Are people a little more polite now?

Juliansou

Active Member
Location
Essex
Purely anecdotal but I’ve noticed a consistent and significant change of behaviour on the roads.
just to contextualise, I’m a firm believer that poor driving needs to be challenged where appropriate, but considerate driving also needs to be recognised too; my personal experience is overwhelmingly positive. I tend to make a point of a wave or thumbs up if a driver waits patiently for a few seconds behind me and gives me plenty of room when passing. I’ve noticed (since lockdown) that this is now being returned with a wave/thumbs up in the rear view & often a blip of the hazards (lorry drivers tend to give a couple of toots when they’ve passed).
So what’s happening???? More drivers also cyclists perhaps, or people just being a bit nicer to each other?
 

Badger_Boom

Well-Known Member
Location
York
I’d like to think so, but away from the roads a lot of people see to have emerged from lockdown even ruder than they probably were before.
 

Lovacott

Well-Known Member
I tend to make a point of a wave or thumbs up if a driver waits patiently for a few seconds behind me and gives me plenty of room when passing. I’ve noticed (since lockdown) that this is now being returned with a wave/thumbs up in the rear view & often a blip of the hazards (lorry drivers tend to give a couple of toots when they’ve passed).
The majority of my commute is on single track country lanes and I use a bar end mirror to monitor if anything is coming up behind me.

If I see a car (or tractor) behind, I find the nearest place to pull in and wave the vehicle past. Most of the time, I get a beep or a flash of tail lights as thanks. When I get back into the town where I live, it's a different story. The roads are jammed up with commuter cars in the height of the rush hour and some seem to resent the fact that I can nip past a line of a dozen stationary cars and take up pole position at the lights.

I've also had to listen to some pretty bad stuff at work. Mainly myths about all cyclists ignoring all road rules and acting like they own the place. Everyone seems to know someone who's had their car written off by a careless cyclist (not sure how you do that?). I'd say about 50% of the people I work with are supportive and the other 50% want cyclists banned from the road because they hold up traffic, kill thousands and don't pay road tax.
 

I like Skol

Hold my beer and watch this....
No, quite the opposite in fact. Since Covid kicked off there was the initial lull in traffic levels but this was all to soon replaced by a surge of impatient, intolerant and aggressive poor driving. At first people just seemed to be driving around in a daze, distracted by the Covid hysteria and making silly mistakes, but then a new level of selfishness crept in and drivers now just don't appear to care about anyone except themselves. Speeds, close passes and abuse has all increased.

It's rubbish :sad:
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
@Juliansou yes I would completely agree with you and go further. In Lancashire I find drivers' attitude to cyclists improving all the time.

I and many riders I know do all we can to encourage this with waves, smiles and thumbs up or even a verbal thank you when we encounter good behaviour. I would estimate 95% of drivers smile at this or raise a hand. We also make a point of acknowledging walkers and thanking those who step back for us.

In my experience the relationship between cyclists and other road users of all types has improved significantly in the last 4-5 years.

I don't ride in an urban environment, well very rarely, and yes do encounter utter dickheads but friendliness is by far the more notable attitude.
 

Lovacott

Well-Known Member
At first people just seemed to be driving around in a daze, distracted by the Covid hysteria and making silly mistakes, but then a new level of selfishness crept in and drivers now just don't appear to care about anyone except themselves. Speeds, close passes and abuse has all increased.
It's rubbish :sad:
The roads were empty at the start and I'd say they've only been anything like they were before in the last three or four weeks.

Those who worked through at the start, got used to commuting in their cars in record times. My theory is that they got so used to quick commutes, they are not leaving enough time now to get to where they want to be (impatience is a side effect of poor time management).

The kids go back to school next week so it will be busier than ever during rush hour and things will only get worse.

Also, there is some growing resentment amongst the car commuting lot towards cyclists and the breaks they have been getting over the last six months (promises of cycle lanes, £50 vouchers etc.).

If you read recent newspaper comments (Mail Online etc), you will soon discover that "lycra luvvies" don't pay road tax, hog the roads, slow everybody down, ignore road rules, scare children and old people on pavements and kill thousands every year. No wonder they hate us. :smile:
 
Location
London
Part time lancashire rider here - couple of weeks ago did lots of lancs riding - drivers generally excellent - lost count of number of drivers holding back etc etc. Was particularly struck by the number of oncoming drivers who stopped to let me through when one might have thought there was room for us both to pass. Didn't want to alarm me I suppose.

One shocking piece of roadcraft.

On a narrow road round Pendle one young bloke overtook me closely with no toot/noise/indication or anything.

On the inside.

When I caught him he told me I was in the middle of the road.

He was a cyclist.

Though not worthy of the name.

can't really comment on the covid angle but things do seem to be improving.
 
Location
London
@Blue Hills an interesting post. Glad to read a visitor to the area has the same experience as it confirms what I and friends are finding.

It's easy to get a rose-tinted view so yours as a visitor, I think that hasnt always been the case, is especially valuable.

I like to think as cyclists with a friendly approach we are contributing to the improvement.
yes - important that we too are friendly/considerate - can't understand folk who aren't - small polite exchanges during the day pump good stuff into the blood I am sure.
The cyclist i encountered shouldn't be on the road in/on anything - he did feel the need to tell me during our angry exchange* that he had two BMWs though - curiously said he didn't drive them - maybe he had chauffeurs - i suspect they were daddy's.


* took a while to initiate this - for apart from me puffing up a big hill with two panniers to catch him, the nit was also wearing headphones.
by the by paul, I am a lancastrian.
 

wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
I think it remains subjective and variable but maybe a bit better overall... many seem to give me a wide berth and I've had some positive interactions with drivers, however by the same token I've had many close-passes and seem to have been cut up a lot recently (usually in a more inconsiderate than outright dangerous way).

I've also noticed a lot more traffic on the roads recently so I think we're rapidly returning to the status-quo and very much doubt that in say a year's time we'll have much tangible positive change to show for the great pandemic of 2020. IMO it takes a hell of a lot to change people's behaviour and most will just default to the selfish, consumptive, wasteful path of least resistance in daily life. I think things will get worse over the winter with the weather curtailing wholesome outdoor activities and the financial fallout really starting to bite.

I predict we're heading at full throttle back to planet peanut tbh.. :rolleyes:
 

Johnno260

Veteran
Location
East Sussex
Mixed bag at the moment, some are very courteous and like you said a blip of the hazards etc if you thank them, I think what over shadows it is the idiots are more agressive.

Certainly where I live the drivers who used the roads as a race track still do this even though the roads are almost back to normal, so it creates quite a nasty situation and the local council will do nothing as there hasn’t been a nasty accident yet or a death...

Some seem oblivious it could be a combination of stress and lack of driving, I had a neighbour overtake me and immediately turn left, I managed to avoid him as I had to turn into the drive he was stopping in, I got an oh sorry didn’t see you there? like what? You just overtook me.

Eastbourne I was indicating right at a roundabout in a car then I indicated left to exit the roundabout and someone tried to undertake me, then followed me into the car park to have a go, I said you entered the roundabout didn’t indicate and where in the wrong lane? And it’s my mistake? they got told to jog on and read the Highway Code.
 
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