Chris Davis is a bike messenger in car-centric Houston. He's been called every epithet in the book, had motorists wait behind him, revving their engines, sometimes coming within inches of his wheels.

He rides approximately 20 miles per day through the downtown area. He's been hit before. Now, Davis, like many other cyclists, is thinking about buying a helmet cam to record such incidents and, also, for a more macabre reason.

"In the event that I am killed, somebody will have something to go on," Davis tells KHOU-TV.

It's hard to compare road-rage statistics, because various government entities and advocacy groups have different definitions and laws regarding road rage. It's also often measured as driver-on-driver incidents, although driver-on-cyclist episodes are occuring more often.

One city, Houston, says that there have been over 900 road rage incidents reported in its metro-area in the last five years, enough to get city officials' attention on how to curb incidents. In the Detroit metro-area, earlier this year, electronic signs over highways urged drivers to avoid road rage.

The public is used to car-on-car road rage. But cycling groups are reporting an increase in incidents of car versus bike. The causes are many, including an increase in cycling as a hobby, as well as many cities going greener and trying to accommodate cyclists by constructing bike lanes on streets that give cyclists a greater feeling of empowerment and entitlement of the streets. The trouble is that drivers are still getting used to sharing the road with sometimes great numbers of bikes.

There is blame to share

AOL Autos Editor-in-Chief David Kiley, a cycling enthusiast, says that there is an uneasy and often mysteriously aggressive relationship between vehicle drivers and cyclists. "There are drivers who give a wide margin of clearance to cyclists, and others who for some reason feel that cyclists don't belong on the road at all with cars and so don't give an inch and even try to come as close to the cyclist as possible without hitting him or her." At the same time, says Kiley, "I have seen and ridden with plenty of bikers, and especially bike messengers, who ride like daredevils in urban centers on bikes that even have had the brakes intentionally taken off on purpose for reasons unknown to me, so some of the fault lies with the cyclists."

At least anecdotally, members of BikeTexas.org say they feel an increasing level of hostility directed at them on the roads. BikeHouston.org offers free defensive cycling classes to cyclists. But that only solves half the problem. Davis wants motorists to experience what it feels like to be on the receiving end of their rants and hostile driving.

"Get a bike and ride a mile in my shoes," he tells the news outlet. "I would just like them to bike a mile in our shoes."



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  • 157 Comments
      Jeanne Milstead
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think bikers should have the right to ride carefully on the side of the road and I believe most of them realize that road was made for vehicular type traffic. There is one thing I don't understand though, I do not mean this negatively as I am sincere about this... why are they allowed on that road without insurance & tags? They should have to pay for tags just like any car owner that uses that road but they "need" the insurance to protect themselves in case of an accident and incase an accident is blamed on them or even to protect the other guy. The way some people drive and show such anger, I wouldn't want to ride on a road with a bike and not be insured.
        rwilliamhoward
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jeanne Milstead
        This is a throwback to when a bike was a TOY. Children could not wait until they had their first two-wheeler. Some towns and cities did make (or tried to make them) buy a license plate. It enabled the return of 'lost' or stolen bikes, but little else. At that time, you didn't NEED to buy insurance for your CAR. Whos OM would buy it for the kids bike? Things have changed. You almost NEVER see a child riding a bike any more. So I guess they ought to change so that you need insurance, and maybe tags, too.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't mind bike riders as long as they ride where they are supposed to. That does not include riding 2-3 side by side and taking up the entire lane on a two lane street! Since it is not a motorized vehicle a bike belongs on the shoulder of the road or a designated bike lane only. I've run into groups of them that hog the lane and you can't get around them. Some of them even think it's funny when they do that and they won't move over either. Behavior like that doesn't get mentioned when they complain about the way drivers treat them. What a surprise......
      grannycrtb
      • 2 Years Ago
      I lived in a city where bicyclists were numerous. I saw more instances of motorists who ignored the rights of bicyclists and the laws intended to protect them than I did of bicyclists who ignored the rights of motorists. Regardless of whether your mode of transportation has two wheels or four, be respectful and mindful of the safety of others.
        lhoward914
        • 2 Years Ago
        @grannycrtb
        It has been found that 80 percent of the altercations are caused by the bicycler.
      • 2 Years Ago
      AOL's link to the story was titled 'Disturbing Road Rage Incident Recorded'...and these jerks wonder why the public has such distrust for the corporate owned media...just lol.
      lynette
      • 2 Years Ago
      Large farm equipment has to have slow moving vehicle signs, even Amish buggies are required to have those signs. They are both significantly larger than a bicycle or a pedestrian-neither of which is required to have any kind of sign or reflective markings. They don't wear clothing that can be seen and they wonder why drivers don't realize they are there until the last minute. Add that to the fact cyclists totally ignore traffic laws and you have a recipe for anger by motorists. Billions of our fuel tax dollars are wasted on bike trails yet these idiots still ride on the road. Make them pay for their own trails or buy licenses for their bicycles to pay for them.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Regardless of what the cyclist say or record, they should not be allowed out on the roadways. The roadways and highways are now so congested with vehicle traffic that getting from point A to point B can be really stressful no matter how early you leave your house. When you add cycle traffic to the mix it can actually become very dangerous trying to avoid hitting a cycle and also avoid a head on collision trying to get around one. Cyclist themselves can be really rude out on the roadways too. You see them run red lights and stop signs all the time but yet they refuse to bear right and let you pass.....bet they don't record themselves doing THAT!
      kerbster11
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bicyclist do not pay vehicle registration fees or gas taxes. The motoring public should not be forced to pay for bike lanes or even have to share the road with cyclists. I have seen too many instances where cars have gone around a slow moving bicyclist only to create a hazard to oncoming cars.
      maryweinstein
      • 2 Years Ago
      It does work both ways. Many of the cyclists I see don't act as though they realize that they too, are responsible for obeying the rules of the road when they ride those bicycles on the road. That means 1) obeying traffic signals, 2) not cutting in front of a vehicle at a stop sign or light, 3) observing all right of way laws..... Yes, we can be on the lookout for bicycles, but they must look out for themselves as well, and realize they are not the only traffic on the road. Same goes for motorcycles.
      SMRTNUP
      • 2 Years Ago
      Even with head / tail lights and running lights burning motorcycles / motorbikes are hard to discern clearly. . . Something that small is not what we're accustomed to looking for normally ! . . . I've ridden many miles on a motorcycle on all types of roads and highways and came close to being killed nearly every time I rode ! . . Cars and trucks will pull out in front of you, . turn left in front of you, . . slam on brakes in front of you, . . turn without signaling in front of you, . . etc., etc., etc. . . . Most folks don't know it but the only contact between a motorcycle and the pavement is two spots, . . about 1 1/2 inch square on each tire. . . and for braking, . . only ONE of those little squares is used to stop the weight of the cycle plus your own weight ! . . . If you're traveling at 55 MPH how long in time and how far in distance would it take for you to come to a complete stop ? . . If you ride a motorcycle, this is something you should practice and become familiar with before going out on any public highway ! . . At least this way you'll know how long you have to live after somebody runs out in front of you and stops ! . . .
      Erin
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am not a cyclist but I think it's simply ridiculous for people to say that cyclists shouldn't be "allowed" on main roads. If you want to live in a communist country, you are more then welcome to pack up your bags and move to such places that feel it's their govermental right to dictate such things. But here in America, there is a little thing callled "freedom" that is kind of nice to have. Unfortunetly, even here in America, we loose more of our freedoms each day with over legislation and from people that are too lazy to deal with things in their own life that they whine to the goverment to make more "laws" about what others can or can't do. . I am not sure that the video really projected road rage toward the cyclists but I am sure that there are drivers that do express this to them and purposely don't move over for them. There is something about getting behind the wheel that makes people feel like they can lash out toward others. I also have seen cyclists not move over for cars , ride next to each other and the likes of that. It's up to both drivers and cyclists to show more curtesy to one another.
        NLeighton
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Erin
        since bikes are a major mode of transportation in most communist countries maybe they should be sent there! At least they could learn how to integrate better on the road if they had to start biking.
      Kelli
      • 2 Years Ago
      Several years back, I was coming home from work. I had to work a later shift, so it was about 9:30-10:00pm at night. I live on top of a gradual hill that stretches over two blocks. I turned onto the street that led to my house, and as soon as I turned I was looking straight at a bike flying right at me...a teenager with dark clothes, no helmut and in the middle of my lane. I instinctively blared my horn and hit the brake. He was able to swerve just in time and a collision was avoided. What really ticked me off that if there had been a collision, I probably would have been the one found at fault.
      bigmac25
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's arrogant cyclists that cause these problems. They need to follow the rules of the road before they expect others to do the same. In the video, it even showed the guy with the glasses and the camera passing to the left within the same lane as a van. Last I knew, bikes needed to stay to the right.
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