How do drivers feel about cyclists? Well, it’s about the same as it is the other way around.

According to a new survey from insurance provider State Farm Canada, 55 per cent of drivers find cyclists “annoying”, while 54 per cent of cyclists use the same word to describe motorists.

John Bordignon, a spokesperson for State Farm, says “confusion about the rules of sharing the road” is to blame for the two groups of road users being irritated with each other, which he says is nothing new.

He says drivers don’t understand the danger cyclists face from things like potholes and drainage gates, while cyclists may not realize they’re angering drivers by breaking traffic laws or otherwise impeding vehicles.

The survey also looked at attitudes regarding cycling in cities.

Nearly one-quarter of respondents (24 per cent) said that cycling in busy cities is never safe, while nine per cent considered it a safe activity at all times.

Asked if they themselves bike on busy streets, almost 20 per cent of respondents said they did. A majority of that group said that either they or somebody they know has been involved in an on-road collision.

Other findings from the 3,000-person survey include the following:

  • More than 70 per cent of respondents think cyclists caught riding while impaired should face the same penalties as drunk drivers
  • 36 per cent of surveyed cyclists admit to texting while biking (no similar data was provided for motorists)
  • About 80 per cent of respondents think helmets should be mandatory for all cyclists