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Psychopaths on the road

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by jekyll, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. I've just finished reading a book about psychopathy.

    http://snipurl.com/24325 [www_amazon_com]
    It claims about 2% of the adult population are clinically psychopathic, which is an incredibly disturbing figure when you think it through. Most psychopaths aren't serial killers or murderers - they're just people with absolutely no capacity for empathy or conscience. Some end up with criminal records; many just quietly fcuk up the world and people around them without legal consequence.

    As motorcyclists, we're both fairly conspicuous (when they see us, anyway :mad:), and "easy targets" for people who decide to compromise our safety for whatever reason, and when I was weighing up the risk posed to me by psychopaths, I figured the road is the place I'm most likely to meet one. When even normal people get in cars their capacity for empathy and conscience seem to diminish drastically, so psychopaths are probably in their element driving :shock:

    I've read plenty of threads about riders being forced into extremely dangerous situations by drivers who seem not to care in the slightest about our safety. Odds are, some of those drivers have met the clinical definition of psychopath.

    Have you had an encounter with someone who seemed like they would happily and remorselessly have turned you into man-marmalade? Whose cold, dead eyes looked right through you without even seeing a person? Not just an idiot driver, but one who seemed fully aware of what they were doing and totally unconcerned they could have killed you?

    If the 2% figure is even close to being accurate, we meet them every day on the roads - and I'm as certain as I can be without evidence that they're far over-represented in serious accidents. What are the risks to us out there, and is there anything we can do to mitigate them?

    /tinfoil hat

  2. You are assuming a couple of things.

    That psychopaths aren't fearful of consequences (the law) and also of endangering themselves.

    Not that I'd know... my psychiatrist says I'm fine... well after a little "persuading".
  3. This is what happens when you spend so much money on areas like 'the war on terror' whilst funding for mental health, which is already pitiful, is on the decline.

    And yeah, i've come across one of those, i really thought he was trying to kill me. He was trying to 'put me into the wall' (while I was in the cage) but it just happened that the wall was infact a bridge guard railing. I just jammed on the brakes and hung back hoping he wouldn't stop. It was a deadsh!t booner in an XB Falcon, but it was the way he was looking right at me when he did it which scared me.
  4. I always thought that the 2% of road users who weren't blind were actively out to kill me :grin: .

    Yes, I've encountered a few folk over the years who went above and beyond the stupid and/or careless. Dunno what a clinical diagnosis would be though.

    No point stressing though. They've always existed. Only defences that I can see are those that we use against every other road hazard. Observation, vigilance, superior vehicle performance and agility.
  5. I have met one in the cage. He tried to drive me into a power pole, leaving me the choice of hitting the passenger side of his car or the pole. I think as testament to my sanity I elected not to plug his car (Which would have probably killed his passenger) but found option 3 which was some judicious use of the handbrake. (Would have put me at real risk of having the car confiscated under the hoon laws, but saved this pricks passengers life as well as my girlfriends and mine.
  6. I am a psychopath... so the odds are in my favour.
  7. So in your case there's 98% of road users who are idiots and/or trying to get you? :LOL:
  8. There's nothing stopping a psychopath wanting to fit in, much like some with mild autism have to learn emotional responses from trial and error to see what works.
  9. There is a related term - Corporate Psychopathy

    In a large corporation, a psychopath can do quite well because there is an assumed requirement of those who are going to succeed to be without empathy or compassion.

    They may never murder anyone but ruining peoples lives is something they wont lose sleep over. I have worked with a number of people I could easily say fit that definition.
  10. I've come across a few deadbeats in my time.

    Most recently:

    *) Logging truck purposely crossing the center line while on a straight, coming around half-way into my lane and flashing his headlights on high beam trying to dazzle me. The was no excuse. I hadn't overtaken him earlier, never even seen him earlier that day, week, month, or even year, to my knowledge. He obviously just decided to take it upon himself to "scare" some random motorcyclist.

    *) Overtaking a snake of cars. Got caught mid-stream due to the unexpected actions of some cars up ahead and had to get back in. I was on the bike. I pulled into a gap that was about 1.5 car lengths between two cars. Easy as pie. Guy in the car behind me went freaking mental. Accelerated and tried to knock my real wheel out so that I'd be thrown into the oncoming traffic. I saw him just in the nick of time as he swerved to hit me, and swerved and accelerated so that he missed. Blind corners coming up. Car in front of me was towing a boat. I had to ride around the corner with the front wheel practically touching the wheel arch of the boat trailer with my rear wheel level with the rear of the boat to avoid giving the idiot behind me any part of my bike to hit while oncoming traffic was flowing by. Everyone in the oncoming lane was probably thinking I was just another crazy dangerous motorcyclist, when instead I had to ride extremely dangerously and with zero margin for error just to avoid getting taken out by the psychopath behind me. I eventually overtook the boat tower car in a risky and dangerous fashion, but it was far less dangerous than staying where I was with some total nutcatse who was determined to kill me.
  11. Worse one I've had was a guy who came flying up behind me when I was in my cage in the overtaking lane passing an L plater one night. It was raining and crap weather, so was just cruising, this guy ran right up behind me, then when I passed the two cars I'd planned to pass, admittedly not at astronomical speeds, but still prob above the speed limit, I pulled in to let him past. I then came out again behind him to overtake the next car. He had about 4 of those spotlights on the back of his utes rollbar facing backwards which he turned on full ball into my eyes for about 10 seconds.

    Keep in mind it was dark, very wet, and we were both surrounded by cars!!! I could see absolutely nothing for a bit driving along at 90k's with a bend I knew coming up, him in front of me and cars behind. Would have served the prick right if he'd had to slow down and I'd driven up the back on him!!! I take it he didn't appreciate a little mirage sharing his road... Prick!!!
  12. I think your definition of a 'psychopath' is a little simplistic, there's a bit more to it, to be honest. Besides, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're out to get you, and they could certainly fear the repercussions of the law.

    I'm also a little concerned by your diagnostics ... looking at a person's eyes? :shock:

    And for what it's worth it stands to reason that 2% of motorcyclists are also psychopaths .... not sure where that fits into the big scheme of things though. :?
  13. Cool, let's get in my dual cab and go find people with NR licence plate surrounds and show no empathay at them :wink:
  14. Had one last week, was slower than I wanted to be going - so I went to overtake. I saw him looking at me in the mirror and he swerved out into the oncoming lane (where I was overtaking) to cut me off. I knew straight away he was a freakn lunatic so I backed right off.
  15. Dual-cab-what?

    I used to have a dual cab Hilux, 99 non-turbo diesel. It was slow, but perfectly capable of pushing Commodores away from my friends who were learning to ride at the time.
  16. I had a cager line me up and physically swerve their car at me to knock me off when I was a young P plater... I'd love to meet that guy again...

    The other thing to keep a look out for is frustrated drivers who take offence at bikes "queue jumping" and then behave irrationally through anger with a view to "teach them a lesson" ala Flux's scenario.

    To state the obvious - peak hour has a mother lode of frustrated drivers.
  17. Ford Courier petrol. 2001 model. Solid as a tank. I am yet to monster any cars with it but I'm sure it would fair better than most commodes :twisted:
  18. was someone calling for a certified road using psychopath?
  19. Yep. Wanna apply for the job, Joel?
  20. I had a Cabbie swerve at me side on deliberately, if i hadn't swerved out of the way, we would of made contact. He tootled on as if nothing happened and then stopped at the next red, where we resolved the issue.

    I know a guy who was deliberately punted off his bike on the Monash at 100+ k's, the driver stopped because there was witnesses, and then did a runner when phonecalls to the cops were being made.