This also helps - a lot. (As in, since the introduction of this law, biking in the Netherlands has gone from a great to an absolutely superb experience). Might be just what it takes to jumpstart a cycling culture in the US?
From the website of the Dutch automobile association:
"In the case of a collision between a motor vehicle and a cyclist or pedestrian, the law provides for extra protection, since it considers the cyclist or pedestrian as the more vulnerable traffic participant. After all, a motor vehicle represents a higher risk for the surrounding traffic, because of its speed and weight.
The driver of the motor vehicle is liable for the accident, unless he can prove otherwise. In practice, this is extremely difficult."
More details in my post: http://www.cellomomcars.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-netherlands-bike-friendly-by-law.html