Road rage, abuse and conflict is all too common on roads across the globe. With an ever-increasing number of cars, trucks, vans and bikes on our roads, incidents are also increasing inevitably. There can often be anger and frustration between car drivers, but the relationship between car drivers and cyclists, both driving motorbikes and bicycles, can be much more severe.
It is common to hear from disgruntled drivers, offloading resentment at being cut off by someone on a motorbike or at a cyclist taking up too much room on the road. However, it isn’t every day that you hear from the perspective of a biker about their relationship with other road users. So, multi-bike cover providers, Devitt, conducted a survey of 1,500 bikers to find out more.
How do bikers describe car drivers?
Preconceptions of motorcyclists aside, car drivers are clearly lacking some desirable traits of an ideal road user. 71% of bikers described car drivers as ‘distracted’, which is a shockingly high figure considering the dangers of the road. Furthermore, nearly 61% of bikers said that car drivers were ‘impatient’ and nearly half (49%) said that drivers were ‘careless’. This must be alarming from a bikers’ perspective because of the significantly greater risk for them on the road versus someone in a more secure vehicle.
Perhaps more disconcerting is the fact that 40% of bikers would describe car drivers as ‘aggressive’. Whether it is the relative safety of a car that empowers drivers, or a particular dislike of bikers, it is safe to say that motorcyclists and cyclists have an understandable aversion to drivers on 4 wheels.
How do bikers feel around other road users?
Safety should be a careful consideration for all drivers, no matter how many wheels are on the tarmac. Of course, riding on two wheels increases the chance of serious accident, but it is often other road users that directly or indirectly cause incidents out on the road. A staggering 42% said that they are often concerned for their own safety and their vehicle when around car drivers, while 47% admitted that they are occasionally concerned when around cars.
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It is evident that bikers are forced to be more careful around other road users, despite being more at risk from the actions of car drivers. Nearly 80% said that they have to be especially vigilant to watch out for distracted people behind the wheel.
What should change?
If you drive a car and often have something negative to say about motorcyclists or cyclists, then why not consider how your driving and behaviour appears to them. It should be common sense, but it is essential that drivers are aware of the risks that their incompetence or lack of attention can cause – especially to those on 2 wheels. Neither side is always going to be the issue or the cause of an incident, but greater respect from both sides will go a massive way in reducing the amount of traffic accidents and creating safer roads for everyone.