I was cycling through an intersection recently, when two cars came racing up behind me on either side, trying to beat the lights. I was perfectly visible, but I only heard one of these two drivers take her foot off the accelerator, and only at the last minute, suggesting that neither of them cared particularly if I finished up embedded in their front bumper.
NZ drivers are frequently selfish, aggressive, impulsive, poorly skilled, and quite often a lethal combination of all four. It’s not difficult to see why NZ has so many crashes and road deaths. The car is a big part of many people’s identity, and most people can’t imagine why someone would ride a bicycle, if they didn’t have to. Cyclists are therefore regarded as ‘‘losers’’, and not really entitled to be on the road at all.
When cycling, I look behind me, check if motorists have seen me, and quite often pull over and wait for traffic to clear. Since I also drive, I know what it’s like for the motorist; eg. it’s hard to judge how close a cyclist is if they’re on the passenger side of your car. Not all cyclists are as considerate or as skilled as me, and I have seen cyclists do some stupid things too, but no more frequently than motorists.