08, 08:19 AM   #12
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Not silly at all. All the times I've confronted a driver break down to 2 different scenerios. Either the driver nearly hit me because they did not see me (I try to be seen and obey traffic laws so I'm not cutting in front of cars) and I simply point out the almost accident and tell them to "Please pay attention to driving so we don't end up in a crash." I honestly think based on their responses that I made an impact on them and they will try to be more attentive....at least for a day.

The other scenerio is when a driver sees me and tries to harass me. My response then is simply that I have the legal right to be there and they need to deal with it some other way. I know these drivers are unaffected.

Every time this happens I try to confront them in a non hostile way. If that's not possible I let it go. I don't think it would be productive at that point. I've never had someone try to run me off the road so that can change at any time. In that case, it's no-holds-barred.
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Old 07-23-08, 08:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
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What a silly question.
Yep, Waste of your time.
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Old 07-23-08, 08:31 AM   #14
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before you go "confronting" drivers, just remember that they are driving a lethal weapon and you still have to ride home. So try not to start a fight.


But I have to say that while I've done it, I don't recommend it and it really doesn't help. You are much better off keeping your fool mouth shut and just riding on.
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Old 07-26-08, 08:58 PM   #15
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In order for confronted drivers to turn over a new leaf, it would require:

a.)them to care;
b.)them to admit they don't know it all;
c.)them to admit they're wrong;
d.)them to actually see someone else's point of view;
e.)them to be smart enough for a-d.

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Old 07-26-08, 10:04 PM   #16
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If nobody calls idiots out for being an idiot, there is no chance ever that they could ever hope to not be an idiot. If even one idiot realizes they are such and changes their ways, then it's worth it because one less idiot is just that, one less idiot.
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Old 07-27-08, 07:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filtersweep View Post
No. They just grow meaner and more aggressive.

Do you like it when a motorist "confronts" you about riding on the road? Or if you run a light (of course, NO ONE here ever does that), or rolls through a stop sign? Does it help improve your behavior?

Motorists who harass cyclists have personality flaws, and you cannot change personality.
Absolutely spot on there.

There was an incident on a road near me where a cyclist was offed and then attacked on the ground in a case of mistaken identity for some other cyclist that had maybe given the car driver the finger some time earlier, like last year.

The car driver had his revenge, unfortunately he had his revenge on a tourist on a rental bike, i.e. he mistook a tourist for some other tourist, well words fail me, there are a lot of nutters out there, and many of them drive cars...
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Old 07-27-08, 07:18 AM   #18
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I believe there are generally two types of people who buzz/harass etc us. Most are just not paying attention. They have a cell phone jammed in their ear and putting on make up etc. I think these really are the msot dangerous. Explaining things to them at the next light scares them, most people hate confrontation, and it might change their behavior for a while. It might even make them more aware of bikes from then on. So wtih these types 'splaining things to them at the next light might help. The second type I have had expereince with are the bullies, you know, like in second grade. They do things like try to sneak up behind you and honk their horn etc. Like the little guy in the lexus I was about to strangle last year. I guarntee you he will not do that again. I was thinking clearly enough to pull up on his passenger side or I would have strangled him with his pastel necktie. He might have weighted 140 lbs and probably could not pick on anyone else his whole life. So he buzzed and honked at people on bikes. He had this look of terror on his face that was indeed priceless. Just like the second grade bully after someone beats him up, I bet he is much more polite to bicycleist now.
99% of the people we deal with are in those two groups the third are drunk, mean idiots. I dont think there is any help for these people. We can just pray the police get them before they get us.
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Old 07-27-08, 01:49 PM   #19
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I notice that those who say it's not possible for drivers to change, backup their conclusion with deductive reasoning. As in, "no, it won't happen because this, this, and this".

Those saying it is possible, use inductive reasoning. As in, "yes it can happen because it happened here, here and here".

Obviously, it's possible, and likely, there are some incurables out there.

I'm really impressed with the examples of those who were calm, and tried to have a constructive conversation with a rude driver. It's hard when you were the one seriously wronged, and it's an example I'd like to follow.
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Old 07-27-08, 05:10 PM   #20
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I am one of those who likes to avoid confrontation, so if I get honked at or yelled at I stew for a few minutes and do my best to calm myself. I have very few confrontations, so I don't have many problems. There are always those occasions though when I would like to blow up...

I just don't think it's worth it to lecture anyone as much as I might want to. People need to make their own decisions about life and as long as they don't kill or hurt me, I see little benefit in trying to explain things to them. If they aren't smart enough to understand that they are endangering my life, a lecture won't help much IMO...
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Old 07-27-08, 06:19 PM   #21
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Turn over a new leaf? You mean after they come out of their comas?
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Old 07-27-08, 11:03 PM   #22
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I think that some drivers will yell at cyclists because they feel as though they can just anonymously be an a**hole with no consequences...they really aren't looking for a confrontation. While confronting these drivers isn't always a safe move, it does take away their anonymity and may make them think twice before yelling at another cyclist.

I've confronted drivers a few times in the past that have yelled obscenities at me and some that came within inches of hitting me...they never seem to expect you to catch up with them. One instance, a driver yelled at me "get the f off the road ******" while passing very closely. I caught up with him at the next light. I was very polite and asked the driver: "Excuse me sir, is there a problem? I couldn't quite understand what you were yelling back there? Should I call the police? I already took a picture of your license plate, so it would be really easy to direct the police in case there is some sort of problem." (all while holding onto to my cell phone) The driver didn't know what to say, just kind of stared at me, shrunk down in his seat, and finally muttered "uh uh uh no, no problem."

So did I really change his attitude towards bikers? Probably not, but I may have caused him to think twice before harassing cyclists and passing too closely.
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Old 07-27-08, 11:39 PM   #23
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The word "confront" has the connotation of an at least emotional, if not angry exchange. Such is to be avoided at all times. The best that can happen from a confrontation is that both people go away with elevated blood pressure and and excess of adreniline. The worst is that one or the other will become the victim of road rage.

On the other hand, if a calm, friendly discussion can be had; go for it. If you are under control and reasonable you stand a chance of converting the other party, whether that is the motorist or the cyclist. I've seen both be offenders.

At heart most people want to do the right thing; whether in a motor vehicle or on a cycle. The right approach can work wonders with these people. For the minority who live with barely suppressed rage who have rude, self-centered attitudes you are not only wasting your time and emotions; you are endangering your own well being.

Discuss: Yes Confront: No!
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