Anger is often the first response to a near miss on the road but there are better ways to hold drivers to account
Charles Graham-DixonMon 29 Jan 2018 07.00 GMT
Not long ago, while riding down Archway Road in north London, I confronted a truck driver who pulled out without warning. The road is a long steep hill where bikes and cars gather decent speed if traffic is minimal. I was riding at just over 20mph, but flowing with traffic in my lane and within the speed limit. When the truck pulled out only metres ahead, I only just had time to brake, narrowly avoiding a collision and fortunate that the cars behind had not piled into me.
Adrenaline and anger flooded my system. I asked the driver why he made this dangerous move. He contemptuously said he did not see me and that I was going too fast anyway. This suggested a rational discussion was unlikely, and my anger rose. I swore at the driver, who responded by challenging me to fight in the middle of the road. I turned down his invitation; the prospect of carefully placing my bike to one side and trading blows in the middle of the street while cars behind beeped wasn’t tempting.
As I rode off shaking my head, anger remained. Why should I be endangered by someone else’s stupidity and selfishness and not question it? It felt like an injustice. But there was another emotion – regret. I had sworn, allowed things to escalate and became stressed for the rest of the day.