Motorists who merge in front of us with out signaling. Motorists who dart out in front of us as we are approaching. Every Motorist has done it and in return they have received an abrupt HONK! or a string of EXPLETIVES!
When we see this it irks us and then it is over and we mentally adjust and move on. We don’t start looking at every motorist around us as a potential conflict. No, We think “That ONE Jerk!” that one is the one who broke our enjoyment of the road. Then we dismiss them from our minds.
But when this happens to us and it is done by a pedestrian or “Other” road user something different happens. We fall back on our primal instincts and mentally create an “Us V. Them” attitude.
Those Scofflaw Pedestrians! Just stepped right out in front of us. Then we start scanning for another one. Because where there is one, there is likely another. We start thinking about how they shouldn’t do that. How they are going to get themselves killed. Our blood boils and we forget that just like the Scofflaw Motorist not every Pedestrian is a Scofflaw.
Those Scofflaw Cyclists! They are on the road! They are in the lane! They are running a red light! Wait a second…. Back up. Only one of those is a Scofflaw action.
Did you see where your mind went?
A lot of this is about perspective. The idea that if anything is on the road that is not an Automobile it is just WRONG to be there.
That is the mentality we have to guard ourselves from.
Pedestrians are king of the road. They are the most vulnerable road user and therefore require the most protection.
When you get into your car, remember that it is a transportation tool. Nothing more and nothing less. Use it wisely. The same holds true for your Bicycle. It, like an automobile, is a tool for transportation.
Adjust your mental gears and remember that just like Motorists, not all Pedestrians and Cyclists are Scofflaws.
When it comes to other road users, We have our pet peeves too.