Understanding the tension between cyclists and motorists

On Behalf of | Dec 10, 2021 | bicycle accidents |

One reason for accidents between cyclists and motorists is that there seems to be an inherent tension between the two groups, at least in many cases. You will find plenty of motorists who complain about cyclists, along with cyclists who are not shy about the fact that they have a certain amount of disdain for drivers. 

In some cases, this tension can lead to accidents as a situation escalates. For instance, a driver may pass too closely to a cyclist and run them off the road, and the main motivation for that close pass may have been that they are frustrated by getting caught behind slower cyclists repeatedly on a certain stretch of road. It’s nothing that the individual cyclist did, but it still influences the driver’s decision and contributes to this type of negligent driving. 

Why does this tension exist? 

From the cyclist’s side, it’s easy to understand why this tension exists. They feel in danger. A cyclist is very aware that being hit by a driver means they’re highly likely to suffer serious injuries, whereas the driver is probably going to be fine. 

On the other side, the big issue is often speed. Drivers do not like to share the road because they’re always in a hurry and they want to go as fast as possible. A cyclist is almost always moving slower than the normal speed of traffic, so the driver feels impeded. 

Of course, cyclists have the same right to the road that drivers do, and it’s unfair for drivers to be reckless or refuse to slow down to keep cyclists safe. But it does happen, and many riders are seriously injured. If this happens to you, make sure that you know how to seek financial compensation for your medical bills and other costs.