Max Draitser - Southern California Bicycle Attorneys

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Drivers think it’s ‘annoying’ to pass bikes safely

Drivers are supposed to share the road with cyclists, and one of the most crucial issues is when a car has to pass a bike. At a time like that, drivers must give cyclists enough of a buffer zone to prevent an accident.

How big should that zone be? A law passed half of a decade ago says that drivers should keep three feet between their cars and the bikes. It’s not an incredible amount, but it helps to prevent accidents and keep cyclists safe. It seems like a small thing to do to save lives.

Unfortunately, studies regarding these types of laws have shown that roughly 50% of drivers actually follow the law. Many — about a third, in one study — actually ignore the rules. They don’t care about giving cyclists enough space.

You may be thinking that these drivers probably have a serious reason to take such action. After all, they’re breaking the law. They’re risking life-changing injuries or even death. Surely, something significant must drive them to that, right?

Not really. Many of them said that moving over to a safe distance was “annoying.” That’s why they didn’t do it. They were annoyed. That’s it.

If you ride a bike frequently, you’re probably not shocked. You’ve seen the way that many drivers treat cyclists. At the same time, though, it is shocking that drivers would intentionally risk someone else’s life just to avoid something they thought was annoying. Isn’t life worth more than that?

It certainly is. If you get injured in an accident or lose a loved one, you need to know how to seek financial compensation.