Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Road-raging against cyclists

Just read an article in the LA Times about a creepy road-rage incident. Short version: a guy speeding on a mountain road got irritated with a pair of cyclists (who were, incidentally, following the rules of the road). He pulled in front of them, cut them off, and slammed on his brakes. Both cyclists hit the car; one went through the rear windshield. The less-injured guy needs surgery and will be out of work for months. The windshield guy lost his front teeth and has 90 stitches in his face, plus assorted other injuries. The driver was arrested, and the police are treating it as vehicular assault instead of as a traffic accident. A car and driver matching the same description ran two other cyclists off the same road recently; it's unknown if police will be able to connect the two. Interestingly, the LA Times didn't pick up the story until two days after it was first reported on LAist.

This kind of story makes me a bit nervous. I've seen scary drivers, but mostly because they were radically inattentive or distracted. I haven't yet had an encounter with a malicious driver, and I hope I don't. As a rule, if a guy in a truck decides to hurt you, you get hurt. There's not much you can do about it. My closest call was with a speeding idiot at night, driving without his lights, which is so far into dangerous that it probably counts as malicious. Otherwise, my rides are pretty uneventful. I'm hoping I never need 90 stitches in my head after a ride....

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