Yesterday on the way home from work I was rudely reminded of a situation that very rarely affects me on my bicycle largely because I ride fast and don't stop for anything except to grant right-of-way to crossing motor vehicles at intersections. So generally, motor vehicles never catch up to me as I run stop signs and red lights in order to stay ahead of traffic and ride in traffic gaps created by those traffic features in my city.
So some of you law abiding types may have way more experience with this anomaly than I do, although it does rear it's ugly head around me every year or two.
I was cycling along a quiet neighborhood street literally within sight of my house. 20 mph limit one block from a busy playground, two way street, curbside parking on both sides. Each block is two houses (and their yards) wide between stop signs. I turned right onto "Street A" a few seconds before an SUV turned left onto the same street and was a short distance behind me. I hear the engine *** behind me - unusual here because the block is so short and there is a stop sign at every corner. I need to turn left at the next corner - I have a stop sign, the cross street does not. This may be the only stop sign in the city where I MUST stop. The intersection is blind due to all the parked cars, my street gets used as a "bypass" to beat a traffic signal a block away so traffic is usually flying, and there is a busy playground just at the next corner. So like it or not, I have to at least track stand at the corner before turning left, then right into my driveway two houses away.
So I hear the SUV engine rev, look in my mirror, then move left to bike in the left tire track of the right lane so as not to allow the SUV to pass me before the stop sign (the cars parked curbside create an artificial 1-lane road situation here). So basically, I am in the middle of the road. As I near the stop sign I slow down to look right toward the playground, track stand for an instant, then begin to look and lean left into my turn. Before I can push a pedal the SUV is NEXT TO ME on my left. Parking is not allowed within 18 feet of the corners here, so she took that opportunity to try to go around me in the opposing lane. I got my cleat unclipped but could not put my foot down for fear of getting it run over, so I smacked the SUV with an open palm of my left hand to keep from falling leftward against (or under) the vehicle. The conversation that ensued thereafter was polite on both ends (because my neighbors were outside) and she proceeded on her way with her new found driver's education homework which I am certain was a waste of my breath.
Anyway...this scenario used to happen to me fairly often years ago when I commuted in suburbia where stop signs were farther apart - sometimes five blocks apart. Cars would rarely follow me to a stop sign. They would often try to pass me AT THE FRIGGIN' SIGN! while driving completely in the opposing lane which put them in danger of being clobbered by a turning vehicle head-on. This happened a hundred times during an 8 year period at least. Even my boss did it to me once. When I asked him WTF was he thinking (five minutes later at work) he had no idea what I was referring to. He remembered seeing me, that's all. The danger for me of course is when that "head-on" collision is looming, where do you think that passing car is going to go to avoid the crash? Yep - in my lap.
In the city where blocks are shorter this has not happened to me in ages, but served as a reminder and just another reason to stay ahead of traffic and use stop signs as a means to do so whenever possible.
PS: Many years ago a fellow in a pickup made this move and did end up in my lap - almost. I bailed up the curb while smacking his truck with a fist, then into the front yard of a home. He jumped out, ran up to me with fire in his eyes, fists clenched, as I calmly reminded him that he was in a company truck. He said "I could report him, he didn't care", but he immediately stood down, jumped in the vehicle and squealed away leaving a rubber stripe on the road. I did not report him to his boss, but I am certain he was sweating it. One more step and he would have gotten a face full of "bear spray" and perhaps a few thumps after that.