Educating drivers - what works for you?

Page may contain affiliate links. Please see terms for details.


Rider of Seolferwulf
South London
We all know well the arrogant and angry motorist we sometimes come across, the sort that's pink with rage because (s)he's been delayed for a few seconds by a lower-order cyclist who's dared to use the road. This sort will probably never be educated.

On the other hand, what about those incidents where you've received a positive reaction from drivers (even if eventually)? I'd like this topic to be about the situations and wording or other doings that worked in getting the driver to admit their mistake, and ended in a positive incident for you.

I have a few examples, but before I post them, I'd like to hear from you!
I do seem to get a positive reaction a lot of the time and it's rare I get a negative reaction.Still my road behavior has changed and im much calmer than I used to be.Except on bad days I guess.Interested in your examples as I can't think of any at the moment.
I've had a hard enough time convincing family and friends that not all cyclists are RLJing, pavement cycling, non light using idiots, never mind the guy in the car that's just nearly squished you. In my experience driver's are either apologetic or refuse to even listen to the fact that they might be even slightly in the wrong.


good positioning, good signals and observation and a thumbs up to drivers that drive well and with me

and I never jump lights

hardly anyway, the very odd slightly late one if I'm going quick
I've had good responses when I have asked:

Magnatom: Have you passed your driving test?
Driver: Yes......
Magnatom: Would you have done that on your test?
Driver: Errrrr, mumble mumble..

I don't always remember to use it though.

I do sometimes hand out the advanced drivers leaflet as well! ;)


Rider of Seolferwulf
South London
Chaps, seriously, I'm after details of specific incidents where a particular approach worked. Using the power of one this kind of thing can make a dramatic difference over time, either way.
Twenty Inch said:
I smash wing mirrors off and then jump red lights to get away from the angry driver.

Works for me.

On the pavement I hope with your lights off in 'stealth' mode


Über Member
I can't think of any incidents where a car driver has demonstrated anything positive. Unless you can call not knocking me off a positive encounter. There again, most of my riding is done during rush hour and I am normally in a hurry just like everyone else. The ones that I notice are the peanuts who put me in danger either deliberately or through incompetence.



I get cars following me at a safe distance until there's enough room to pass safely

People moving slightly to let me past in traffic as I arrive behind them, I like that a lot because it shows they're checking for cyclists

cars and especially trucks delaying pulling away for a few seconds to let me get a safe distance ahead of them and out of the primary position in the ASL

people waiting at junctions making eye contact to let me know that they've seen me and are waiting (that one doesn't happen anything like enough)

all those things get a nod or a thumb or even a wave when it happens

At least some of those drivers will be seeing me again, I'm not going to invite them round for dinner but a relationship of some sort of amiability is a good thing to try and create


New Member
I always try to thank courtesy from other road users (either when driving or cycling or as pedestrian), if safe to do so, as I'm of the opinion that the carrot works better than the stick more often than not. It costs naught to give a 'thank you' wave to the other road user who has just shown me a bit of courtesy in some way.

That's not to say that there's the odd occasion where reminding a driver the only place he has a d**k is growing out of the top of his head is appropriate...
OK seriously -

I try to wave or acknowledge considerate driving.

I have been known to engage drivers of classic cars in conversations, or at least a thumbs-up, at the traffic lights.

I behave predictably and sensibly, trying to minimise conflict where possible by holding good primary.

I was once cut up by WVM at the lights. At the next lights I knocked on his window and watched him bristle as he would it down. He was getting ready for verbal. I just said "That was really scary you know". He apologised, but only (I think) because his ten-yr-old son was in the cab with him.


Only once - a car overtook me with literally inches to spare. I caught up and signalled to wind the window down, "mate, you need to give me more room when overtaking - I shoot myself! Seriously, that was really dangerous" - driver was foreign but his English was good and he was very apologetic.

That's it. I get far more grief now I've moved from Birmingham to Bristol, and the amount of furious gesturing just tells me that I'd be onto a lost cause so I don't even bother trying now.
Top Bottom