Road Rage and Motorcycles Do Not MixJuly 20, 2016 | Category: Motorcycle Accidents, Personal Injury
There is no question that some motorists do not want to share the roads with motorcyclists. In fact, since bikers who are involved in accidents generally face unfair perceptions from insurance companies (and even juries), they are often held liable for accidents that are not their fault.
Each Los Angeles accident attorney at our firm recognizes that unfair motorist attitudes on the road can create tense situations, so it is not surprising that motorcyclists often feel considerable anger. Even if they feel justified in expressing that anger, however, they need to recognize that they are the most vulnerable to serious injuries or even fatalities.
For Bikers, Controlling Anger Can Be a Matter of Life or Death
A biker who got involved in a Chula Vista driving dispute, according to a story in The San Diego Union-Tribune, never got to learn the anger management lesson. He died shortly after a motorist allegedly struck his motorcycle and then ran him over. Before the accident, both vehicles were involved in some sort of contest and the biker performed a hand gesture that seemed to further increase the motorist's rage.
The motorist cited the biker's anger as a causal factor for the accident. Still, she was indicted on murder charges after a preliminary trial apparently determined that enough evidence justified that she stand trial for second degree murder from an act of road rage.
Generating Another Motorist's Anger is Ill Advised
Other motorists are strangers; no one can assess their psychological stability by observing just a few moments of driving behavior. As it happens, a former close acquaintance of the motorist alleged that the woman was subject to severe anger, even to the point of making verbal murder threats to other individuals.
Clearly, no biker can predict the degree of anger experienced by other motorists or how they will handle even minor insults, including certain hand signs. Rather than escalating situations like these, bikers should take steps to avoid further confrontation, such as the following:
- Keep hands on the bike: Avoid gestures of any kind. Even a wave of apology can be interpreted as an angry gesture.
- Create a distance: Rather than attempting to speed ahead of the other motorist, slow down so that the vehicle can easily be observed. In a perfect world, that vehicle will pose no further issues; however, if it pulls over to initiate further conflict, the biker will be in the best position to take appropriate evasive action or call police.
- Ride with a video-enabled helmet: A helmet-mounted video camera can record everything seen and experienced by the biker. Hopefully, video evidence will not be required for an accident case, but an angry driver who sees the camera might think twice about taking further action.
No matter how justified anger might be for motorcyclists, it serves no purpose other than to prevent clear thinking during a dangerous situation. A focused mind can provide the best tool for survival and it can help prevent needless roadway fatalities.
Unfortunately, cases like the one described also expose injured bikers or their families to legal complexities caused by criminal charges against the alleged liable party. The Rudman Law Firm has the skills and experience to navigate complex legal mazes to help their injury cases to move forward. Call us at (844) 478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN, at our Los Angeles office at (213) 375-3777 or at our Studio City office (818) 769-6969 for the help needed to develop an effective case.