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Old 06-16-06, 01:14 PM   #1
vrkelley
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Best Road-rage squasher

After experiencing road rage this morining, I faxed this to the offending truck driver.
Wonder what happens when drivers get complaints?
Anyway, what's your best tip for nuking road-rage?


==============================================================
To Truck #111 Cab 6

Date 6/18/06
Time ~7:50
Place 908@ 140th
==============================================================
Dear Cabbie,

I do not appreciate your shouts from 2 lanes over for me to "get the F off the road". It doesn't give a very impression of your company.

Truth, is, the sidewalk is closed. Open or closed...It's pretty difficult to make a left turn along that stretch. Since the cop behind me didn't take issue to my biking (and signalling), maybe you can keep your comments to yourself from that warm dry truck!

Let's keep the road rage down to a roar. Thanks a bunch.

-VR
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Old 06-16-06, 01:39 PM   #2
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If only everyone would post a business card on the back of their vehicle!
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Old 06-16-06, 01:53 PM   #3
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Im a tractor trailer driver, and the trailers I pull have a phone # for complaints on it. I wondered once if anything actually would happen, so I called the number and complained about myself. Like 6 months later, I got a note from dispatch saying I had been complained about, but no explanation of why, no reprimand, nothing.

You gotta understand - professional truck drivers, 99% of us...well, you can't compare us to the average car driver in terms of skill or experience. And while we might sometimes be a bit brusque, the vast majority are very concerned with everyones safety, including bicyclists. I guarantee we spend way more time thinking about it than the average guy in a car.
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Old 06-16-06, 02:06 PM   #4
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Rog:
I agree. Of all the drivers on the roads, it's the ones driving the big scary rigs that worry me the least. They know what they're doing. It's amazing that they have a better idea of where the edge of their vehicle is than many car drivers with a lot less to worry about.
Pretty interesting about the complaint number. While I guess it's good that the complaint eventually came through, if it's delayed even a week what are the odds that the driver will have any recollection of what the incident was?
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Old 06-16-06, 02:22 PM   #5
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I have only done this when I have been seriously scared, but it worked. I look up the name of the trucking company in the secretary of state's database - in Colorado it's on the web and free.

I find the list of officers and board members. I try to figure out which person might actually be involved in running the place. That's the person I call.

I explain politely that I thought I would call instead of filing a police report. I tell the person that one of his drivers nearly killed me, that I have a spouse and kids, that I am on the boards of a couple community groups, and that if the driver had killed me, people would notice.

I don't know whether there is any trickle down, but the times I have done this the person asked me to describe the truck and location and at least sounded as if he were interested. They have also apologized.
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Old 06-16-06, 02:25 PM   #6
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I don't find much difference myself. I've been run off the road by a Semi a few times, and been nearly hit while being cussed out by a driver who couldn't wait 10 seconds for me to clear the onramp where he wanted to turn. I actually have more trouble with trucks than cars. Of course the road I ride to work is a busy truck route so the percentage of trucks is higher.
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Old 06-16-06, 02:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legot73
If only everyone would post a business card on the back of their vehicle!
A guy in a truck clearly marked as belonging to a local air conditioning company made an obscene gesture and remark to my wife. What a dumb@ss. She got home and called the company's president. He knew exactly who did it. I don't know what happened, but we didn't even consider that company when we got central air installed last year.
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Old 06-16-06, 03:27 PM   #8
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I used to do long highway trips and found the pro truckers to be exceptionally thoughtful. How many people, driving through pitch-dark countryside, will look up the road, see a little collection of red reflectors and a 0.6-watt Union taillight, and dim their highbeams until they're past you?

That's thoughtfulness. You'd think I was, like, actually recognized as a fellow human or something. And having been blasted in the helmet-mirror by many, many sets of high-beam headlights, I sure did appreciate it. They also took major care not to pass too close; usually they would get into the left lane if I were even within 10 feet of the right lane (the shoulder is a whole lane wide itself).

So +1 for the professionals, I'd be glad to share the road with more people like them and I go out of my way to accomodate them if possible, whether I'm in my car or on my bike.
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Old 06-16-06, 04:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLBandit
I don't find much difference myself. I've been run off the road by a Semi a few times, and been nearly hit while being cussed out by a driver who couldn't wait 10 seconds for me to clear the onramp where he wanted to turn. I actually have more trouble with trucks than cars. Of course the road I ride to work is a busy truck route so the percentage of trucks is higher.
I'm certainly not going to say that there aren't a percentage of drivers who don't do the job well, as with any profession. Especially if you live in an area where there's a lot of companies that deal with shipping containers - that's the lower end of the industry in most areas, and a lot of the drivers are new drivers, or ones that couldn't cut it elsewhere. Another possible reason is if the trucking co's by you pay by the load. The drivers get paid the same whether it takes them 4 hours or 6 hours to do their run, so they're trying to get back fast to pull a second. Usually those drivers are, again, new and/or lesser skilled.
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Old 06-16-06, 04:22 PM   #10
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I agree with mechBgon... I give a lot of respect to the big rigs, and generally they return the favor. I used to have a CB in my car and enjoyed talking with them... a lot of the time they'd let me tuck in behind them and pull me for a while! (I was driving a LOT back then... Cross country twice, and 3 long-distance moves, as well as multiple 2-3 state trips to visit friends and family)
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Old 06-16-06, 04:26 PM   #11
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Just whip out those come-to-Jesus-in-my-flavor pamphlets the Mormons (et, al) like to hand out.
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Old 06-16-06, 04:41 PM   #12
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Old 06-16-06, 06:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
Pretty interesting about the complaint number. While I guess it's good that the complaint eventually came through, if it's delayed even a week what are the odds that the driver will have any recollection of what the incident was?
No chance whatsoever. Problem is, nobody wants that big truck in front of them...they think they will be slowed down too much (sound familiar?). I get more dirty looks, comments, and wayward finger gestures in my truck than I do on my bike, for nothing more than maintaining safe distances. So being told a week later that there was a complaint, without being told what the complaint was...yeah, no chance at all.
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Old 06-16-06, 06:51 PM   #14
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I think it's important to write the letter. Just one complaint may not mean anything, but several on one driver and the company is going to have to do something.

As for diminishing your road rage? Just age...
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Old 06-16-06, 08:34 PM   #15
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I silently bestow blessings of peace on everyone I see. At the very least, it keeps me from getting hot under the collar.
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Old 06-16-06, 09:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velogirl
I silently bestow blessings of peace on everyone I see.
Me too, and I also say silent Thank yous and an occasional nod or wave, frequently, to those who, astoundingly, abide by the 'rules' of traffic (like, full stops, using turn signals...) and those who give me 3' rather than 3", alas, I still get hot under the collar.... humans, go figure

but I tell ya, when I hear them barrelin' down behind me, I sure hope they see me,
the draft doesn't suck me under and the road before me is free and clear....
Amen
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Old 06-17-06, 01:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rog
Im a tractor trailer driver, and the trailers I pull have a phone # for complaints on it. I wondered once if anything actually would happen, so I called the number and complained about myself. Like 6 months later, I got a note from dispatch saying I had been complained about, but no explanation of why, no reprimand, nothing.

You gotta understand - professional truck drivers, 99% of us...well, you can't compare us to the average car driver in terms of skill or experience. And while we might sometimes be a bit brusque, the vast majority are very concerned with everyones safety, including bicyclists. I guarantee we spend way more time thinking about it than the average guy in a car.

I'd certainly agree with that. On average people just don't take much responsibility when in a little car -IMO.
I think most people are much more afraid of little fender-benders than they are of taking anothers life (or their own) by accident.

I'd say it's due to the fast-paced life people lead.
Fender-benders can make you late for work and are more likely to occur
Life-threatening crash is rare and not worth worrying about
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Old 06-17-06, 05:50 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
Pretty interesting about the complaint number. While I guess it's good that the complaint eventually came through, if it's delayed even a week what are the odds that the driver will have any recollection of what the incident was?
We used to use those on our company trucks. I had mine called in on. But, the person that called did not have the liscense number of the truck (mine is an unmarked supervisor's truck) and the description was "it was a white pickup" LOL how many of those are on the road. Our company takes it very seriously. But I was able to prove that at the time of the call my truck was in a long term parking lot 2 states away. Apparently the person that called misread the number on the sticker of the truck. Typically our turn around time on complaints from the stickers was less than a week. We also have signed trucks and get calls on those, that will generate an immediate response from management. As far as the big rig professional drivers, it seems to me that most of the companies strive to hire professional drivers and it shows. The ones blowing by me at 80+ on the interstates are the independant cowboys, these are the same ones that could apparently care less how close they come to running over a cyclist on a two lane road. I have had to hit the ditch on more than one occasion to keep from getting hit head on when riding or driving on a two lane road because they were going to pass regardless of conditons.


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Old 06-17-06, 10:54 AM   #19
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Around here must semi-truck drivers are very courteous. I actually have reflectant that goes over the top of the back fender so the truckers can see me from their lofty cabs

It's the mid-size delivery trucks that do crazy stuff. Yesterday a wide-load truck had trusses extending over the entire bike lane - side heavy. Glad I was behind that. Since there was no traffic, and the cop was there, I figured it was an easy case to fax the details to Charlies Produce.
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Old 06-17-06, 06:26 PM   #20
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The most alarming drivers I've had run-ins with have been the Roadside Assistance vehicles for our local motorist's association. Given the association presents itself as promoting safer roads, its representatives don't put forward a very good case.
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