It’s a fact that cyclists are getting more and more hate from drivers these days. Unfortunately, most of what gets yelled at cyclists in the moments after a near-miss bicycle accident is absolutely, 100% incorrect. Things like…
5. “You should be on the sidewalk, anyway!”
Well, actually… no. According to the law, bicycles are to be operated in the roadway. They don’t belong on the sidewalk, and if you yell this at a cyclist whom you just almost killed or maimed with your car — you’re proving your own ignorance. Cyclists are going to be on the road, because that’s where they get to be. Riding on the sidewalk is illegal. Be okay with that.
4. “I didn’t even see you!”
And why was that? Were you texting? Did you not notice there was a bike lane there? Did you see the bike lane and just choose not to make sure it was clear when you turned? There’s not a lot of excuses for not seeing a cyclist who is riding in the roadway and following the law. If it’s night, they have flashing lights on their bike, so you can’t say that either. The examples drivers always pull out that start with “I see cyclists all the time who…” are usually either anecdotal or false. Don’t tell a cyclist who was doing everything possible to be visible, that you “just didn’t see them” — unless you’re okay with admitting fault.
3. “You don’t belong on the road!”
Again, that’s exactly where they belong. Bikes go on the roadway, and are allowed the full right lane. That’s the law. Just because you almost smacked into a cyclist who was obeying the law, doesn’t mean you get to decide whose road that is. If you were legitimately at fault, saying the cyclist “doesn’t belong there” doesn’t absolve you of that fault. You almost made their kids into orphans, and here you are passing judgement.
2. “You deserve to get hit!”
As horrific as it is to imagine someone saying that, it happens all…the…time. Every cyclist you know, has likely had someone say this to them, and sometimes even “…and die!” is added to the end. Cyclists are human beings who are lawfully operating a vehicle in the place the law says they should. If you have a near miss with a cyclist, remember that you just almost crashed a couple of tons of steel into a human body. This is an awful thing to say, but it happens all the time. You might think you’re cool saying this now, but not so much when you’re facing vehicular manslaughter charges.
1. “What are you getting mad at me for?”
Because you just almost killed them. If you did something like cut a cyclist off in the turn lane, edge them off the road, or pull out of a driveway in front of them — there’s a good chance they were pretty close to meeting their maker. If someone came that close to putting you in the grave, you’d be a little steamed at them too. You were at fault, and if the tables were turned, you’d likely be behaving the same way. While they might say some naughty words and show you certain fingers, which is not a nice thing to do, it’s not helping anything to make it seem like they have no right to be ticked off.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident that wasn’t your fault, or lost a loved one — you have rights. Use our form below to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys who can help you navigate your case.
A highly regarded and well-respected trial lawyer, author and speaker, Reza Torkzadeh is the founder and managing attorney of TorkLaw – a premier plaintiff’s personal injury law firm specializing in complex catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases.
Reza’s performance in and out of the courtroom has earned him several of the industry’s top awards and professional recognitions, and a reputation as an elite litigator. He has earned millions in settlements, verdicts, and judgments for his clients.
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