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No surprise! Drivers and cyclists don't get along: survey

(Photo credit: Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)
Summary

More than half of drivers and bikers think the other is an annoyance on the roadway

Stats Canada says nearly 7,500 cyclists are seriously injured every year

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – With the nice weather finally here for a long stretch, you’re likely noticing more cyclists on the roads, but commuters aren’t too happy about that.

A new survey from State Farm Canada finds one-in-four drivers don’t think it’s safe for anyone on two wheels to be sharing the roadway with them. This isn’t surprising — it’s long been reported friction between cyclists and drivers has been an issue.

The survey finds 55 per cent of drivers find cyclists to be an annoyance on the road, but this is a two-way street as nearly the same number of cyclists don’t care for drivers when they’re trying to bike.

“A lack of cycling infrastructure and confusion about the rules of sharing the road has a lot to do with it,” says John Bordignon with State Farm.

“Small things to drivers, like drainage grates and potholes are major dangers to cyclists. Cyclists that disobey traffic laws or take up lane space en masse can have motorists seeing red. Having a better understanding of the laws in your area, staying focused and sober on the road whether you’re driving a car or riding a bike, is essential to ensuring all of us remain safe.”

Nearly 20 per cent of respondents say they bike on busy streets and of those respondents who do, more than half have either personally been in, or know someone who has been in an accident while cycling.

Statistics Canada says close to 7,500 cyclists are seriously injured every year.

Alarmingly, 36 per cent of cyclists say they text and bike while heading down a busy street. And when it comes to cycling impaired, more than 72 per cent think cyclists should face the same penalties as drivers.