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 Post subject: Angry Drivers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:29 am 
retrobike rider
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Due to my work, I drive something like 35,000 miles a year and have done for over 25 years.

Over that time I have obviously seen a big increase in the number of vehicles on the road, a dilution of skills as more unskilled drivers join the dwindling number that seem to know how to handle a truck, car, van or whatever they are driving and a change in driving habits, but something I have started to see lately which I find really quite disturbing, is the fury and anger drivers and motorcyclists are starting to show towards one another.

Twice in the last week I have seen a pretty harmless manoeuvre on the part of one driver, acknowledged with complete and utter rage from the other. In one case this was provoked by a car safely overtaking another car. The women in the car that was overtaken went NUTS, jumping about and leaning on the horn for hundreds of yards after being overtaken.

What's the matter with these people?

I have been cut up, chopped off, brake tested by slow cars that have pulled out in front of me, had cars drive into the side of me when I was at a junction, had idiots chop from the outside lane of a motorway, across three lanes to get down a sliproad etc etc etc. These kind of antics can make me a bit cross, and I'll occasionally have a bit of a shout and a rant to myself, but it really is just part of the rough and tumble of road use.

I have heard of road rage, but never really seen it, and the things I've seen this last week go beyond rage into blind and lasting fury, and I really can't understand where this anger comes from.

There really are some very repressed people out there.


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 Post subject: Re: Angry Drivers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:52 am 
retrobike rider
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which is why I regard all drivers as utter tools and I take the view that although it makes me laugh seeing someone lose it because someone else dared to (insert minor driving infraction here), it can have a darker side (kenneth noye). Draw the same parallels to the herds wandering around a shopping centre and infact on a seperate issue what is quite bizzare is when someone will get all angry and irate that they have been help up on a 30mph road by someone driving at 25 but will be perfectly content to wait in a traffic line outside ikea for 20 mins! (go figure).
getting back to the herd, humans (most of them) just don't like confrontation so will say sorry if they bump into each other walking or will not say anything if they are forced to change route by an oncoming pushchair even going as far as holding doors open, helping the mum carry the pushchair up a flight of stairs, but put those same people behind the wheel (pushchairs included) and its dog eat dog. youtube is full of examples of bad road behavior conducted by otherwise perfectly reasonable people.
wrap someone up in a metal box and its like a suit of armour.


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 Post subject: Re: Angry Drivers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:00 am 
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I've seen plenty of peevish drivers - want to drive at a certain speed, and want everybody else behind them to just have to lump it. And perfectly safe and legitimate overtaking can see them apoplectic.

Another regular observation, especially obvious is you use cruise control on the motorway - you can be approaching, move out to pass, and be practically alongside some middle-laners, then they'll speed up, the only tend to back off their acceleration when it's clear you're still going to pass them. It's not all about them trying to ensure you don't move into a gap between them and the car in front, either - because often there is no car in front of them, which has allowed them to speed up. And, although this may sound sexist, it's really not - the majority of the time I look across at them, it's women pulling that stunt.

Don't get me wrong, I've encountered plenty of male drivers who'll speed up when you're overtaking - but this particular stunt from motorway middle-laners, at least in my experience, has been heavily domintated by women - not sure I understand why.

There's always a certain degree of curmudgeonly drivers, who you can often see, frantically, trying to speed up, and show there was a problem with you pulling out of a junction, or onto a roundabout, but despite the true flogging a dead horse of their jalopy, it wasn't quite up to the rapid acceleration required to try and manufacture an issue. I'm going to stereotype, now - but really, I'm just going off those that I've seen in my experience - this demographic is heavily domninated by the man-of-a-certain-age (ie 50+).

The reality is, true enough, there's idiots of all ages and sexes, that act-up behind the wheel of a car, but at least in my experience, certain types of behaviour, can show some trends in terms of those that do.

Drivers in general, seem a lot less tolerant - and I know some will rap on about the harsh landscape for drivers, in recent times - but realistically, say, in the 70s, was driving / running a car any cheaper, in terms of cost of living? Yes, I know, there was a whole lot less traffic, but most of the argument about how drivers are somehow justified - or at least explained - in their intolerance, these days, is the punitive costs of doing so.

And yes, I do think standards have dropped over the decades - sure, the driving test and theory test seem more challenging - but all the same, looking at what I see on the roads (yes, the occupancy is a lot higher, but still...), behaviour, courtesy and competency seem all worse than in previous times. I guess, sometimes, progress is a fallacy.


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 Post subject: Re: Angry Drivers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:10 am 
retrobike rider
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two examples when i say make me laugh.
1, cycling down a hill in harrow london, lights are green, someone coming up the hill wanting to make a right turn at the lights to get into a supermarket. saw me and my friend approaching decided he diddnt want to wait and cut across, on with the brakes we go and he looks at us, gives us the w@anker sign and promptly drives straight into the railings guarding the pedestrian crossing, headbutting the steering wheel (no belt) and breaking his nose. we came off our bikes, not through the accident but we crashed into eachother we were laughing so much. funnily enough he diddnt have too much to say after that and after we congratulated him on his excellent performance.
2, driving on a single carriageway a road in a lgv at 40 mph (average speed cameras in place enforcing the 40 limit). guy in a bmw behind me most of the time I cant see him as he is so close the back of the wagon is obscuring him. every now and then he pulls out (usually into oncoming) and starts giving it the horn/flashing lights. eventually hes had enough so pulls out to overtake just as i drive past a pedestrian island (I drive past, he doesn't) it was just one of those with the little white lights and an arrow. anyway as he is sailing through the air impressively clearing the island after launching off the kerb and taking out the lights he lands causing even more damage and with a look of bewilderment shoots past me with his middle finger sticking out of the sunroof!
I love twats, they are an endless source of entertainment.


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 Post subject: Re: Angry Drivers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:43 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:55 am
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I expect the unexpected from drivers and am not often disappointed :x :x

I was out the other night with a cycle buddy on a country lane, I admit we may have been taking a bit more of the road than we should have. A car was about to pass which we heard (then we pulled in single file tight to the curb) then guy the slowed down, hollering, waving and swearing etc at us :x

Lucky me and my mate have a combined weight of 32 stone and both compete at MMA, so would have held our own if it had turned nasty :wink:

Although standing toe to toe trading punches wearing Northwave SPD cleats and lycra shorts would have been interesting :D


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 Post subject: Re: Angry Drivers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:55 am 
retrobike rider
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It's the screaming and shouting that I don't understand.

I pulled in BEHIND a car in a traffic queue the other day and the guy in the car in front went nuts, screaming and shouting and waving his arms about while looking at me in the mirror.

30 yards later I was able to filter left, Mr Angry was going right, and he started off again, winding down the window to scream at me.

I blew him a big kiss and drove off.... I think I saw him detonate as I went around the corner.

The bit that I don't get in all this is the level of anger. It's the equivalent of beating someone to death because they walked across the pavement three feet in front of you.


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 Post subject: Re: Angry Drivers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:27 am 
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Here we go... the weekly annecdotes of bad driving :wink:

There are a number of factors at play here, and we have to be careful not be be so niaive to the fact that WE ALL DO IT, or are CAPABLE OF DOING IT, and failure to do acknowledge the fact is arrogant and dangerous in itself...

People have less time / more time constraints on them thatn 20/30 years ago
There are a hell of a load more cars on the roads now
Society is generally becoming less social, and more individual focussed, so adding all these up results in anger and contempt towards each other on the roads and in our wider lives

Having said that, I do get pissed at the selfish pushers in at lane filters or road works; I HATE tail gaters; would personally kick the doors off deliberate red light jumpers... however I have to mark myself carefully, as given certain situations, I know I have been guilty of these and more.....

So, just be careful out there peeps, we are all shite drivers/cyclists when we want to be



G


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 Post subject: Re: Angry Drivers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:46 am 
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unkleGsif wrote:
Here we go... the weekly annecdotes of bad driving :wink:

There are a number of factors at play here, and we have to be careful not be be so niaive to the fact that WE ALL DO IT, or are CAPABLE OF DOING IT, and failure to do acknowledge the fact is arrogant and dangerous in itself...


I'm sure no drivers are perfect and we all make mistakes - and to be fair - I think it's important to realise that we all have things we still could learn. Nothing troubles me more than speaking to some older drivers that are convinced of their competence - I remember once speaking to my then father-in-law saying at some point I'd like to do some more training or advanced lessons - and he kind of shuddered and whatever he said gave me this impression he wasn't ever about to consider such a thing, and believed he had no more to learn.

unkleGsif wrote:
People have less time / more time constraints on them thatn 20/30 years ago


Why? Why do peolpe have less time / more time constraints?

Looking back to my parents generation, they, seemingly would have less time - a lot less tolerance by employers for "soft" things, like family / school / parenting matters. Plus a lot less drove, then - I can probably count on one hand (seriously) the number of times I was taken / picked up by school (infant, junior or senior) school by car. My mother never drove, and my father would have been long gone to work before I set off for school, and not home 'til around 6-ish, at least.

So why do people have less time / more time constraints than 20/30 years ago?

I would agree, though, that in general, most of society is made up with rank, fecking hypocrites - that truly is something that practically everybody is guilty of.


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 Post subject: Re: Angry Drivers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:51 am 
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NeilM wrote:
It's the screaming and shouting that I don't understand.

I pulled in BEHIND a car in a traffic queue the other day and the guy in the car in front went nuts, screaming and shouting and waving his arms about while looking at me in the mirror.

30 yards later I was able to filter left, Mr Angry was going right, and he started off again, winding down the window to scream at me.

I blew him a big kiss and drove off.... I think I saw him detonate as I went around the corner.

The bit that I don't get in all this is the level of anger. It's the equivalent of beating someone to death because they walked across the pavement three feet in front of you.


I spent some time in China last year. People on the road rush about like you wouldn't believe. "Gotta keep moving" is a kind of mantra out there. Drivers cut each other up, and try any and all means to get ahead and get an advantage. Bipping the horn occurs frequently. I didn't once see any anger, though - no rage, no shouting, no punishing maneouvres. Sure, there was a clearly perceivable do-it-to-them-before-they-do-it-to-you mentality about a lot of the driving, but they just didn't seem to take it personally.

And I'm talking huge big cities, with heavy traffic, and lots of people trying to go places fast - but all the same, people cut each other up, bipped the horn, sometimes with impatience or get out of my way, but no anger or rage that I ever saw. I'm pretty sure they weren't just on their best behaviour and putting on a show for the gwei-lo.


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 Post subject: Re: Angry Drivers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:03 pm 
retrobike rider
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Neil wrote:
I spent some time in China last year. People on the road rush about like you wouldn't believe. "Gotta keep moving" is a kind of mantra out there. Drivers cut each other up, and try any and all means to get ahead and get an advantage. Bipping the horn occurs frequently. I didn't once see any anger, though - no rage, no shouting, no punishing maneouvres. Sure, there was a clearly perceivable do-it-to-them-before-they-do-it-to-you mentality about a lot of the driving, but they just didn't seem to take it personally.

And I'm talking huge big cities, with heavy traffic, and lots of people trying to go places fast - but all the same, people cut each other up, bipped the horn, sometimes with impatience or get out of my way, but no anger or rage that I ever saw. I'm pretty sure they weren't just on their best behaviour and putting on a show for the gwei-lo.


That is the difference, no anger.

I, like every other road user, suffer from people racing me, cutting across, brake testing etc, I also make mistakes, even on a bike from time to time, after all, I am a human to to err IS human. I am embarrassed when I mess up and get cross when someone does something stupid, but I never lose my temper because in the bigger scheme of things it is all pretty unimportant.


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