Sunday, September 20, 2009

A completely unscientific observation

The other day I saw an Allstate insurance advertisement on the back of a magazine. It encouraged people to lobby their state legislature to further restrict teen driving. I really don't know what the research on this issue says, but the ad got me thinking about my experiences with teen drivers while cycling.

Then it occurred to me that I can't remember the last time I encountered a teen who purposely did something aggressive toward me while cycling. Sure, I'd say that teens are the most likely group of drivers to shout something harmless out of their window ("nice spandex," "hey Lance," etc.). But, in my experiences, they are not the ones who tailgate, purposely buzz, or shout profanities and tell me to "get the fuck off the road." Those acts are usually reserved for the more mature and responsible set of drivers between the ages of, I'd say, 25 and 65.

I'm curious if others have this same experience, or if I am an exception to the norm.

I would be encouraged if others feel the same way. That would mean a better world for cyclists in the future, which would not surprise me. There are all sorts of hateful and vile attitudes that decrease with every new generation -- racism, sexism, intolerance of gay people.

Let's hope that we can add road rage toward cyclists to this list.


Andrew Miller said...

I second this! I used to work at Blossom and there worst concerts to work were middle age people, while the nicest, easiest crowds where 16-25 year olds.

kevel88 said...

Yeah, you got to watch out for the mom's in their SUV's and the jacked up pick-ups. But on the other hand my first teenager had 4 accidents in the first year. . . Could it have something to do with ADD?

ds said...

Well, I never said that teens are better drivers. I just think that the drivers who are are openly hostile to cyclists tend to be older. Maybe that is just a result of the fact that the majority of drivers are not teens.

Anonymous said...

my now-driving daughter has an almost obsessive degree of courtesy toward cyclists. Must be something about all those years of me complaining.

but yeah, I tend to agree on young drivers in general. they do more stupid things (like the girl who almost drove into oncoming traffic, talking on her cell phone ... but hey, she was giving me half the lane!), but they don't seem to be so overtly aggressive toward cyclists.