The icesheet between civilisation and the Stone Age is thin. Extremely thin, as Dirk Zedler, member of the TOUR team and sworn bicycle expert, can report from his experience in court: "In the past years I’ve experienced several cases, where a bagatelle turned out in the most serious injuries, because car drivers freaked out," states Zedler. One of these had made a group of racing cyclists wilfully bump into his car by a full braking, because he had seen the finger. "After a wrangling due to non-use of a cycle lane another one had used his car to roll over a cyclist from the rear. The most unbelievable things happen there!"
What Zedler experiences in such particular cases could be due to a climate change on the roads which not only concerns cyclists. The general association of Germany’s insurance industry (GDV) assumes that one third of the road deaths is related to aggressive driving. Siegfried Brockmann, head of their accident research, found out that the typical and frequent aggressive offender has a "rather weak personality with inferior self-control who wants to defend his territory". These were a problem throughout society, but with their car they had a dangerous arm in traffic. As a matter of fact these "weak personalities" are also among cyclists – with the difference that their means of transport is clearly less dangerous.
Author: Jörg Spaniol
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