Co-authored by Shyla Sivanas, Graduate
According to the 2017 National Cycling Participation Survey, only 16.7% of Victorian residents ride a bicycle in a typical week. A common reason that people seem to use for not cycling is road traffic and safety issues. This is a valid concern given that on average, cyclists who suffer an injury require hospitalisation at over 9 times the rate of individuals travelling in a motor vehicle.
The TAC scheme only covers injuries to cyclists in certain circumstances. A TAC claim only addresses the consequences of an accident. However, we need to prevent these accidents from occurring.
What can drivers do?
- Check for cyclists - especially at intersections.
- Leave a sufficient distance between your vehicle and a cyclist when passing, even if it means slowing down until it is safe to pass.
- Check for cyclists before opening your door. If you are having trouble remembering to check for riders, practice opening your door with your left hand which will naturally force you to do a head check. Alternatively, get a Rider Reminder sticker, which is a tactile strip stuck to your door handle that acts as a reminder for you to check for cyclists.
- Avoid using your horn when you are near cyclists.
What can cyclists do?
- Wear the right helmet. It reduces your risk of head injuries in a crash by up to 60%.
- Wear closed footwear.
- Check your brakes.
- Ensure that you have at least one working bell or horn and use it.
- Have a white light on the front of your bicycle.
- Have a red light and a reflector on the back of your bicycle.
- Be alert, predictable and visible.
- Don't listen to music or use your mobile phone.
- Obey the same rules as other vehicles.
Both drivers and cyclists have a role to play in making our roads a safer place.
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury as a result of a cycling accident, you can call our free Adviceline on (03) 9321 9988 and speak with a lawyer about your circumstances.