Rage Cycling: The Risks of Biking While Angry

After an extremely long ten-hour day, you finally get to go home. You hadn’t anticipated the constant complaints, whining, and incompetence at work, let alone the extra two hours you had to spend fixing other people’s mistakes, so you’re a little irritable. In addition to that, you unfortunately chose to ride your bike to work this morning—figuring you’d be able to get out before rush hour—but now you have to ride it home, during the peak of D.C. traffic.

And it looks like it could start raining any moment.

You ponder the idea of having your wife come and get you, instead of braving the mayhem on your bike, but then you’d have to wait and you’d probably just get even more irritated that you’re not on your way home already. Besides, you’re already annoyed. How much worse could it get?

Risks of Losing Your Temper While Riding a Bicycle

When you’re upset or frustrated by another’s actions, your biker rage (if not controlled) could unintentionally increase travel hazards in several ways:

  • Mental drama makes you a distracted biker. A natural reaction to being upset is to replay the incident that angered you over and over and fixate on the frustration. This can engage your mind, reflexes, and attention to such a degree that you find it harder to identify and respond to possible traffic dangers.
  • Your reaction intensifies road rage for other travelers. Maybe you can’t control your anger. When you scream, gesture, or engage in other negative outbursts toward other motorists, bikers, or pedestrians, you may perpetuate the cycle by increasing their road rage. When everyone is crabby, overall accident risks soar.
  • Mental reactions affect coordination and planning. Anger and increased adrenaline can actually physically affect your body, making it difficult to control your bike

Although riding a bike may seem less stressful than driving a car, especially in rush hour traffic, the same annoyances and frustrations that cause road rage can also still affect you. Furthermore, this rage can actually put you at a much higher risk for injury than passenger vehicle road rage, because you are far less protected.

This is why it is extremely important to stay calm and not allow yourself to react negatively to uncontrollable or unforeseen biking situations. Remember to breathe, adjust your speed or direction to safely avoid hazards, and don’t let the actions of others affect your safety or how you ride.

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Do you still have questions about traffic rage? Have you recently been injured as a result of road or biker rage? Contact us today for a free consultation and more information about your injury claim and rights. Helping you is our number one priority, so please, don’t hesitate to call.

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