Why do drivers hate cyclists? To be honest, it is pretty hard to explain. Usually, when you ask one, the top answers may have something to do with cyclists’ behavior, like cyclists run red lights. However, it that really true? Or it is the driver that makes these accusations. Overall, the cyclist versus driver debate is a classic example of in-groups versus out-groups. For the “us” and “them”, it is hard to say who is right. Therefore, let us figure out together why do car drivers hate cyclists so much and see if their reasons do make any sense.
1.Cyclists always break the law
Tara Goddard at Portland State University has studied the attitudes of drivers toward cyclists, and they found that drivers’ attitudes matter a lot in the interaction between bicycles and vehicles. When asked about people who drive often, 67% of drivers believed that most drivers follow the rules of the road, while only 34% believed that most cyclists follow the rules of the road. However, on the contrary, for those who bicyccyclists brake the lawle some of the time, 59% believe most drivers follow the rules of the road and 45% respond that most cyclists follow the rules of the road. Therefore, it means that both drivers and cyclists find that lots of people don’t follow the rules of the road. Drivers consider that cyclists are unpredictable in their behavior, which leads to their negative attitudes about cyclists. But while drivers keep saying that “I cannot respect cyclists because they ignore stop signs” or “cyclists don’t seem to understand the rules of the road.” How about cars? The Society of Automotive Engineers concluded that US drivers use their turn signals just half the time when changing lanes, and only a quarter of the time when turning improperly, which could be responsible for as many as two million accidents annually. And that 14-to-36 percent compliance rate for bikers? It is a little offset by the fact that New York City drivers collectively run 1.23 million red lights per day. Thus, actually, nobody is that great not breaking the law.
2.Roads are designed for cars
For many drivers, when they see cyclists ride their bikes freely on the road, they will get angry. They firmly hold the idea that it is cyclists that block their way to some extent. In this case, they will roads are designed for carsclaim roads are designed for cars and drivers. Does this reason make any sense? Roads have been around for many thousands of years. And for much that time, they have carried a wide variety of things: feet, carts, horses, wagons, streetcars, buses, bikes, and automobiles. It is only in the last six or seven decades that we have decided cars should get priority. Roads are designed to service us, nowadays, roads can carry whatever types of traffic we feel are useful and provide for safe and convenient passage of those different modes.
We must admit that driving is a moral exercise when you share the road with other drivers, there are some rules you have to keep in mind otherwise you will be punished. That is why everyone behind the wheel must go through training to pass a test to give them the privilege of using the roads with a car, which is for the sake of their as well as others safety. However, it is much easier for a cyclist to get the same privilege as drivers to use the roads, what they have to do is to learn how to balance on tow wheels and buy a bike. For this reason, drivers may think unfair, thus dislike the cyclists.
the war between cars and bikes
Believe it or not, drivers to some extent are afraid of cyclists. Although drivers in the car are much safer for the protection of cars, they really don’t know what and how to do with cyclists for they are obviously vulnerable but are willing to act with willful disregard for their own safety. Therefore, drivers actually are scared that they may hurt the cyclists remissly for their protection is far enough. Fear, oftentimes, will manifest as anger.
Generally speaking, to the average driver, they tend to consider anything traveling slowly than them as an obstacle which is hard to cope which. Physically and mentally. The first direct reason is that most drivers never ride bicycles, so they don’t empathize. And drivers and cycliststhe other reason is a matter of competence. Most drivers simply lack the skill to safe and legally negotiate a cyclist(or any other obstruction for that matter!). “I have lived 3 years in American now, and I have still yet to see a driver correctly pass a bike that is in their lane. The skill involves checking for other traffic, signaling the lane change(or the movement to the left), passing at a safe distance, and returning to the lane. This something poorly taught in Drivers’ ED, and never enforced by cops(who are equally ignorant of the correct procedure).” A Facebook user said.
6.Cyclists are dangerous
The CDC notes that though only 1% of trips are made by bike in the US, cyclists face a higher risk of cash-related injuries than drivers. Around 700 people on the bikes are killed a year on the road, and cyclists occasionally hit and injure or kill pedestrians. Thus many drivers say that bikers are reckless, with an utter disregard for their own safety and the safety of others. “we believe most cyclists are self-centered, arrogant, slow, annoying idiots who constantly get in the way with no regard to anyone else. So we generally have them, even more than we hate caravans.” A Facebook user who has turned to be a driver said.
7.There is not enough room for bike lanes without causing gridlock
Driving in the US is relatively cheap and convenient. Gas taxes are low, the roads have been designed with speeding in mind, and highways connect distant places. Therefore, for most drivers, they bike lanefear that this system may change because of cycling. After all, if cycling prevails, more bike lane will be needed, which means that more traffic lane will be removed, which will reduce the capacity of the road and clog things up for drivers. Thus, it is no surprising that drivers hate cyclists so much for protecting their privilege.
8.Cyclists just want everyone to stop driving
In recent years, for the prevail of environmentally friendly thought. It has been a fashion for people to say “coerce people out of their cars.” If that’s the case, then why are nearly all Americans still driving to work? Cars are great, they are convenient, they shrink distances, they get people to exactly where they want to go. But they are noisy, polluting, and deadly. Therefore, most cycling advocates would tell you that driving a car shouldn’t be the default option for every outgoing. By some estimates, something like 40 to 70 percent of car trips is under tow miles, a distance that could easily be covered by biking or frequent transit. So most cyclists will advocate people to get out of cars and start the cycle. Drivers hate that.
9.Drivers pay for roads so they should get priority
As a matter of fact, there is a misconception among drivers, but they never doubt it. Most drivers believe that their gas taxes have covered all of the cost of roads and highways. Therefore, they are the only ones who have right to use the roads and cyclists are using the roads without paying anything. So they hate cyclists. However, I have to say, it is completely wrong. Since the interstate system was implemented in 1947, US spending on highways has exceeded the amount collected from fuel and vehicle fees by more than $600 billion. Where has the rest of that come from? Mostly bonds, property taxes, and the general fun. So even if you do not drive, you are paying for highways and roads.
drivers hate cyclists
10.Cycling is a fad
Sure, cycling in many major US cities has tripled since 1990 and even increased significantly in smaller and mid-size cities. But how we know it will last? What happens if we redesign our streets only to find that all the bikers disappeared? Therefore, for most drivers, they believe that cars will always be the must in people’s daily lives and bikes are just a temporary fashion. So they never think about cyclists seriously, sometimes, they even think cyclists are annoying.