Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Eastern USA
Thanked 15 Times in 15 Posts
I think I saw a very similar topic on /r/motorcycles recently. I think one of the biggest issues is responsibility. People see the car as an extension of themselves and if they do not take the act of driving seriously at all. Even the prospect of killing someone doesn't bother them. I was tailgated last week by a woman that pulled out on me, so incensed she was I managed to get out of the way and stay ahead. There was a car two lengths in front of me. She wasn't going anywhere, it was just the fact I was on a bike.
Everyone thinks their home's drivers are the worst, and sometimes there's some truth in it but there's so many factors. I think in the US in many, many places motorcycles are seen as a nuisance or a toy. There's also a little bit of class at play as they're also seen as a working class choice of transport; the idea anyone would choose a bike is anathema. Ever notice how the Audi/BMW/Merc drivers get a certain reputation? It's the same thing. Some of them think they're better than other road users, that the rules don't apply, because they are in a moving status symbol.
I find the US quite restrictive for bikers compared to the UK; most of the rules are geared to cars and people's general stupidity. For instance in Western PA double yellows are almost everywhere, with few exceptions, As a biker I cross them to pass all the time, as it is perfectly possible to make safe passes that would be a little dodgy in a four-wheeler. The irony is that it's not a state law, just a guideline (a 'strong suggestion' as one State Trooper put it). You won't get a ticket for crossing them, but you might if you have an accident in the processs. the only places where you can be booked for an infraction are when there is an actual 'no passing zone' sign. Still, a lot of locals get uppity about it because they don't think you should be passing, because despite the fact they're five under the speed limit don't you dare get in front of them.
I don't know if women are worse, but they can be very snotty. I've seen a woman in a van close a gap so I couldn't get in to a line of traffic. Another turn left in front of me gesticulating angrily that somehow, I had to give way to her.