Max Draitser - Southern California Bicycle Attorneys

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Inattentive drivers and boredom

For cyclists, one of the largest dangers is sharing the road with inattentive drivers. People who do not pay enough attention make avoidable errors like drifting onto the shoulder or into a bike lane. They also fail to spot cyclists on the roads around them, as they’re just not paying enough attention to notice smaller vehicles.

While driver distractions often include things like cellphones and passengers, the root of the issue is usually a bit deeper: People do not like to be bored. For many, especially on a daily commute, driving is boring. That’s why they seek out distractions. That’s why they become inattentive drivers.

Now, you may think that people could never get so bored that they would put others at risk and cause accidents, but the statistics paint a completely different picture. On top of that, studies have found that people fear boredom far more than many realize.

For instance, in one study, researchers put people in a room all by themselves. They did not give them anything, save for a simple electric shock device. They then waited to see what they would do. A full 66% of the male participants and 25% of the female participants opted to pick up the device and intentionally shock themselves. They preferred to do that over simply sitting still and being bored.

So, it’s clear that people do not know how to deal with boredom. That leads to cellphone use and other risky behaviors behind the wheel, and cyclists often pay the price. If you get injured, make sure you know how to seek compensation.