I often find that some drivers disregard cyclists right of way, and as a result put cyclists in danger.

For example, when a cyclist takes their right of way, some drivers ignore this and assume the cyclist has no right of way and should swerve to avoid them. Its almost as if they are thinking "vehicles over cyclists in every scenario".

See this animation: https://jsfiddle.net/mdegt3ez/


  • Point A.

    • Cyclist obviously looks over right shoulder (assumes driver has seen this).
    • Does not indicate with right arm, due to keeping both hands on handle bars to turn right safely.
  • Point B

    • Driver sees cyclist turning right.
    • Does not slow down, instead maintains speed/accelerates to around 3ft away from cyclist.

Personally I think the driver should have slowed down as he would for a vehicle turning right. But when we politely exchanged fight worthy words in the middle of the road, he exclaimed "where was your signal to indicate".

Who was right in this particular situation? Did I have right of way, and whose fault would it of been if I got hit?

What can be done by cyclists who are put in danger by careless driving? If you note the number plate, is there a fine for the driver? Do you need video proof?

  • Voted to close. The 'feud' between cyclists and drivers is already well discussed here and elsewhere.
    – mattnz
    Mar 19, 2016 at 22:19
  • If anything this is a question for the legal SO
    – Móż
    Mar 19, 2016 at 22:23
  • 1
    The legality of the issue changes by region anyway. In the US, some states pretty much assume the following vehicle is always at fault. Others do not. However, I think there is a larger principle at stake here, which overrides the auto/cycle feud. I.e. the concept of predictability. Traffic is enabled based on individual participants acting predictably.
    – Mark G B
    Mar 20, 2016 at 0:23
  • I put this on hold, because (1) it seems likely to be more of an argument than a question and answer and (2) there's really not enough information to answer properly. The animation shows the van travelling in a straight line and the cyclist in front of them all the time, such that the cyclist's diagonal movement is irrelevant. Did the cyclist move diagonally within a lane both were already in? There's just so many little details that could matter, especially the legal jurisdiction where it happened.
    – freiheit
    Mar 20, 2016 at 0:47
  • To be clear: I'm not saying that the legality of such situations is off-topic here. I'm saying that questions on this kind of topic need to be handled very carefully.
    – freiheit
    Mar 20, 2016 at 0:49

2 Answers 2


The cyclist is clearly in the wrong.

A turning vehicle must indicate some distance or time (depending on the jurisdiction) before changing lanes or making a turn. There are no exceptions for bicycles, or keeping hands on the bars.

I think the driver has done well to avoid the danger created by the cyclist.

See also Best ways to avoid getting hit by cars?

And How to get over anger at inconsiderate drivers

  • Even though I am a cyclist, and have, in the past, been a cycling advocate, I find this answer to be correct. Traffic is a matter of individuals cooperating to use the roadways. In order to do that successfully, users must behave in a way that other users see as predictable. Signaling a turn is, at least in the US, required by law. It also is required by etiquette so that following vehicles can predict what your next action will be.
    – Mark G B
    Mar 20, 2016 at 0:28

The van may well have been in the wrong. Many drivers overtake in situations where they really shouldn't, or overtake badly even when there's a safe opportunity. But assuming a driver saw you look over your shoulder, let alone considered why you did so is a mistake and a bad one. Even had the driver noticed you look, a reasonable interpretation from their point of view could have been to assume that you'd seen them and therefore weren't going to pull out.

If I'm going to move across traffic I always signal, but almost always put both hands back on the bars for the actual manoeuvre. I have to say though, it doesn't always help. Plenty of times my right arm goes out, I hear the car behind accelerate and I have to pull my arm in quickly and keep left.

  • 1
    Correct. A cyclist looking over their shoulder is no different than a driver checking the rear view mirror. It's called scanning and you SHOULD do it frequently to keep abreast of what's going on. If a cyclist attempts to act like a vehicle (making a lane change or turn in the road) and doesn't signal, the fault is going to lay with them. If you want to cross as a pedestrian (with no signal) stop on the side of the road and wait for the way to be clear before crossing. Mar 19, 2016 at 21:39

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