There’s nothing more dangerous than an angry road user. Whether behind the wheel of a Mini Metro or a 580 Topline, once road rage sets in any vehicle has the potential to become deadly a weapon. And as motorcyclists, we’re particularly vulnerable, so it’s best to avoid lighting the blue touch paper, altogether. But is it really possible to appease the masses of horn-happy four-wheel drivers? Yes, it is. After some extensive research, we’ve worked out exactly the kind of things that make their blood boil, in an effort to give you half a chance to avoid it. This is the things that annoy road users, and how crack down on road rage…
Riding too quickly
If you break the speed limit, it’s only a matter of time before you kill yourself or someone else. Or that’s what we’re led to believe. And a lot of people do believe it, despite it not really being true. And who are you to shit on someone else’s beliefs. Whether driving 1mph over the speed limit makes you a menace to society or not, the fact is you might really upset someone by doing it.
Because nine times out of ten, you don’t know who is in the car in front of you. So if you want to avoid upsetting someone, you’re best bet is to ride really slowly all the time. It could be one of those people that stand next to the main road in their village with a fake speed gun to slow the traffic down and cause a public nuisance. Imagine of you sped past one of them bastards! They’d probably shit themselves with anger. If you’re serious about helping crack down on road rage, you’ll never ride too quickly again.
Riding too slowly
Riding too slowly is a sure-fire way to infuriate anyone else in your vicinity. Well anyone that is in a hurry, anyway. If you hold them up by a nanosecond, it’ll be your fault they’re late for work, and nothing to do with the fact that they should have set off earlier. No, being forced to drive at anything below the speed limit is enough to turn these people incandescent with rage. The only way you can really avoid upsetting them is to put your life, and your license on the line by breaking the speed limits, just like them. Unfortunately, that’s the price you pay for putting the needs of others before your own. It’s also unfortunate that, should you be stopped by the constabulary, they’re unlikely to change their minds about giving you a speeding fine, just because you felt like you were ‘doing the right thing’.
If someone is getting wound up because you’re not going fast enough for them, you’ve got two options; speed up and break the law, or don’t, and watch them stew in a cauldron of their own fury. And hope they don’t have a gun. If you’re serious about helping crack down on road rage, you’ll never ride too slowly again.
For one reason or another, there are some other road users that think they’re the police. When they’re not. We’ve all encountered them. They are usually driving just slow enough in their shit cars to force you to overtake them; only to start waving their hands around and flashing their lights at you when you do. Some will flash even if it’s a perfectly safe and legal overtaking manoeuvre; these people are called knobheads. But if you’re a courteous road user who wants to avoid winding these people up at all costs, then you should stay behind them. Don’t worry about the fact that it’s causing a massive tail back. Who cares if this one slow driver is holding up a line of 10 others.
All you’ll do by passing them is a) get to your destination faster, b) improve the flow of traffic and c) risk them sending their dashcam footage into the feds. Is it really worth the risk? If you’re serious about helping crack down on road rage, you’ll never overtake anyone again.
Not overtaking people
If you decide never to overtake anyone, be aware that you’re as responsible for the tailback as the person at the front of it… well that’s one school of thought, anyway. And the people that hold that view will likely get mighty pissed off with you, if you sit behind the dawdler, willy-nilly. Particularly if you are on a bike. They’ll shout and scream about how you should be overtaking your way to the front of the queue, oblivious to the fact that you are all sat in an average speed camera zone, or you’re passing a primary school.
The only way to appease these people, is to overtake anything in your path without delay, no matter how dangerous, so that they can follow suit. If you’re serious about helping crack down on road rage, you’ll never sit patiently behind another car again.
Having a noisy exhaust
Even though, by the letter of the law, you can only cause a public disturbance if you are doing it in one place (i.e. not moving), you’re still likely to disturb the public with your straight through, dustbin sized exhaust. But that’s not all you’ll annoy. Because if you noisily ride past another road user that’s trying his best to listen to Radio 2 he’s not going to be best pleased. In fact, if you’ve made him miss the tie-break answer on ‘Pop Master’ it’ll probably ruin his day. You won’t be able to hear him because of your obnoxiously loud exhaust, but he’ll probably be effing and jeffing at you, like there’s no tomorrow.
Do you want to upset an innocent person all for the sake of a trendy exhaust pipe? Have you no heart? Why get him (or her) worked up, when you don’t need to? If you’re serious about helping crack down on road rage, you’ll never fit a loud aftermarket exhaust to your bike again.
Riding a dangerously quiet electric bike
Greta’s got a lot to answer for, hasn’t she? If she had her way, we’d all be riding round (and driving round) on electric bikes (and cars). Which is all good and well, but if you’re blind, there’s nothing more dangerous than a noiseless electric vehicle. Many people have campaigned to have sirens or some sort of noise emitting device fitted to these ‘silent killers’, in an effort to improve pedestrian safety. It might seem absolutely ridiculous to embrace the future of transport by owning an ‘EV’ and then slapping a speaker on it to make it sound like a car, but think of the danger you pose if you don’t.
In the interest of safety, if you insist on riding one of these electric death-traps, do yourself and everyone else a favour by fitting the biggest, loudest speaker to it that you can find. Alternatively, you could make your presence known by riding a proper motorbike with the loudest aftermarket exhaust available. If you’re serious about helping crack down on road rage, you’ll never think about riding a silent electric motorbike again.
Preach on Brother Boothey !
Seriously though, if you drive at the speed limit and obey the laws, you’ll be fine most of the time. On the rare occasions that things still go wrong, the best thing you can do it to maintain your own cool. The other person will likely run out of steam pretty quickly if you just keep a level head. If you meet their anger with anger of your own things are going to go from bad to much, much worse.