By Rick Bernardi, J.D.
Road rage is nothing new to cyclists. Sooner or later, every cyclist will be accosted by some driver who is focused on dishing out some abuse, when he (or she) should be focused on safely operating their vehicle. And when the vehicle itself is the violent driver’s weapon of choice, safely operating the vehicle is the exact opposite of what the driver has in mind.
Most drivers aren’t hostile, and many are even courteous and friendly. But still, some drivers are extremely hostile, and they will go out of their way to express their hostility, and even endanger our lives. It’s common enough that, as bicycle accident lawyer Bob Mionske reports, many cyclists are now riding with video equipment.
Now, just to be clear, we aren’t talking about drivers who are feeling a little annoyed because they saw some cyclist break a law. We’re talking about drivers who become angry simply because of a cyclist’s presence on the road—and then acting on that anger. These are the drivers who decide to take the law into their own hands and do something about that cyclist on the road. Never mind that the cyclist is obeying the law. These violent drivers don’t care about that. Never mind that the cyclist has a right to be on the road (and may even be prohibited by law from riding anywhere but the road). These violent drivers don’t care what the law says. They think the law is wrong, and they are willing to take the law into their own hands to enforce their own warped ideas about what the law should be.