Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

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Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby winstonw » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:43 am

sounds plausible....but totally countered by the fact cyclists in Holland and Denmark don't enrage motorists.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2013021 ... e-cyclists
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by BNA » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:58 am

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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby VRE » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:58 am

Someone should tell the author of this article that cyclists DO pay for the roads, because he seems to have missed that point.
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby biker jk » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:23 am

VRE wrote:Someone should tell the author of this article that cyclists DO pay for the roads, because he seems to have missed that point.


Correct. Moreover, motorists don't pay for their hugely negative externalities (congestion, pollution, road deaths & injuries).
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby wombatK » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:31 am

Utter piffle. Any motorist who is reacting on the "free-rider" basis is delusional and needs to get informed about
who really is paying for all the motoring, roads, and accident trauma costs. There's hordes of non-driving
taxpayers forking out for a large part of this. I'd love to be able to fine every motorist to redress this
travesty of justice.
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby g-boaf » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:37 am

Utter rubbish.

We pay our way, and in my case - I don't use a car much at all, I travel long distance by train and walk, so I don't contribute to the traffic congestion at all. Perhaps car drivers should pay me for that? :|

I'll continue riding when I want. I'll wear my helmet, I'll obey the road rules and just to annoy them, I'll wear my Lycra.
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby human909 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:51 am

And all those pedestrians who are free riding on the road network!

Motorists do alot of hating. I won't go into the deep psychological reasons. But has alot to do with traffic and the amount of time motorists spend stuck in it. Much of it is directed at other motorists. But other motorists aren't a "group" that they can hate because they are themselves motorists. So cyclists are a perfect target to vent their hate.

It is not the first time in history that one group decides to vent all their hate towards another group. Genocides have resulted from the same channelling and fuelling of hate. What term did the Hutu use to describe Tutsi prior the mass genocide in Rwanda? What term has Daren Hinch been using? Cockroaches.

Naturally these are totally different extremes. But at their core that both have unjustified, irrational and collective hate.....


Oh and both have radio shock jocks calling others cockroaches. :shock:
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby jules21 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:40 pm

humans are hard-wired to distrust others who are 'different'.

for many years, citizens with different ethnic and racial backgrounds were targeted in australia. aborigines, catholics, southern europeans, asians, middle-easterners, subcontinental migrants - the cycle goes on. until they become normalised enough for the hate to move onto a new target.

cyclists are victims of precisely this thinking, but in the road user environment. arguing (correctly) that we do pay for road use is missing the point - which is that people who make that false argument aren't interested in the facts - they're interested in justifying their prejudices.

as a society, we are very confused about how to handle prejudice. we have only recently decided that some types of prejudice (racism, ethnic and religious-based prejudice) is a bad thing, but for the most part, other types are widely tolerated or even promoted. it's not just cyclists - political beliefs, body shape, gender, sexual preference - the common theme is - without exception - to:
1. identify a group which is -
a. easily identifiable as different in some way,
b. in the minority, and
2. vilify them.

the objective is not to punish or eradicate the minority group, who often poses no threat whatsoever to those displaying prejudice. rather, the objective is to empower one's self by identifying as somehow superior to the target minority group. the fact that the rationale for identifying as superior may be arbitrary or just plain wrong/stupid doesn't matter so long as you work it so you are in the majority - saying something enough times will make anything 'true'.

the only way to overcome this prejudice is for a target group to become normalised - e.g. racial minorities who grow in number and integrate with society to the point where they are sufficiently empowered to fight back. the haters just move on to a new target.

as a cyclist - my tactic is to not be a victim. when someone tries it on, i will give it back in spades (this requires judgment). the objective is to disempower the haters - depriving of them that smug sense of satisfaction they feel by acting superior.
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby briztoon » Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:53 pm

My reply on their face book page. Though the article is from February, so the discussion is well and truly dead.

The psychology of why cyclists enrage car drivers

Great read. Unfortunately much of it is based on the false premise that motorists pay for roads and cyclists are "free riders".

Unfortunately most road users, and I must conclude the author of the article as well, view vehicle registration as their fee to use the roads. This is a false perception. Registration pays for the right to use a vehicle.

Tax payers pay for roads. So tax paying cyclists are not free riders. Tax paying cyclists have as much right to use the roads as tax paying motorists.

The first step towards eliminating motorists rage towards cyclists is for everybody to understand that the roads are not paid for by registration fees.

Now, cyclists reading this might think "but the rules aren't made for us – we're more vulnerable, discriminated against, we shouldn't have to follow the rules."


Cyclists do not think like this. The majority of cyclists, just like the majority of motorists follow the road rules. Unfortunately the majority of motorists do not know that there are some extra road rules that apply to cyclists that allow for behaviour that is illegal for motorists but legal for cyclists.

Maybe the solution is to educate drivers that cyclists not only play an important role in a wider game of reducing traffic and pollution. But also that cyclists do in fact pay for their use of the roads and cyclists obey different road rules that allow for different behaviour on the road that protect them as a vulnerable road users.

Maybe the "solution" should be part of a learner drivers education.
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby biker jk » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:04 pm

Bike riders actually save the economy $21 on each commute rather than free riding on society.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/bike-riders-save-economy-21-on-each-commute-20130730-2qxdg.html
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby Nobody » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:35 pm

I've found the link below useful to show how motorists are subsidized by all of us.
http://www.ptua.org.au/myths/petroltax.shtml
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby twizzle » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:47 pm

So.... the majority "take" on this was that it was all about the money?

So now we can see why there is an evolutionary pressure pushing motorists towards hatred of cyclists. Deep within the human psyche, fostered there because it helps us co-ordinate with strangers and so build the global society that is a hallmark of our species, is an anger at people who break the rules, who take the benefits without contributing to the cost. And cyclists trigger this anger when they use the roads but don't follow the same rules as cars.
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby RobertFrith » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:50 pm

↑↑↑ what jules21 said

Some of you might have missed the point of Tom Stafford's article. It's worth a proper read as he's making a sincere attempt to explain what is going on in the fog of the human mind.

• First of all, for dog's sake calm down, it is not an anti-cycling article,
• The author's use of the term "free rider" in this context is not cycling or road specific,
• He makes the fatal error of mentioning road tax once and at another point suggests that motorists are only enraged when they see a cyclist break the rules but I believe his broader concern is with the perceived moral order of the road... i.e. not the actual road rules, not taxes or tolls but something operating at a deeper and darker level of the human psyche.
• The word tax does pop up once more at the end of the article but read it carefully; it's about "tax dodgers" as distinct from " road tax dodgers" :D
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby briztoon » Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:41 pm

twizzle wrote:So.... the majority "take" on this was that it was all about the money?

So now we can see why there is an evolutionary pressure pushing motorists towards hatred of cyclists. Deep within the human psyche, fostered there because it helps us co-ordinate with strangers and so build the global society that is a hallmark of our species, is an anger at people who break the rules, who take the benefits without contributing to the cost. And cyclists trigger this anger when they use the roads but don't follow the same rules as cars.


Nope. I understand where you're coming from, and my take from the article was that it's cyclist different behaviour on the road that causes the anger. But at the root of this anger is the motorists belief that cyclists don't pay for their road usage. If cyclists didn't behave different on the road, cyclists wouldn't be a target of motorists rage, even though cyclists don't pay for the roads. But cyclists can not, in some circumstances it's beyond our physical abilities, behave the same as motorists on the road. There for when our different behaviour inconveniences a motorist or gives us an advantage over a motorist, it triggers a negative emotional response that is magnified by the belief that we don't have moral right to be where we are or do what we're doing. And this response finds release through anger and rage.

But I'm tired of arguing with other cyclists, let alone motorists, about the topic. So I wrote a response to the author on their face book page explaining how the theory is based on a false premise.

I do believe it is a very good article, and that the theory is valid in explaining why motorists behave the way they do. I'm not attacking the theory and the psychological basis to the theory, as I believe it is correct. I just wanted to point out the motorists belief, is in fact a false premise.

A false premise is an incorrect proposition that forms the basis of an argument or conclusion. Since the premise is not correct, the conclusion drawn may be in error. However, the logical validity of an argument is a function of its internal consistency, not the truth value of its premises.
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby il padrone » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:59 pm

The author's basic premise of an innate conflict between motorists and cyclists, resenting the cyclist as the interloper with mo "moral right" to use the road space, seems to be very much an anglo thing - a problem for drivers in the UK, Australia and maybe USA. While touring in Europe this year I simply did not observe such a high level of conflict and moral outrage.

So I'd have to conclude that there is a bit more than some base human response to the 'out' group happening here. Perhaps it has much more to do with the nature of legal responsibilities in the different countries, and the level of motorist exposure to and experience of riding bicycles themselves.
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby twizzle » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:10 pm

il padrone wrote:The author's basic premise of an innate conflict between motorists and cyclists, resenting the cyclist as the interloper with mo "moral right" to use the road space, seems to be very much an anglo thing - a problem for drivers in the UK, Australia and maybe USA. While touring in Europe this year I simply did not observe such a high level of conflict and moral outrage.

So I'd have to conclude that there is a bit more than some base human response to the 'out' group happening here. Perhaps it has much more to do with the nature of legal responsibilities in the different countries, and the level of motorist exposure to and experience of riding bicycles themselves.


Yet one of the worst run-in's I've had on the road was with a woman who was clearly European (I was thinking "Greek" at the time).

IMHO, it's likely our "Australian problem" is because the average Australian driver doesn't know the road rules - they don't understand that a bicycle is a "vehicle", that bicycles don't have to indicate when turning left and that bicycles are allowed to pass on the left. Plus, it is still (largely) socially acceptable to drive like a nutbag.

I wonder what the average IQ is in Holland/France etc.?
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby il padrone » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:19 pm

twizzle wrote:Yet one of the worst run-in's I've had on the road was with a woman who was clearly European (I was thinking "Greek" at the time).

But a Greek in Australia. That changes the nature of the response.

twizzle wrote:IMHO, it's likely our "Australian problem" is because the average Australian driver doesn't know the road rules - they don't understand that a bicycle is a "vehicle", that bicycles don't have to indicate when turning left and that bicycles are allowed to pass on the left. Plus, it is still (largely) socially acceptable to drive like a nutbag.

What I meant by lack of exposure to and experience of bicycles. Once more people ride, the drivers know more and care more.
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:16 pm

The article wrote:Driving is a very moral activity


I got to this bit and...
Image

Maybe when I was a lad but these days, (at least during peak hour) it seems to be law of the jungle. What else would explain the proliferation of bullybuses that are clearly not designed for and will never be used off road?

jules21 wrote:humans are hard-wired to distrust others who are 'different'.

SNIP

as a cyclist - my tactic is to not be a victim. when someone tries it on, i will give it back in spades (this requires judgment). the objective is to disempower the haters - depriving of them that smug sense of satisfaction they feel by acting superior.


Oh very well played Sir!
Last edited by Mulger bill on Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed quote
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby jcjordan » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:56 pm

twizzle wrote:So.... the majority "take" on this was that it was all about the money?

So now we can see why there is an evolutionary pressure pushing motorists towards hatred of cyclists. Deep within the human psyche, fostered there because it helps us co-ordinate with strangers and so build the global society that is a hallmark of our species, is an anger at people who break the rules, who take the benefits without contributing to the cost. And cyclists trigger this anger when they use the roads but don't follow the same rules as cars.

I did not see money as a focus in any way in the article but it does reinforce my belief on how we are viewed and stereotyped by drivers.

When drivers see other drivers do something wrong they tend to forgive the infractions as they make them themselves. To lay blame would mean blame on themselves for those same actions. When a cyclist does something wrong it more noticeable because blame can be laid without hating themselves.

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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby wombatK » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:13 pm

RobertFrith wrote:↑pecific,
• He makes the fatal error of mentioning road tax once and at another point suggests that motorists are only enraged when they see a cyclist break the rules but I believe his broader concern is with the perceived moral order of the road... i.e. not the actual road rules, not taxes or tolls but something operating at a deeper and darker level of the human psyche.

His argument about "moral order of the road" is downright laughable. The "moral order of the road" is
meaningless if it does not include as a minimum that motorists are obliged to respect and comply with
the moral orders formalised in our road legislation. And that would include respecting, not
marginalising, vulnerable road users.

So many motorists drive with such aggression that they are acting like they are living in a
jungle where there is absolutely no moral order - only their personal self-interest matters,
and their perception sees nothing more.

It doesn't matter whether its a cyclist, a pedestrian, or another motorist that is getting
in their way. They perceive no moral order or sense of obligation to anyone or any type
of road user.

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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby Red Rider » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:33 pm

RobertFrith wrote:↑↑↑ what jules21 said

Some of you might have missed the point of Tom Stafford's article. It's worth a proper read as he's making a sincere attempt to explain what is going on in the fog of the human mind.

• First of all, for dog's sake calm down, it is not an anti-cycling article,
• The author's use of the term "free rider" in this context is not cycling or road specific,
• He makes the fatal error of mentioning road tax once and at another point suggests that motorists are only enraged when they see a cyclist break the rules but I believe his broader concern is with the perceived moral order of the road... i.e. not the actual road rules, not taxes or tolls but something operating at a deeper and darker level of the human psyche.
• The word tax does pop up once more at the end of the article but read it carefully; it's about "tax dodgers" as distinct from " road tax dodgers" :D

Correct, it makes some great arguments as to why some motorists have ill-conceived, yet genuine, beliefs of cyclists place on the roads. I've never come across an article that makes such a good case for the psychology behind it.

The article does not attempt to justify or disclaim the misguided views of some motorists, that is not it's aim. It is simply raising a theory as to why they may think like that. To argue against their views would just cloud the premise of the article.

Very good read.
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:52 pm

Why cyclists enrage motorists?! I'm pointing out daily that my health insurance premiums would be halved if not for motorists! Get out of MY hospitals!
As for groups worth picking on and after a solid week of random idiocy from a "group" that IMHO deserves the abuse...
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby The 2nd Womble » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:31 am

Top class journalism reflecting Australia's mob nentality.
http://au.news.yahoo.com/video/national ... ed-lights/
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby il padrone » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:17 pm

It's just a BEAT UP!
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby warthog1 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:23 am

The 2nd Womble wrote:Top class journalism reflecting Australia's mob nentality.
http://au.news.yahoo.com/video/national ... ed-lights/


and that is a knob station, another good reason not to watch it. Ffs :evil:
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Re: Why Cyclists Enrage Motorists

Postby Paul B » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:32 am

Why should motorist's get annoyed at the notion that cyclist's break the road rules ? Many motor vehicle drivers break multiple rules themselves each time they take to the roads. The evidence to support this statement can easily be found in looking at the revenue raised in the issuing of penalties for infringements of the rules. Millions of dollars. And that only represents the instances in which they were detected. In all likelihood, this is only a fraction compared to the number of times the rules have been broken. Hypocrites.
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