Summary: The best way to handle aggressive motorists is to prioritise your safety and keep cool and carry on. You could also do what they least expect and smile, wave or blow a kiss. This keeps you safe and disarms the motorist.
cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious
1. Aggressive motorists are not worth getting into conflicts with
- The type of motorist who yells abuse, passes too close or has a problem with cyclists can be dangerous to respond to and is unlikely to learn anything from an aggressive response.
- Often such motorists are looking for a reaction and to disrupt your right to be on the road in peace. If you stop to argue or the situation escalates you are playing their game but in an unfair fight. Such motorists can and have injured cyclists with their vehicles or in fights. You win by carrying on and ignoring them.
2. Report dangerous drivers to police using their licence plates
Most countries allow you to report licence plates of dangerous or threatening drivers to the police. While this often has little immediate effect, the reports do build up a profile of the most dangerous drivers over time. See: Victoria Police - Crime Stoppers Reporting
3. Use creative, "zen" ways to defuse aggression and give drivers pause for thought
Check out the awesome comic at the following link for creative ideas on how to respond to aggressive motorists in ways that disarm them and may even make them think: The System 472: Road Sage
Full comic link...