What's the Basis for Anti-Cycling Rage?

Tom Stafford opines on the reasons why cyclists enrage car drivers. He argues that "motorists hate cyclists because they think they offend the moral order."

"Something about cyclists seems to provoke fury in other road users," says Stafford. "If you doubt this, try a search for the word "cyclist" on Twitter. As I write this one of the latest tweets is this: "Had enough of cyclists today! Just wanna ram them with my car." This kind of sentiment would get people locked up if directed against an ethnic minority or religion, but it seems to be fair game, in many people's minds, when directed against cyclists. Why all the rage?"

"Driving is a very moral activity – there are rules of the road, both legal and informal, and there are good and bad drivers....Then along come cyclists, innocently following what they see are the rules of the road, but doing things that drivers aren't allowed to: overtaking queues of cars, moving at well below the speed limit or undertaking on the inside."

"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."

Full Story: The psychology of why cyclists enrage car drivers

Comments

Comments

Too many false assumptions

Cycling in Germany, Holland, Austria, France, and Switzerland I felt no such rage from motorists. Quite the opposite. Why is that?

Maybe it's time for old Tom Stafford to get off the island.

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