Why do drivers forget cyclists are human?
Your anger can kill us
Posted on 25.07.2018
It is interesting that a length of garden hose used as a deadly weapon piques media attention while the multitude of threatening or dangerous motor vehicle incidents involving other road users barely rates a mention on a day-to-day basis.
But it is shocking that an individual set a trap for a cyclist without concern for an unknown person or persons, so maybe we need to look a little deeper.
Unfortunately, our culture has elevated the motor vehicle to a status above that of all other road users, and in doing so society has denigrated all other road users to such a low level that they are being continually put in danger.
Media and commentators seem to be pushing an agenda that cyclists shouldn’t be allowed on the road and that they are pests.
Then we act surprised when an incident like this happens.
Post-crash compassion faded to anger
Twelve months ago, I was just an interested observer in this car vs bike debate. Then I was hit by a young driver and sustained life-threatening injuries.
I was cycling with a group along one of Brisbane’s most popular cycling routes, the Riverloop, when a car loomed directly in front of us. With no time to avoid the sedan, me and four others in the group smashed into it, ending up on the bitumen with injuries ranging from facial lacerations to broken bones and, in my case, a potentially fatal puncture wound.
My first reaction — after the most traumatic phase of hospital triage and emergency surgery was over — was one of compassion.
However, as time has gone on the compassion has faded and it has to some extent been replaced with anger.
Minority pushes de-humanisation of cyclists
In many ways, I believe more and more drivers are being more considerate and driving safely.
Unfortunately, there is a small minority who are either just bad drivers, or believe it is their role in life to try and rid the road of other users by harassing them with close passes and aggressive behaviour.
It is this small minority, supported by the clickbait culture that continues to push the de-humanisation of cyclists and downplay the responsibility of drivers to keep other more vulnerable road users safe.
Like it or not a moment of stupidity, lack of concentration or anger can have a profound affect — believe me.
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