Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Why Do Aggressive Drivers Do It?

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Why Do Aggressive Drivers Do It?

Reply

Old 01-08-18, 07:48 PM
  #1  
flying_rhino
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 52
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Why Do Aggressive Drivers Do It?

Interesting research project summarized in this Transportation Research Board article. If nothing else, at least read the results section.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf
TRB Article.pdf (499.0 KB, 125 views)
flying_rhino is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-18, 02:56 PM
  #2  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 21,538

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2596 Post(s)
"Once this spectrum of behaviors is clarified, quantitative analyses can test the validity of the theory of crime as social control, techniques of neutralization, and altruistic punishment on a larger scale, and potentially build new theories of multimodal interactions. "

um yeah, we ride bikes
rumrunn6 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-18, 02:17 AM
  #3  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,875

Bikes: Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel, Centurion Ironman Expert

Mentioned: 127 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2320 Post(s)
Just glancing through the document, I see many familiar observations often posted on various Facebook and online news reader comment sections.

A common theme among commenters who don't bicycle, or don't ride in traffic, is to generalize all cyclists in ways the commenter might not do -- at least not so publicly -- in ascribing theoretical common characteristics to all members of a religion, race or nationality. Basically it boils down to "I've encountered a few scofflaw cyclists, therefore all cyclists are scofflaws."

There's also little or no acceptance of the Idaho Stop concept. In some cases I've read reader comments on Facebook complaining about cyclists "blowing through stop signs". When pressed for additional detail the complainant will admit the cyclist may have been 100 yards away with no competing traffic, therefore presenting no danger to the cyclist himself/herself or to anyone else.

Likewise, some drivers dislike the entire concept of sharing the road -- meaning, having any bicycle on any public road at any time. A notable example occurred several months on a local cycling group page. A woman who claimed to be a recreational cyclist (closed trails only) and friend of cyclists whom I know, was complaining about a cyclist "hogging the lane" on a "busy" access road near a highway. She posted a photo to illustrate her complaint.

The photo -- taken while she was driving, with a cell phone, the most non-ergonomic device since the ice cube and wet bar of soap -- illustrated a cyclist three lanes over on an apparently deserted access road with no other traffic. The driver. Two empty lanes. The cyclist in the far lane across from her. That was her complaint. And she became increasingly irrational and angry at any attempts to explain, justify or simply ask "What's the problem?" After a few hours of this she cussed us out, blocked several of us and deleted her thread.

And, as the research paper described, a common theme is for drivers to deflect any culpability by posting variations of "They had it coming" or "Should have known better", etc.

Anyway, the research paper -- limited as the author admits -- echoes many of the same things I've read. No surprise there.

And whether as cyclists, pedestrians or fellow drivers, we've all experienced the peculiarly aggressive scenario in which we attempt to pull into the road, change lanes or cross a road, having looked in every direction to ensure it's safe to do so... and a driver at a safe distance when we made our move will floor their accelerator and veer toward us or cut us off when we signal. Their goal, if possible, is to crowd or brush-by pass us, pretending we -- rather than they --created to near miss scenario, so they can honk, gesture and indulge in a tantrum about how everyone else is rude.

My end of town has a particularly deadly section of road that has claimed many victims to this irrational aggression. It's a six lane boulevard, three lanes on each side separated by a divider. Somewhat busy at rush hour but not nearly as busy as it was 10-30 years ago when it was a main thoroughfare toward the now mostly defunct aircraft industries. At other times there's hardly any traffic at all. So an approaching vehicle could easily be two lanes away from any cyclist or pedestrian. But over and over again I've seen drivers floor it, drive 50-60 mph on a 35 mph road, switch from the far left to middle lane, just for the purpose of a brush-by pass of a cyclist, pedestrian or handicapped person in a wheelchair or walker or using a cane. At times it's so bad the police set up surveillance towers and have pursuit cars stationed at intervals to issue tickets. But it's had little long term effect on the behaviors of aggressive drivers. Some roadside segments are dotted with little crosses and makeshift memorials marking where people were struck and killed.

There's a theory that redesigning infrastructure is more effective at encouraging more civil driving. There may be something to that because I see dramatically different behaviors in some areas.

But it's also possible the economic and cultural demographic is a factor. My immediate neighborhood is mostly apartments with little or no long term stability. The renters have no investment in any sense of a community. They drive aggressively and often with apparent rage. I'm most careful riding my bike within the first mile or two of home.

But as soon as I get a mile or two away I'm in an older established neighborhood of middle class homes, where residents are invested in their blocks and community. The entire vibe is different.
canklecat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-18, 07:16 PM
  #4  
old's'cool 
curmudgineer
 
old's'cool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Chicago SW burbs
Posts: 4,190

Bikes: 2 many 2 fit here

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 173 Post(s)
FWIW, I encounter anything from passively respectful to obviously aggressive behaviour on the part of motorists on the arterial and open country roads that I ride, while on quiet residential roads at the same (commuting) times of day, the motorist behaviour I experience ranges from passively respectful to downright gracious, e.g., beckoning me to cross at stop signs when it is clearly not my turn.
Could it be that people on average feel inclined to be more polite and gracious while in their own neighborhoods, versus when immersed in the every-man-for-himself environment of non-residential roadways?
__________________
Geoff
"There is no Fail without Try" - Yoda Simpson
old's'cool is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-18, 10:38 PM
  #5  
flangehead
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 93

Bikes: Co-op ADV 1.1; Novarro Arriba

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
OP, thank you for posting this.

A couple of things perplex me about this study:

1) The first sentence is that the study was about "individuals who identified themselves as both a driver and a cyclist", but reading the full study doesn’t bear that out. The study results are only from 68 responses in the “aggressive subsample”. In the quotes in the "teaching them a lesson" section, 3 were from "rarely/infrequent" cyclists, 5 from "sometimes" and 4 were "frequent". They quit giving the frequency information in the “they had it coming” section. In the descriptive statistics, the “aggressive subsample” appeared to be significantly less likely to bike or wear a helmet than the full sample.

2) Being a layman, I’ll take at face value their comments about “snowball sampling”, and the weirdness of the statistics makes me all the more convinced that this data can’t (and shouldn’t) be generalized. Particularly strange was that on average the “aggressive subsample” was “infrequently” on a bike and “infrequently” using a helmet, yet tended towards being equally comfortable on a “busy street in mixed traffic with no bike lane”. That just doesn’t smell right. I gotta think they typo'd.

3) Where are all the comments about slowing down traffic? They said the frame of the questioning eliminated cases where the aggression reduced the driver’s travel time, but criminy isn’t that what you read all the time in comments on news articles? Hard to believe they framed it so well that the "you're slowing down cars" rationale didn't bleed through more.

All in all, interesting but the most charitable I can be is they say it can’t be generalized and I think they are right on in that point.

The part I think worth emphasizing is the diversity in people’s conceptions of what “acceptable” cyclist behavior is in the US.

I got to ride one day in the Netherlands and I was able to pretty much stay on fully separated trail from Groningen to the German border. At one point, I missed a turn and got on a two lane roadway. I didn’t go ¼ mile before drivers were yelling at me to get on the parallel trail. (I had a helmet on so that was a clear sign I was a foreigner..) I got the sense that a concept off what is “appropriate behavior” is widely shared there.

In the US that is clearly not the case. A few days ago I was on a quiet residential street, stopping at every stop sign and following all rules of the road. I watched a driver in my mirror and I pulled to right, indicated for him to pass, and he did not for 2 blocks. I stopped at a stop sign in front of him and he then passed me in the next segment, calling out to me to get on the sidewalk. Very clear that he and I are a long ways apart on what is acceptable behavior.

The point the article makes, and I agree, is that there is a big variance in this country about what constitutes acceptable behavior, and then I suppose that does let 0.4% of a snowball sample justify their aggressiveness..

As has been said better by others, I'll take the aggressive over the inattentive any day of the week..
flangehead is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-18, 06:21 PM
  #6  
robertorolfo
Senior Member
 
robertorolfo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Queens, NY for now...
Posts: 656

Bikes: 82/82 Lotus Unique, 86 Lotus Legend, 89 Basso PR

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 383 Post(s)
Originally Posted by flangehead View Post
The point the article makes, and I agree, is that there is a big variance in this country about what constitutes acceptable behavior, and then I suppose that does let 0.4% of a snowball sample justify their aggressiveness..

As has been said better by others, I'll take the aggressive over the inattentive any day of the week..
Part of the issue is every state having their own set of standards and laws, as well as it being particularly easy to get a drivers licence in the US. The testing procedure is laughably simple.

I also agree about preferring the aggressive over inattentive. I've heard many people accuse Italian drivers of being "crazy," but I'll take them over American drivers any day of the week. They may like to drive a bit quicker, but they are WAY more focused on what they are doing (95% of cars being manual shift helps), and generally have a better understanding of driving dynamics.
robertorolfo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-18, 07:33 PM
  #7  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 36,055

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 378 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4786 Post(s)
Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Part of the issue is every state having their own set of standards and laws, as well as it being particularly easy to get a drivers licence in the US. The testing procedure is laughably simple.

I also agree about preferring the aggressive over inattentive. I've heard many people accuse Italian drivers of being "crazy," but I'll take them over American drivers any day of the week. They may like to drive a bit quicker, but they are WAY more focused on what they are doing (95% of cars being manual shift helps), and generally have a better understanding of driving dynamics.
I haven't been to Italy, but that was my observation in France. I went to Paris when I was 20, to take a long bike tour. My hosts in Paris told me I would enjoy riding in the countryside but not in the city. Seeing how people drove, that made a lot of sense to me. But after taking the Metro and walking around a lot, I figured out what the dance steps were. They drive super fast, but they're totally ready to brake when necessary, and they don't get visibly angry, at least not the way New Yorkers and Bostonians do. I got into traffic, and I did just fine. The requirements for earning a license are tough there, and they're a joke here. Their driving style looks crazy to many Americans, but it made a lot of sense to me.

The year before I married my wife, we decided to take a trip to Paris, many years after my first trip there. She said we'll be renting bikes and riding around. I asked her if she was serious, because she's not as experienced at cycling. She said absolutely, and that's what we did. And we had a blast.
__________________
Tom Reingold, [email protected]
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-18, 06:41 PM
  #8  
KD5NRH
Senior Member
 
KD5NRH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Stephenville TX
Posts: 3,731

Bikes: 2010 Trek 7100

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 697 Post(s)
Originally Posted by flying_rhino View Post
Interesting research project summarized in this Transportation Research Board article. If nothing else, at least read the results section.
Wow...it's like someone tried to reframe a grand mal seizure into a ballet by trying to make this look like any sort of meaningful study.
KD5NRH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-18, 12:56 AM
  #9  
Rollfast
What happened?
 
Rollfast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Around here somewhere
Posts: 6,984

Bikes: 3 Rollfasts, 3 Schwinns, a Shelby and a Higgins Flightliner in a pear tree!

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1264 Post(s)
You can ask the same thing about a lot of things that are harmful to others, without going into specifics. It's like asking why does your mother like your brother more than you or why am I short?

That would be rather vague and I doubt you'll get rational answers from many aggressive drivers, if they admit to it.
__________________
Summary: Life is still 100% fatal.
Rollfast is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-18, 02:07 AM
  #10  
Loose Chain
Senior Member
 
Loose Chain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 1,860

Bikes: 84 Pinarello Trevisio, 86 Guerciotti SLX, 96 Specialized Stumpjumper, 2010 Surly Cross Check, 88 Centurion Prestige, 73 Raleigh Sports

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 188 Post(s)
And now these robotic cars will have cyclists removed from the roads entirely. Well, seems the software and linear silicone digital AI cannot really handle cyclists and pedestrians and human driven vehicles as can a chemical analog multi-path computer (human brain). Since it is claimed cyclists may also bully robot cars the best thing to do is to remove them from the environment. Read up on it. The companies driving this stuff have already been complaining. Yeah, Google is having road rage because their little jelly beans cannot handle complex behavior and multiple outcomes. So much so they have been disguising the robotic cars so they will not be bulled by cyclists and pedestrian and human drivers.
Loose Chain is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-18, 08:46 AM
  #11  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 418
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 184 Post(s)
Some people argue that where cyclists are more common, they will be more accepted. I spent 13 years in an area with few cyclists, and actually found that drivers treated me more respectfully.

Familiarity breeds contempt.
Koyote is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-18, 11:37 AM
  #12  
robertorolfo
Senior Member
 
robertorolfo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Queens, NY for now...
Posts: 656

Bikes: 82/82 Lotus Unique, 86 Lotus Legend, 89 Basso PR

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 383 Post(s)
Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Seeing how people drove, that made a lot of sense to me. But after taking the Metro and walking around a lot, I figured out what the dance steps were. They drive super fast, but they're totally ready to brake when necessary, and they don't get visibly angry, at least not the way New Yorkers and Bostonians do. I got into traffic, and I did just fine. The requirements for earning a license are tough there, and they're a joke here. Their driving style looks crazy to many Americans, but it made a lot of sense to me.
Yep, absolutely. I'd add that they generally have better car control as well, which is helped by the fact that the average car is what we would consider a sub-compact (so they brake very well). Most kids get a 50cc scooter as their first "car", or perhaps a micro-car/city-car (with a puny engine). If they are really living large, they might get something like a Toyota Yaris.

Nothing like here in the US where you have 16 or 17 year old kids driving enormous SUV's while texting and talking to their friends. It's especially lovely that many parents justify such decisions by saying, "they are safe." Of course the translation is that they are hoping their irresponsible child will not get hurt, even if that means that you do.

Originally Posted by Loose Chain
And now these robotic cars will have cyclists removed from the roads entirely. Well, seems the software and linear silicone digital AI cannot really handle cyclists and pedestrians and human driven vehicles as can a chemical analog multi-path computer (human brain). Google is having road rage because their little jelly beans cannot handle complex behavior and multiple outcomes. So much so they have been disguising the robotic cars so they will not be bulled by cyclists and pedestrian and human drivers.
This is a super interesting topic as well. I don't see how large numbers of driverless cars could efficiently interact with some human operated vehicles. Everything would grind to a halt if some of the humans decided to take advantage of things, or bully them, as you said. This will, of course, lead to a call for all humans to be removed from the equation, in the name of safety, and it will deteriorate into a mess. The only hope would be segregated roads, which would actually be rather nice, in my opinion.
robertorolfo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-18, 04:53 PM
  #13  
flangehead
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 93

Bikes: Co-op ADV 1.1; Novarro Arriba

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Personal Test of Aggressive Interactions

When the “Journal of the Transportation Research Board” (TRB) study was originally posted here on BF I noted that the “aggressive subsample” was only 68 out of 17850 samples.. a little less than 0.4%. I decided to do a little test of my own to see if my experience had any relation to the study.

I don’t have any way of determining the motivation of a driver and any associated baggage. All I know is that I sometimes have bad interactions.

What I did was count opportunities for a situation to arise. The most common opportunity was a pass when I was taking the lane (as opposed to using the shoulder) but also included left turns, parking lots, etc. I classified bad interactions as unpleasant, dangerous or requiring evasive action. In the test, I didn’t have to take any evasive actions. (As I described in a recent “Commuting” post, I did have to take evasive action last month.) Though entirely subjective, I tended to classify yelling and honks as “unpleasant” and close passes as “dangerous”.

I kept track of the interactions in 5 time intervals during the day because I’d had the suspicion that bad interactions tended to happen at midday rather than rush hour, which doesn’t fit “stressed commuter” as a cause for aggression.

So basically, I counted how many times there was a situation that could result in a bad interaction and how many times there actually was a bad interaction. After about 100 days, I had accumulated almost 2600 opportunities and had experienced 12 bad interactions. The rate is 0.46%.

Clearly, I have a tiny sample set based on my particular environment, my cycling behavior and appearance, along with my subjective classification of bad interactions. And the TRB study was a world-wide (but USA-dominated) scope which had a very different approach.

If I assume that my opportunities are a random sampling of drivers and that all my bad interactions were due to aggression (my sense was that they were) then I come up with about the same rate of aggression as the TRB study.

The good news is that over 99% of motorists aren’t out to get us.

And strangely, my impression that I got more bad interactions at midday proved up. For me, rush hour is not “prime time” for unpleasant interactions, but it is for dangerous ones. (My recent evasive action was during the 16:00-20:00 afternoon rush hour.)



Personal Test Results. Unpleasant interactions were typically honks and yells with dangerous interactions being close passes. I did not have to take evasive action during this test.
flangehead is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-18, 09:12 PM
  #14  
wphamilton
Senior Member
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 14,093

Bikes: Nashbar Road

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2284 Post(s)
What struck me about the OP article is that they identified two rationalizations, "the cyclist had it coming" and "teach the cyclist a lesson", and conflated the rationalizations with their motivations. If we really want to know "why", we have to ask why did the driver want to teach him a lesson? Why does he want to punish them for "deserving it"? I personally think that it's bound up in ego and habit. It's who they are, and how they behave. How dare he ride in the road, I'll show him who's boss. Get in my way, I'll show you how your 200 pounds stack up against my two tons. And they rationalize it this way after the fact.
wphamilton is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-18, 08:33 AM
  #15  
JoeyBike
20+mph Commuter
 
JoeyBike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA USA
Posts: 6,544

Bikes: Surly LHT, a folding bike, and a beater.

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 852 Post(s)
It would be nice if the OP posted a copy of this post to A&S.
JoeyBike is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-18, 09:16 AM
  #16  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Orangevale CA
Posts: 8,681

Bikes: '76 Paramount, '98 C'Dale XR800, '04 Burley Samba, '17 DB Clutch

Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1129 Post(s)
It would be nice if the whole mess were moved to A&S
Darth Lefty is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-18, 11:24 AM
  #17  
gear64
Senior Member
 
gear64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: STL Missouri
Posts: 292

Bikes: Miyata 912, Miyata 1000, Lotus Classique, Terranaut Metro, Trek Alpha 4900

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Originally Posted by old's'cool View Post
FWIW, I encounter anything from passively respectful to obviously aggressive behaviour on the part of motorists on the arterial and open country roads that I ride, while on quiet residential roads at the same (commuting) times of day, the motorist behaviour I experience ranges from passively respectful to downright gracious, e.g., beckoning me to cross at stop signs when it is clearly not my turn.
Could it be that people on average feel inclined to be more polite and gracious while in their own neighborhoods, versus when immersed in the every-man-for-himself environment of non-residential roadways?
I think it's more of an expectation in utility. For example why is that dumb-ass taking the lane at 11 mph, when the posted speed is 50 mph vs. going 11 mph when posted speed is 25. If capable of high teens low 20s you're practically doing the speed limit in residential area, but still below half on the major artery. These dynamics are a large part of why I live near and ride in urban areas vs suburban. In large part the problem is with suburban developers; closed neighborhoods feeding major arteries. In line with one of the comments in the survey [paraphrasing]; "why are they clogging up the road when there's a perfectly good bike lane running parallel?" I see this periodically near one of the trails I ride. It's protected, and under utilized in general, so it's not like the cyclists need to dodge walkers, runners, or roller bladers; but god forbid there are two or three stop signs that might slow you down. I empathize with many of the negative opinions in that survey regarding cyclists blatant disregard for traffic law.
gear64 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-18, 02:20 PM
  #18  
JoeyBike
20+mph Commuter
 
JoeyBike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA USA
Posts: 6,544

Bikes: Surly LHT, a folding bike, and a beater.

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 852 Post(s)
Originally Posted by gear64 View Post
...why is that dumb-ass taking the lane at 11 mph, when the posted speed is 50 mph vs. going 11 mph when posted speed is 25. If capable of high teens low 20s you're practically doing the speed limit in residential area, but still below half on the major artery.
I'm an avid cyclist and have pondered this. It just seems rude and dangerous. Sometimes it is unavoidable, but I manage to avoid it.

I find that 18-20 mph is the magic number in dense urban areas. Fast enough to prevent a million cars from overtaking and fast enough to make right-hooks almost impossible. And getting "stuck" behind a cyclist going 20 mph and appearing interested in actually GETTING SOMEWHERE likely disarms a lot of rage from motorists who think cyclists are "playing with their toys" while preventing people from getting to work on time.

Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
It would be nice if the whole mess were moved to A&S


Yes.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 12-31-18 at 02:24 PM.
JoeyBike is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-18, 07:55 PM
  #19  
Daniel4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,857
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 603 Post(s)
The report should include a second title called " The justification of Bad Driving."
Daniel4 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-19, 02:55 PM
  #20  
autonomy
Senior Member
 
autonomy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Boston Roads
Posts: 618

Bikes: 2012 Canondale Synapse 105, 2017 REI Co-Op ADV 3.1

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 319 Post(s)
Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Likewise, some drivers dislike the entire concept of sharing the road
Oh, I encounter this mentality every day during my DRIVING. Aggression towards another CAR, when a collision would cause damage to the aggressor's property, not just a puny bicycle. Failure to zipper-merge or take turns at an intersection (my road - everyone else be damned!), super-late, dangerous highway exits (why should I wait in the exit queue? I'm just going to merge AT the exit or worse, stop and slowly force my way in), running reds (it was pink!). Entitlement is the problem.

Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I haven't been to Italy, but that was my observation in France. I went to Paris when I was 20, to take a long bike tour. My hosts in Paris told me I would enjoy riding in the countryside but not in the city. Seeing how people drove, that made a lot of sense to me. But after taking the Metro and walking around a lot, I figured out what the dance steps were. They drive super fast, but they're totally ready to brake when necessary, and they don't get visibly angry, at least not the way New Yorkers and Bostonians do. I got into traffic, and I did just fine. The requirements for earning a license are tough there, and they're a joke here. Their driving style looks crazy to many Americans, but it made a lot of sense to me.

The year before I married my wife, we decided to take a trip to Paris, many years after my first trip there. She said we'll be renting bikes and riding around. I asked her if she was serious, because she's not as experienced at cycling. She said absolutely, and that's what we did. And we had a blast.
Bostonian checking in. I've both driven and cycled in Paris. Cycling is totally fine and feels very safe. Driving, on the other hand, was hair-raising. Driving in Nice - which everyone said would be awful - was less stressful than Paris. I think it's because of Paris' extensive bike infrastructure and the awesome mentality of 'you're a vulnerable road user, you get priority'. When scooters try to split lanes and honk, drivers actually make way for them. Here people would be like "why the hell are you driving on MY road... and YOU'RE honking at ME? ROAD RAGE!"

Originally Posted by flangehead View Post
When the “Journal of the Transportation Research Board” (TRB) study was originally posted here on BF I noted that the “aggressive subsample” was only 68 out of 17850 samples.. a little less than 0.4%. I decided to do a little test of my own to see if my experience had any relation to the study.

I don’t have any way of determining the motivation of a driver and any associated baggage. All I know is that I sometimes have bad interactions.

What I did was count opportunities for a situation to arise. The most common opportunity was a pass when I was taking the lane (as opposed to using the shoulder) but also included left turns, parking lots, etc. I classified bad interactions as unpleasant, dangerous or requiring evasive action. In the test, I didn’t have to take any evasive actions. (As I described in a recent “Commuting” post, I did have to take evasive action last month.) Though entirely subjective, I tended to classify yelling and honks as “unpleasant” and close passes as “dangerous”.

I kept track of the interactions in 5 time intervals during the day because I’d had the suspicion that bad interactions tended to happen at midday rather than rush hour, which doesn’t fit “stressed commuter” as a cause for aggression.

So basically, I counted how many times there was a situation that could result in a bad interaction and how many times there actually was a bad interaction. After about 100 days, I had accumulated almost 2600 opportunities and had experienced 12 bad interactions. The rate is 0.46%.

Clearly, I have a tiny sample set based on my particular environment, my cycling behavior and appearance, along with my subjective classification of bad interactions. And the TRB study was a world-wide (but USA-dominated) scope which had a very different approach.

If I assume that my opportunities are a random sampling of drivers and that all my bad interactions were due to aggression (my sense was that they were) then I come up with about the same rate of aggression as the TRB study.

The good news is that over 99% of motorists aren’t out to get us.

And strangely, my impression that I got more bad interactions at midday proved up. For me, rush hour is not “prime time” for unpleasant interactions, but it is for dangerous ones. (My recent evasive action was during the 16:00-20:00 afternoon rush hour.)



Personal Test Results. Unpleasant interactions were typically honks and yells with dangerous interactions being close passes. I did not have to take evasive action during this test.
​​​​​​​
That's quite a task, good work, and interesting that your rate of 0.4% is similar. There has to be a correlation between the unpleasant midday interactions and the kinds of people on the other side.
autonomy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-19, 11:22 AM
  #21  
Bat Guano
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 50
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Good article, despite its statistical limitations. I found especially interesting the justifications for aggressive driving by those who often bike themselves: a few of them say that those cyclists who ride selfishly/nonattentively/stupidly make all cyclists look bad, and therefore should be taught a lesson. I have seen some cyclists around town who rode in extremely annoying ways - e.g., taking the middle lane of a busy three-lane one-way street downtown, riding along slowly, hands off the handlebars - but I didn't feel any particular urge to brush past him to 'teach him a lesson.' Obviously people do generalize, and that kind of behavior may transfer in some drivers' minds to a generally lawful rider like me, but a dangerous brush-pass doesn't seem like an appropriate response.
Bat Guano is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service