No one likes to be wrong. Some take this so far that they automatically refuse to accept fault, even if they make a mistake that endangers another. During my ride home on Tuesday, I experienced two opposite reactions from drivers in this situation.
1) As I took my turn riding through a four-way-stop intersection, a BMW perpendicular to me went through at the same time. The driver eventually saw me and slammed on his brakes. Immediately he threw up his hands, as if to say, “Not my fault! Not sorry! Screw you!” Then he drove off.
2) Fve minutes later, as I was riding in the bike lane, a sedan in front of me suddenly pulled to the right to nab a parking spot. I had time to stop and yell, “Bike!” The driver slammed on the brakes, then completed the parking maneuver. As I passed, the driver opened the car door and called out, “I am SO sorry!” I gave her a wave and replied, “It’s okay,” even though it really wasn’t. She sounded so distraught, I almost felt sorry for her.
This is my "give me a break" look (clean version)
Both situations were unsafe and whether a driver accepts fault does not change that fact. But it sure does make me feel better about the world! What has your experience been?