Cyclists face a lot of risks on the road, especially when drivers do not respect them and take intentional actions to cause accidents or put them at risk. Drivers know that they're not very likely to get injured in a car vs. bike crash, and it makes them act aggressively and dangerously.
Of course, cyclists have a very high chance of suffering serious injuries or even getting killed in these collisions. To help you understand how wrecks happen, so that you may be able to avoid them, here are a few dangerous behaviors that drivers engage in from time to time:
- Cutting off the cyclist, either because they do not see the bike or because they are in a hurry.
- Brake-checking a bike, perhaps because they are frustrated with the bike's slower speed when compared to the cars around it.
- Swerving toward a cyclist, which is often meant as a retaliation for some imagined slight -- even when the cyclist did nothing wrong.
- Executing the "punishment pass" and driving far too close to the bike, which may also be a retaliation designed to scare the cyclist.
- Engaging in road rage with the cyclist and driving dangerously and aggressively near them.
A big part of the problem is that drivers often see cyclists as people who are competing for the road, rather than seeing them as people they need to share the road with. This perception leads to a "rivalry" and can make them act dangerously and take unneeded risks.
If a driver causes an accident that injures you, make sure you know how to seek financial compensation for your costs.