This video, featuring Olympic Cyclist Chris Boardman, should be required viewing for all drivers.
Titled Space, the PSA tells drivers about the most important part of sharing the road with cyclists: leaving them room to move. A bike isn’t a steady vehicle like a car. Cyclists are always moving from side to side as we balance, and as Boardman points out, we need space to execute emergency moves, like swerving to avoid a pothole or a spot of loose gravel.
In the U.K., the Highway Code specifies that drivers give a bike as much space as a car when they overtake it. I can probably count on one finger the number of drivers that pay any attention to the Highway Code, though, so videos like this are great for pointing out the rules. Even in the U.S., where the laws are different, the practicalities are identical, as are the dangers. As a cyclist, there’s not much that you can do if you’re buzzed by a motor vehicle, other than get angry–the responsibility for your safety lies with others.
If you’re a cyclist, you should forward this video to all your car-driving friends–the road looks a lot different from the top of a bike than it does from the inside of a car. If nothing else, the video is worth watching just for the Russian-dash-cam-style clips of terrible overtaking from some U.K. drivers.