Max Draitser - Southern California Bicycle Attorneys

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If you almost get hit, do not confront the driver

Every cyclist has been there at some point: A driver nearly hits you. Maybe they pull out of a driveway as you’re going by on the street. Maybe you come around a corner, and they turn left in front of you. Maybe they just drift into the bike lane, distracted by their phone.

Regardless of how it happens, you feel like they’re not being careful enough with your life. After all, you know all too well how vulnerable you are. Their irresponsible behavior could put you in the hospital — or worse.

But now what do you do? Many cyclists try to catch up to the driver at the next stoplight. They want to yell at them, set them straight, make them see that they have to be more careful or someone is going to die.

As tempting as it is, this is not a good solution. Do not escalate an already dangerous situation. All you do is put yourself in more danger. You could cause a traffic backup if they stop to argue. In the worst cases, it turns into road rage, and then you’re at a major disadvantage on a bike when they’re in a car. You want nothing to do with an angry driver, and that means keeping your own emotions in check.

The way you feel is valid. You were in danger, and that isn’t fair to you. You do not deserve to be treated that way. But do not let the way you feel make the whole thing worse.

Of course, if you do get hit, you may be able to take legal action to seek compensation.