A rude driver can quickly ruin a bike ride when s/he decides to honk, use inappropriate hand signals, yell – or worse – tries to scare you physically with the vehicle. Sharing the road includes dealing with rude drivers. Road bicycling enthusiasts can try the following to disengage from rude drivers.
Make Sure You’re Following Bicycle and Traffic Laws
The first thing that you should make sure of is that you’re operating your bicycle according to the law. If you are, then the driver has no valid reason to be angry with you. As cyclists, you have all the rights and responsibilities of a motor vehicle. If you’re riding after dark or before sunrise, a light is also required. While there’s no state law requiring helmets, some cities do require a helmet to be worn.
If a driver is frustrated because you’re not following a traffic law, just correct your behavior and apologize. Remember, cyclists can also receive citations.
Don’t Engage: Keep Your Cool
As rude as a driver is being, it’s important that you don’t engage in anything confrontational. Keep your cool, smile and wave to let the driver know that you are apologetic for any errors on your behalf, and never use inappropriate hand signals or language.
While it can be difficult, keeping a calm tone is important, and can prevent the situation from escalating into something more serious. As an unprotected bicyclist, preventing road rage is more important than proving that you are right.
Report the Dangerous Driver to the Police
If a driver is being more than rude and is being dangerous, such as tailgating driving at an unsafe distance or speeding, then you should report him or her to the police. Get the driver’s license plate number and call immediately.
Contact an Attorney if a Driver Hits You
If a driver’s rudeness becomes unsafe or aggressive, and if that then escalates to an accident where a driver hits and harms you, you need to take legal action. If the driver was negligent then you’re entitled to benefits that are both economic and noneconomic, ranging from emotional to medical expenses.
At Max Meyers Law PLLC, we believe that you deserve an attorney who will put your needs first, and won’t stop working until you get the compensation that you need. To learn more about how we can represent you and what your rights are when you’re in a motor vehicle accident as a cyclist, call us at 425-399-7000.