There are a lot of specific reasons why cycling accidents happen. Often, you will find that drivers will say they never saw the cyclist until it was too late. They may even blame the cyclist for something like “coming out of nowhere” when the reality is that the cyclist was simply trying to share the road.
But it may be this sharing that is creating the issue. There are those who believe that drivers have an attitude problem, which is that they are simply focused on themselves. This selfish outlook can lead to conflict between the two groups. As one writer put it: “Drivers value their right to drive above other road users’ right to remain alive and uninjured.”
How can we stop these accidents?
Certainly, there are a lot of cases in which drivers are not necessarily acting selfishly, and they are just making mistakes. But their negligent behavior could be said to be selfish in its own right. It may be true that a driver never saw a cyclist before causing an accident, for instance, but the reason is that the driver was not alert and looking for the cyclist. Instead, they were too focused on what they were doing.
This is especially problematic when that driver’s behavior becomes reckless and dangerous. A common example of this is distracted driving. While looking down at a cellphone may technically be the cause of an accident, it could be argued that using a phone in the car is an inherently selfish behavior, and it is that attitude that caused the accident.
The problem is that it’s difficult to change people’s attitudes, even when you change the laws. These types of accidents are going to continue to happen and cyclists who get injured need to know what legal options they have.