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Why Do Drivers Hate Cyclists? It’s Not Because We Behave Badly—Really


Most cyclists aren’t jerks. But drivers tend to single out the few who are—perpetuating the forever war between road users.

CHARLIE SORREL 09.02.16 12:15 PM

Why do drivers hate cyclists? Ask one, and the top answers are most likely to do with our behavior. Cyclists run red lights. We weave through traffic without looking and ride the wrong way down one-way streets.

First, let’s consider the drivers making these accusations. These drivers never use their cellphones while driving, they stick to all speed limits, they stop at all stop signs, and they never park in bike lanes, or turn right across a bike lane without looking, so they’re clearly well placed in the whole glass-house/stone-throwing scenario.

Back to these terrible cyclist. Are we really so bad? The data says that no, we are not only overwhelmingly decent folks, but we’re getting better. Slate’s Jim Saksa, “asshole cyclist,” and “stereotypical Jersey driver,” took a look at some figures from a 2011 report by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and found that average cyclist behavior is improving pretty fast.