In the Daily Journal article, “New state law on cycling-vehicle buffer zone could lead to more suits,” Bruce Brusavich discusses California's new Three Feet Safety Act, effective September 16, which requires motor vehicles to keep a three-foot buffer zone when passing cyclists on the road. With the new law in place, it will be easier to establish driver culpability in the event of a crash.
Although this law was a step in the right direction, Mr. Brusavich says they are other changes that can improve bicycle safety, such as an increase in minimum insurance rates to ensure higher payouts in suits. This may encourage insurance companies to make more of an effort to inform drivers of the new law.
“Other states have [‘vulnerable user' status] laws, which create a presumption of responsibility on the larger vehicle,” adds Mr. Brusavich. This will account for making an example of violators, pushing insurers to raise driver awareness and police enforcement of the three-foot buffer.