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  1. #1
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Road rage threatens my life, so what can be done?

    Today I purchased a new motorscooter to replace the one that was totalled in a car accident a couple weeks ago. (I'm ok, but in a lot of pain on my bike.) Anyway, the thing only has 17 miles on it, I haven't even gotten it home from the dealer yet, and some idiot in a jacked up truck is yelling at me, squealing his tires and throwing up gravel behind me because I take a little longer than he thinks I should making a left turn.

    Basically, you put people in a car or truck and they lose all respect for human life just to get through a signal one second faster. It's totally out of control. This could happen to me when I'm making any one of my left turns on my bicycle commute as well. I'm really sick of it. What can be done? Is there any community out there actually doing something about road rage? What are they doing?
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  2. #2
    cab horn
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    Best thing to do is note license plate number. If they do anything illegal a phone call to police dept. There's nothing you should or can do short of attacking the person with a rocket launcher on your bike.

    Car vs bike = car win ++

  3. #3
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    At least everyone on this forum can sympathize with you. (It's sad. I thought most Santa Barbara drivers might be little more considerate and laid back than the rest of So Cal...but that's probably wishful thinking)

    The only way for these arses to show any respect is for them to switch places with you for a week...and you know that ain't gonna happen. In the meantime, smile, wave to them...and bring out that rocket launcher

  4. #4
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    It's the traffic that's doing this. It's getting worse all the time and no one can drive for any significant distance without getting caught in gridlock. Driving is becoming an unpleasurable experience regardless to what the television commercials tells you. If you get on the highway in any major city, the stress of having to battle the traffic is incredible. Then when you finally reach the burbs, you still have to maintain 70mph and that stress kills you too! Then add the high cost of gasoline, insurance, maintenance and parking and you'll quickly see why drivers are angry.

  5. #5
    Velotales pedaling priest's Avatar
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    Was just walking through a crosswalk the other day with my one year old boy when an older man in a car proceeded to make a left turn across the intersection stopping a couple of feet from us and laying on his horn - cussing at me to get out of the way as if i were committing a crime by walking across the street when i had the right of way. Something happens when one sits into the carcass of a car - its as if one loses ones human self and morphs into the body of the machine which is intrinsically aggressive, violent and inhumane. Could you imagine that same old man walking behind us on a pedestrian path swearing at us and yelling at us because we were walking too slowly? No. He'd probably bend over the stroller and tickle the chin of my boy and make goo-goo sounds. Incredible how powerful the car is in turning human beings into uncontrollable carcasses.
    Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world. ~Grant Petersen

  6. #6
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    I have to agree. Something goes on inside a person when they're in a car. To be clear, it's not everyone (because some people do drive safely, and some cyclists don't take the time to appreciate this). But I've had too many lousy experiences with bad drivers to ignore.

    I was hit earlier this year (sprained wrist, road rash) by a minivan that tried to pass on my left in traffic, and ended up cutting back in front of me too quickly. He hit my front wheel with his back bumper and pushed me into a row of parked cars on the right. I was wearing my helmet, but I ended up in the hospital anyway.

    Last week I was almost hit the same way (pinched against a row of cars while riding on the right side of an SUV in traffic). The driver was on her cell phone, didn't see me, and was drifting towards me, so that the space between her passenger door and my handlebars was decreasing rapidly. I reached out and rapped on the window sharply to get her attention and to alert her to the biker she was about to crush. She swerved out away from me, then sped up and cut me off at the next intersection. She laid on the horn, rolled down the window, and cussed at me repeatedly. She told me never to touch her f_ing car again, and who did I think I was, and I was nothing but an f_ing punk, etc. (I am not a punk -- I'm a ministry student at a University in the United States). I rode past her, ignoring her (hoping that she wasn't going to run me down with her truck), only to have her screetch past again, and then cut me off so that she could stop, get out, and chase me on foot, still screaming obscenities. This time, I went back up the block in the other direction, hoping that she would just leave me alone. She backed up her truck (going 30 MPH backwards down a one-way street), with her head out the window, still screaming.

    I finally ducked down and alley and tossed my bike over a fence into someone's backyard. I had to sit it out for a few minutes back there, just hanging out, waiting for her to leave. When I thought the coast was clear, I took off and headed home. I called the police when I got home and filed a police report on her. All of this was at 3PM on a Thursday. Unreal.

    All I can say, is be careful, and be the bigger man (or woman). Always ride away. It only takes one driver feeling angry and out of control to run you down and have it be the last.


  7. #7
    neptune diner bennyk's Avatar
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    when this happens to me, and the car is already stopped, i just stand in front of the car as if i don't understand what's going on.

    he isn't going to hit you...i love making the jerk more pissed off by delaying his ass a little more.

    yeah, yeah, whatever...i'm sure it's not the safest option
    bk

  8. #8
    Velotales pedaling priest's Avatar
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    Unbelievable! Good advice too - I've found with time that the best thing is to flash a peace sign and go on my way. I've exercised the reptilian part of my brain a few times though and once found myself reaching to throw my u-lock before common-sense prevailed. Too bad you didn't catch this woman on video tape - she sounds like a real star (of some God-forsaken reality show anyway!)
    Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world. ~Grant Petersen

  9. #9
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    It's the traffic that's doing this. It's getting worse all the time and no one can drive for any significant distance without getting caught in gridlock. Driving is becoming an unpleasurable experience regardless to what the television commercials tells you. If you get on the highway in any major city, the stress of having to battle the traffic is incredible. Then when you finally reach the burbs, you still have to maintain 70mph and that stress kills you too! Then add the high cost of gasoline, insurance, maintenance and parking and you'll quickly see why drivers are angry.
    Yeah, but she's talking about Santa Barbara. I would say that jerk was just an anomoly. Unless you were near Isla Vista, that doesn't sound normal for the area. For those that don't know SB, you can rent electric cars to drive around Main Street. Scooters everywhere, very bike friendly.

  10. #10
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwj444
    I have to agree. Something goes on inside a person when they're in a car. To be clear, it's not everyone (because some people do drive safely, and some cyclists don't take the time to appreciate this). But I've had too many lousy experiences with bad drivers to ignore.

    I was hit earlier this year (sprained wrist, road rash) by a minivan that tried to pass on my left in traffic, and ended up cutting back in front of me too quickly. He hit my front wheel with his back bumper and pushed me into a row of parked cars on the right. I was wearing my helmet, but I ended up in the hospital anyway.

    Last week I was almost hit the same way (pinched against a row of cars while riding on the right side of an SUV in traffic). The driver was on her cell phone, didn't see me, and was drifting towards me, so that the space between her passenger door and my handlebars was decreasing rapidly. I reached out and rapped on the window sharply to get her attention and to alert her to the biker she was about to crush. She swerved out away from me, then sped up and cut me off at the next intersection. She laid on the horn, rolled down the window, and cussed at me repeatedly. She told me never to touch her f_ing car again, and who did I think I was, and I was nothing but an f_ing punk, etc. (I am not a punk -- I'm a ministry student at a University in the United States). I rode past her, ignoring her (hoping that she wasn't going to run me down with her truck), only to have her screetch past again, and then cut me off so that she could stop, get out, and chase me on foot, still screaming obscenities. This time, I went back up the block in the other direction, hoping that she would just leave me alone. She backed up her truck (going 30 MPH backwards down a one-way street), with her head out the window, still screaming.

    I finally ducked down and alley and tossed my bike over a fence into someone's backyard. I had to sit it out for a few minutes back there, just hanging out, waiting for her to leave. When I thought the coast was clear, I took off and headed home. I called the police when I got home and filed a police report on her. All of this was at 3PM on a Thursday. Unreal.

    All I can say, is be careful, and be the bigger man (or woman). Always ride away. It only takes one driver feeling angry and out of control to run you down and have it be the last.


    Gee, were you riding in a safe vehicular manner? Some Vehicular Cyclists claim that they never have confrontations with drivers, because the drivers respect their predictable manner on the road.

  11. #11
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    Today I purchased a new motorscooter to replace the one that was totalled in a car accident a couple weeks ago. (I'm ok, but in a lot of pain on my bike.) Anyway, the thing only has 17 miles on it, I haven't even gotten it home from the dealer yet, and some idiot in a jacked up truck is yelling at me, squealing his tires and throwing up gravel behind me because I take a little longer than he thinks I should making a left turn.

    Basically, you put people in a car or truck and they lose all respect for human life just to get through a signal one second faster. It's totally out of control. This could happen to me when I'm making any one of my left turns on my bicycle commute as well. I'm really sick of it. What can be done? Is there any community out there actually doing something about road rage? What are they doing?

    Whoa, did you lose your 'bent? Obviously you were NOT in a BL with this thing.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dougmt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwj444
    I rode past her, ignoring her (hoping that she wasn't going to run me down with her truck), only to have her screetch past again, and then cut me off so that she could stop, get out, and chase me on foot, still screaming obscenities. This time, I went back up the block in the other direction, hoping that she would just leave me alone. She backed up her truck (going 30 MPH backwards down a one-way street), with her head out the window, still screaming.

    I finally ducked down and alley and tossed my bike over a fence into someone's backyard. I had to sit it out for a few minutes back there, just hanging out, waiting for her to leave. When I thought the coast was clear, I took off and headed home. I called the police when I got home and filed a police report on her. All of this was at 3PM on a Thursday. Unreal.



    You should have circled back and car jacked her when she was out on foot looking for you ... Now that would be funny... HA HA HA HA
    D

  13. #13
    Conservative Hippie
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    I carry a waterproof notepad, 2 waterproof pens and a cell phone in my saddle bag. I've used them before too, to report drivers that think they're doing a remake of the "Fast and the Furious". I give a vehicle description and model, a plate number, road and direction of travel, but I don't know if anything comes of it. I've been considering OC spray for situations like dwj ran into.

  14. #14
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    In response to a few of these posts, Santa Barbara isn't a fun and laid back place to drive at all. That is why I mothballed my truck and started driving a Vespa and riding a bicycle. I just could not take the stress and frustration of not having a race car to keep up with everybody, or an SUV to look intimidating to everybody.

    Also, just last week or so some guy up in Buellton (where they filmed that movie Sideways, with all the wine) was angry at how someone else was driving so he shot and killed him. Road rage is out of control here just like everywhere.

    It was my motorcycle that was totalled in an accident, not my recumbent. (Having laned on my butt, with a huge bruise back there, this is one time I can definitely say a recumbent is not more comfortable than a diamond frame.)

    This road rage thing is definitely a psychological thing, because a lot of these people will cuss you out and flip the bird at you, but if they actually do hit you, they feel just awful. The lady who hit me was crying. I felt sorry for her. But if I had been able to avoid being hit she probably would have flipped me the bird. (By the way, I was determined to be at fault for this accident. I have inadequate visibility at my driveway, and I'm not the only one who has had an accident or near accident there.)

    Anyway, all these suggestions are nice, but they're all so singular. This battle needs to be on a community level. Have you heard of any community-level responses to road rage? I plan to write a letter or something and it would be nice if I could suggest something, not just ***** and moan about it.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  15. #15
    Senior Member FXjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwj444
    I have to agree. Something goes on inside a person when they're in a car. To be clear, it's not everyone (because some people do drive safely, and some cyclists don't take the time to appreciate this). But I've had too many lousy experiences with bad drivers to ignore.

    I was hit earlier this year (sprained wrist, road rash) by a minivan that tried to pass on my left in traffic, and ended up cutting back in front of me too quickly. He hit my front wheel with his back bumper and pushed me into a row of parked cars on the right. I was wearing my helmet, but I ended up in the hospital anyway.

    Last week I was almost hit the same way (pinched against a row of cars while riding on the right side of an SUV in traffic). The driver was on her cell phone, didn't see me, and was drifting towards me, so that the space between her passenger door and my handlebars was decreasing rapidly. I reached out and rapped on the window sharply to get her attention and to alert her to the biker she was about to crush. She swerved out away from me, then sped up and cut me off at the next intersection. She laid on the horn, rolled down the window, and cussed at me repeatedly. She told me never to touch her f_ing car again, and who did I think I was, and I was nothing but an f_ing punk, etc. (I am not a punk -- I'm a ministry student at a University in the United States). I rode past her, ignoring her (hoping that she wasn't going to run me down with her truck), only to have her screetch past again, and then cut me off so that she could stop, get out, and chase me on foot, still screaming obscenities. This time, I went back up the block in the other direction, hoping that she would just leave me alone. She backed up her truck (going 30 MPH backwards down a one-way street), with her head out the window, still screaming.

    I finally ducked down and alley and tossed my bike over a fence into someone's backyard. I had to sit it out for a few minutes back there, just hanging out, waiting for her to leave. When I thought the coast was clear, I took off and headed home. I called the police when I got home and filed a police report on her. All of this was at 3PM on a Thursday. Unreal.

    All I can say, is be careful, and be the bigger man (or woman). Always ride away. It only takes one driver feeling angry and out of control to run you down and have it be the last.


    You ran away from a woman?

  16. #16
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Gee, were you riding in a safe vehicular manner? Some Vehicular Cyclists claim that they never have confrontations with drivers, because the drivers respect their predictable manner on the road.
    Like the various bozos who evidently expect me to share an 12-foot-wide lane adjacent to diagonal parking on Coast Highway 101 through downtown Encinitas?
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  17. #17
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    I had a fantasy the other day. This asshat, yes in a big red neck pickup with Calvin peeing and some negative comments to the other red neck pick up Truck Company, threaded the needle with me and an on coming car and his self. I really don't think the guy thought anything was wrong, indeed the most dangerous kind. Anyway my fantasy.......

    I find out where they guy is and kidnap him at night. Take him out into the deep woods where no one can hear his screams. Tie him to a chair. Balance a tennis ball on the top of his head. Produce a size 36 Louisville Slugger baseball bat. Kindly explain to him that instead of tapping his brake and waiting for the on coming car to pass and then accelerating around me, wow real hard to push those pedals huh, he tried to squeeze through and who cares if I hit the guy on the bike it's his fault right? Wrong. Ok here we go I’m gonna show you how I feel when you almot crush my skull. Ready?

    And then try to hit the ball nice and cleanly off the top of his head!



    Thanks for the vent.

    I like the former description of drivers becoming part of the machinery of there cars and the car as a machine is a very aggressive violent creature. That’s how they are advertised too. That and they will get you laid of course.

  18. #18
    Retro grouch In Training
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    I've found that my little cell phone with a camera in is perfect for this situation. Hell, it even records a little video..... at least when they find my body in a ditch they will have video of the guy coming towards me with his tire iron, angry 'cause HE cut ME off....
    But seriously I find if someone commits this kind of crap when I'm riding and I pull out the phone right away, they usually take off. Anyway, be safe out there!

  19. #19
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    It's the traffic that's doing this. It's getting worse all the time and no one can drive for any significant distance without getting caught in gridlock. Driving is becoming an unpleasurable experience regardless to what the television commercials tells you. If you get on the highway in any major city, the stress of having to battle the traffic is incredible. Then when you finally reach the burbs, you still have to maintain 70mph and that stress kills you too! Then add the high cost of gasoline, insurance, maintenance and parking and you'll quickly see why drivers are angry.
    Well, let see. This past week Providence, Worcester, Springfield, Albany, Binghamton, Syracuse, Rochester, and then back almost in reverse order, in the cities, on the interstates, on local roads. Was a pretty pleasurable experience for me; yes, some folks going fast in the passing lanes, more than willing to let THEM go by me. Gasoline prices? Means I nibble less along route (not so many hostess twinkies). Maintenance: local Jiffy Lube seems as good as ever. Parking: hmm....all the municipal faclities seemed pretty convenient and available.

    Don't forget the definition of gridlock: thats when your being there is important but everyone else should somehow get lost.

    roughstuff
    Electric car sales are on fire! :)

  20. #20
    demon speeder soda's Avatar
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    I agree with the cell phone option. Mine doesn't have a camera but in the last situation with a jerk, I whipped it out of my back pocket (I was on my road bike) and started to dial in clear view of him. Instant reaction from the driver. He stopped, yelled a me a few times and took off the other direction. That was the end of the situation. I filed a police report and nothing happened but you can be sure that his license plate is in their computer if he ever gets in trouble again.

    At some level, I think you have to "look" like someone that won't take any crap.
    *insert some super cool statement here to make me as cool as the rest of the super cool signature gang*

  21. #21
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    So basically nobody knows of anything on a larger than individual scale for combatting road rage?

    I suppose I might be able to act fast enough if I kept my camera phone mounted on the handlebars. But that's still fighting the problem one road rager at a time.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  22. #22
    Senior Member JoeTown244GL's Avatar
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    What if bicyclists had cameras like the cops do? Imagine a system that records from front and rear facing cameras to a memory pack like an Ipod. it could also record sound and acceleration. You could bury the memory in your seatpost. It might even surive your being squished by an SUV. They can make cameras so small and lightweight now and chip memory so large that this is clearly a fieldable technology. Now, it is also quite a niche product that the vast majority of cyclists would have little use for. But once a few people go to jail based upon their videotaped road rage behavior it might be a very good thing.

  23. #23
    chicharron
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwj444
    I have to agree. Something goes on inside a person when they're in a car. To be clear, it's not everyone (because some people do drive safely, and some cyclists don't take the time to appreciate this). But I've had too many lousy experiences with bad drivers to ignore.

    I was hit earlier this year (sprained wrist, road rash) by a minivan that tried to pass on my left in traffic, and ended up cutting back in front of me too quickly. He hit my front wheel with his back bumper and pushed me into a row of parked cars on the right. I was wearing my helmet, but I ended up in the hospital anyway.

    Last week I was almost hit the same way (pinched against a row of cars while riding on the right side of an SUV in traffic). The driver was on her cell phone, didn't see me, and was drifting towards me, so that the space between her passenger door and my handlebars was decreasing rapidly. I reached out and rapped on the window sharply to get her attention and to alert her to the biker she was about to crush. She swerved out away from me, then sped up and cut me off at the next intersection. She laid on the horn, rolled down the window, and cussed at me repeatedly. She told me never to touch her f_ing car again, and who did I think I was, and I was nothing but an f_ing punk, etc. (I am not a punk -- I'm a ministry student at a University in the United States). I rode past her, ignoring her (hoping that she wasn't going to run me down with her truck), only to have her screetch past again, and then cut me off so that she could stop, get out, and chase me on foot, still screaming obscenities. This time, I went back up the block in the other direction, hoping that she would just leave me alone. She backed up her truck (going 30 MPH backwards down a one-way street), with her head out the window, still screaming.

    I finally ducked down and alley and tossed my bike over a fence into someone's backyard. I had to sit it out for a few minutes back there, just hanging out, waiting for her to leave. When I thought the coast was clear, I took off and headed home. I called the police when I got home and filed a police report on her. All of this was at 3PM on a Thursday. Unreal.

    All I can say, is be careful, and be the bigger man (or woman). Always ride away. It only takes one driver feeling angry and out of control to run you down and have it be the last.

    I have said this before on this forum, but I'll say it again. O.C. pepper spray. O.C. pepper spray, O.C. pepper spray........

  24. #24
    chicharron
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterRun
    I carry a waterproof notepad, 2 waterproof pens and a cell phone in my saddle bag. I've used them before too, to report drivers that think they're doing a remake of the "Fast and the Furious". I give a vehicle description and model, a plate number, road and direction of travel, but I don't know if anything comes of it. I've been considering OC spray for situations like dwj ran into.
    Considering OC spray???. What's there to think about?? I carry pepper spray, and I'll use it if I have to . No problem.

  25. #25
    Senior Member joeprim's Avatar
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    On the radio this morning were two announcements about camera's in "trouble" locations and drivers speeding, tailgating, or exibiting road rage would be sent tickets. I think all of the locations mentioned were up in DC or close to it. This might be the start of an anti-bad driver campaign.

    Joe

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