Far too many motorists tend to view their trips in five-second increments rather than focusing on their journey as a whole. As such, many drivers are quick to frustration as soon as they find themselves behind a bicyclist. This can cause them to pass bikers as quickly as possible, never mind that they are likely only racing to the next stoplight.
If a driver simply can’t wait and wishes to pass a cyclist, they must do so at a safe distance. Video of a recent incident in Australia underscores this fact. In the video, a group of bicyclists can be seen riding in a designated lane. A car fails to provide one biker with enough distance, clipping him and causing numerous other bikers in the group to tumble. Although it appears everyone escaped serious injury, the incident will nonetheless make most cyclists remember past close calls.
Three feet is the law, and it’s also the minimum
California clarified the law for passing bicycles in 2014. The law states that passing vehicles must give bikers at least three feet of space when going around them. The key words are, “at least.” If possible, a driver should give bicyclists the entire lane when making a passing maneuver. If a motorist can’t give at least three feet of distance, they should wait until it’s possible to do so.
You can do everything right as a bicyclist and still find yourself seriously injured due to another’s negligence. Should you find yourself the victim of an accident, you might wish to discuss your legal options with a skilled professional.