I have plenty of near-miss incidents. Most of the time I just awkwardly cycling along with the 'near-miss' driver* (urban, so plenty of traffic lights). And it truly feels awkward!

This time I tried to approach the driver, just to say if he/she ok. The problem with near-miss is that I am usually shaken, for obvious reason. I believe the driver would feel the same. So I thought it would be best for both to stop and talked about it, make sure that both of us is OK to continue the journey, rather than keep thinking about the incident.

One time, the male yells at me I shouldn't be on the road, albeit he was in the wrong?? Another time, the female driver bursts into tears saying sorry??

Is approaching driver after near-miss is a bad idea??

*'Near-miss' drivers in my area are usually considerate, but they are human and prone to making mistakes. If he/she is inconsiderate, I would just shrug it off. This question is not about angry driver at all.

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    It's tricky. In most cases the driver will zoom away as soon as they see you are unharmed (if not before). Sometimes they may stop. Then you have a decision: Did they stop because they want to see if you're OK, did they stop because the incident "shook them up", or did they stop because they want to confront you as being an "idiot" for exercising your rights to be on the road. For the first two cases it's reasonable to stop and talk with the driver, but if you sense that it's the third case (I can't help you tell how) then get away as quickly as you can. – Daniel R Hicks Jan 11 '16 at 20:24
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    As you say yourself, different people will give you totally opposite reactions, so I don't think you can adopt a "one size fits all" approach. Is there maybe another SE community where this question would sit better? After all, the car/bike/collision things are mere details, you're actually asking about how to deal with human nature. I'm just kinda thinking out loud here, you almost want a Psychology.SE – PeteH Jan 11 '16 at 20:35
  • I just give them an open hand up shrug "come on man". Reflect on what you could have done differently to avoid the near miss altogether. Against a car you are going to lose pretty much every time even if they were in the wrong. – paparazzo Jan 11 '16 at 20:43
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    Think of the outcomes of approaching the driver - what is your 'end game' - what do you want from them, and if you don't get it, was it worth it. Unless you are offering an apology, or a friendly wave or smile to show no hard feelings, it best to let it go as you are then asking something from them you may not get. – mattnz Jan 11 '16 at 20:59
  • In the cases you're talking about, is there reason to believe the "near miss" is deliberate? – BSO rider Jan 11 '16 at 23:09

On the whole I think it is best to not approach drivers when out cycling. Sometimes a 'near miss' is unintentional, sometimes it is due to carelessness and sometimes it might be intentional. The trouble is, from a cyclist point of view it is often hard to tell which it was.

When approaching a driver after an incident it is difficult for the situation to not become confrontational. In my experience it is therefore safest to try to remain calm and just get on with your bike ride. Approaching drivers after an incident has never resulted in me coming away from the incident feeling better, and has never improved my enjoyment of the bike ride. Generally incidents result from something outwith my control, and I find it best to just forget it and get back to enjoying riding my bike

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    The ONLY good interactions I have had after an accident have been with police present. Getting the driver ticketed is always worth it. Anything else is a waste of time in my opinion. – Deleted User Jan 12 '16 at 17:14
  • you have a grudge against driver? @SuspendedUser? :O – Nhân Lê Jan 12 '16 at 23:52

I find you are better off letting them approach you (if they want to). Most people are emotional enough after a near miss that a reasonable approach will not accomplish you anything. By that, I mean if a driver decides to blame you and is pissed, you are not likely to make them less angry. If they feel guilty and concerned (as they should) you may make them feel slightly better, but experiencing the guilt and concern will likely make them more cautious in the future, so it's fine.

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