Do you know about the “Three Feet for Safety Act”? It’s a California law that states that a driver must keep three feet away from a cyclist when the car is trying to pass the cyclist. California Vehicle Code section 21760 now also states: “The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking or passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction and in the same lane of travel shall, if another lane of traffic proceeding in the same direction is available, make a lane change into another available lane with due regard for safety and traffic conditions, if practicable and not prohibited by law, before overtaking or passing the bicycle.” As a cyclist, you may think, “Well, drivers sure ignore that law and I’ve also never seen the police enforce it.” Still, know that it’s written into law in California.
Every so often we have drivers who run into cyclists by ignoring this three foot safety law and aggressively try to pin a cyclist into the gutter or shoulder because the driver doesn’t believe the cyclist should be given three feet, or any feet at all. When that lack of distance leads to the driver to sideswipe or hit the cyclist, the driver is quick to blame the cyclist, thereby asserting that the “cyclist ran into my car.” We have overcome those allegations in past cases by use of GPS, video, use of independent witnesses who saw the collision from behind, and/or other physical evidence.*
*Past case result is not a guarantee that your case will also have a successful result.