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Why don’t drivers give bikes enough space?

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Drivers who encounter cyclists often have to overtake them because of the speed difference between the two vehicles. They are supposed to give them enough space – such as 3 feet – to limit accidents. This keeps cyclists safe.

However, many cyclists will attest that drivers don’t give them nearly as much space as they need. Many drivers will push their way through in an unsafe manner, nearly colliding with the cyclists as they do so. This could cause severe injuries to a cyclist who gets hit, so why do drivers do it anyway?

They’re only thinking about cars

Often, the reason is that drivers just have a singular focus. They’re thinking about cars and they view the road as a space for cars and trucks. They honestly don’t think that bicycles should be on the road to begin with, so they find them annoying or frustrating.

This perspective helps drivers justify their unsafe behavior when making a dangerous pass. They simply tell themselves that the cyclist never should have been there to begin with, so it’s not their fault that they put someone in danger. This isn’t true, of course, but the way that drivers perceive cyclists – even if they’re wrong in that perception – does change how they act around them.

They’re in a hurry

Often, the problem is also that drivers are in a hurry. They are rushing to work or to an appointment. If there’s not enough space to pass safely, they don’t want to slow down and drive behind the cyclist until they can make a legal pass. They are thinking about their own schedule, so they will push their way through aggressively.

Unfortunately, drivers hit cyclists every day in the United States. Those who have been hurt or who have lost loved ones need to know about their legal options.