Are you that driver?
I’ve been riding bikes all of my life, sometimes with a child in a bike seat, and even with an infant on my back (horror in the US but normal in The Netherlands), and in the last 15 years on a road bike dressed in the much maligned SPANDEX.
Whenever I ride my bike I feel a relationship – a connection- with people driving cars around me. I ride a bike, and I drive a car too, after all. We’re exhorted to “Share The Road”, but I now realize that drivers are not feeling a relationship with me. I sometimes ride a bike with a basket, wearing street shoes, and sometimes a skirt around town. But very often I’m that spandex clad “cyclist” riding with a streamlined road bike, riding fast for training 50 miles or more, or commuting with a backpack to work about 12 miles away from home. In both scenarios I am not considered a human. If I am injured or killed by a driver, the driver may be absolved.
Aggressive Drivers See Cyclists as ‘Less than Human
A shocking number of people view cyclists as less than human — even likening them to insects — and that those “dehumanizing” attitudes are connected with aggressive driving targeted at people on bikes, according to a new study.
The Australian researchers asked participants about their attitudes toward cyclists — and 31 percent rated cyclists as less than human. The dehumanization was even worse among non-cyclists: 49 percent viewed people who ride a bike as non-human, according to the study published in the journal Transportation Research,
“Studies have shown that dehumanization is associated with increased antisocial behavior and aggression toward a variety of groups, and that it does so by removing normal inhibitions against harming others,” the author Alexa Delbosc, and her team wrote in their summary.
Read about it~