Is it only a matter of time?

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Is it only a matter of time?

Postby Rider123 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:53 pm

I don't mean to be too negative but as this is a 'Cycling' forum, i thought i would pose the question of whether people have been hit by a car before.
Some quick background info such as how long have you been riding (kms, years), time and conditions you ride in and the number of incidents you have been involved in would help shed light on how 'safe', or 'unsafe' cycling in Australia is.

Personally, i've done 4000km without any incidents (Except for a traffic light clip-stack :oops: , which was entirely my fault). However, i do 90% of my rides with a cycling group and we ride Sunday Mornings 7~11 am. Also, reside about 15km from the Melbourne CBD.

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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby master6 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:04 pm

Honestly, I dont mean to be negative either; how are you going to measure "safeness". I have been hit by a caravan, and several bikes; no cars. Does this prove that the most danger to us is bikes, caravans, then cars in that order? I also have had a head on collision with a pedestrian. Did I hit a pedestrian, or did a pedestrian hit me?

This is a difficult subject to investigate, and it would take someone like the Menzies Institute to have any chance of reaching any worthwhile conclusions, I think.

Have a look at this investigation:-

http://www.stvcc.asn.au/Content/Cycling%20Research.pdf
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby il padrone » Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:18 pm

In all honesty I really believe the longer you have been cycling (= more experience) the lower your risk of a collision is going to be.

Personally I have been cycling for transport for 35 years. I had 3 road falls 25-30 years ago (minor grazes) and then in the past 10 years I have had two off-road MTB falls (serious fractures) and two road falls (less serious fractures). None of these falls has involved a motor vehicle at all. Lots of minor MTB 'offs' (OTB etc) with no injuries on the dirt - it's part of the scene there.

I commute very regularly for a 10km distance each way, and tour extensively on week-end and multi-day tours, as well as some MTB riding and Audax endurance events.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:21 pm

Interesting post, i don't think it's 'being negative', it's something that does happen, one read of the moron motorists thread shows that. I will admit that i have trouble understanding/comprehending some of the incidents that have been reported, as i have been riding for a few years now and have never had a serious issue with any other road users (the odd bogan yelling out the window, and 2 incidents of drivers turning in front of me at an intersection). I live in a rural area, and commute to what is, relatively speaking, a small town. The conclusion for me is that when in the city, drivers must experience some kind of severe mental breakdown which does not afflict them around here.

+1 to IPs comment, and i think it may be 'a matter of time' but if you ride in a careful, sensible manner, that time might never come. Education and attitude are the key there.
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby trailgumby » Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:24 pm

Have been hit twice in the last 5 years, within 60 days of each other, one of which was clearly not accidental. That came with adverse media publicity about cyclists, with Alan Jones shooting his dysfunctional mouth off about how annoying cyclists are, and being joined by knuckle-draggers like Ray Hadlee and others crapping on in the background... along with a continued stream of anti-cyclist rants and articles in the Daily Troglodyte

I wouldn't by any means say it is only a matter of time ... it is changing already. Since that awful few months it has improved significantly and the trend - at least in Sydney - is continuing. I believe Clover's cycleway network in Sydney is having a major positive impact, not only by increasing cycling trip numbers, but by sending the message that government is taking it seriously.

In other news, yesterday a road cyclist beat my evening peak hour bus up the hill along the final stretch to home. We overtook each other a couple of times as the bus stopped to let passengers alight, before the cyclist hit a flat stretch and got away for good :lol:

The driver was completley courteous and showed no indication of irritation whatsoever, it was as though dealing with the cyclist was business as usual...

Now, if only we could train the spring magpies as to be as well behaved :wink:
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby sumgy » Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:35 pm

Yes a few years ago now.
Then again I got hit by another rider just today.

This belongs in Cycling Safety though.
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby redcorpsjames » Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:46 pm

I was T-boned at an intersection in Sydneys west last March on my way to work. The woman went straight through a give way sign pushing me over two lanes. Got up and walked away relatively well. cuts/bruses. My ass the worst which had the inprint of my keys in it. Have pic of the keys/ass if you wanna see :lol:
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Is it only a matter of time?

Postby toolonglegs » Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:02 pm

Depends where you live,how many hours you do on the road,what routes you take and how fast you ride.
I have had some big stacks...lost count but probably about 7 or 8 incidents with cars. From t-bones to door openings (even had a head on with a moto last Sunday ... But that was off road,we both stayed up right and we were both laughing so hard it hardly counts). Anyway I walked away pretty much unscathed from all of them...and even though I wasn't the one at fault I was probably riding too fast and aggressively in most situations (not all though) ...but that's how I ride.
These days I have have only had one or two close calls in 3years ,probably due to living in a country that expects to see cyclists on the road...BUT the close calls I have had here have been much more serious and one would have killed a few of us if the car had been rolling head over tail in our lane instead the lane next to us :-( .
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby jules21 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:17 pm

16 yrs old - saw a yellow light, put my head down and switched the afterburners on at about the same time as the RH turning car driver decided "yellow means i can turn now". hairline skull fracture, free visit to the playboy mansion for about 20 mins, then ambulance ride to hospital. got out of that one cheaply but looked like a war veteran for a few weeks.

17 yrs old - saw pedestrian crossing road in front of me, tried to shave her while yelling obscenities, dunno what happened - i think she turned around in shock and knocked me off. another concussion, much briefer checkin with the playboy mansion and another lift to hospital with st johns.

since then i've been riding on and off and managed to avoid anything too serious, race crashes don't count. i slipped on a metal bridge a few months ago and broke a finger on the railing/chook wire barrier.
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby Marto » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:09 pm

I've been riding bikes for about 35 years (like il Padrone), and have not been hit by a car. I wiped out lots when I was a kid in all sorts of ways, and had just a few stacks or slides as an adult. I agree that the more you ride, the safer it is, as you can call on the base of experience you have built up.

In terms of relative risk, you have the risk of cycling, but if you try to avoid that by not cycling, what is the risk of the alternative? If you take on car commuting or public transport, they have their own accident risk, and an increase chance of sedentary lifestyle health risks unless you replace the cycling exercise with another exercise. That alternative exercise has its own risks...

I don't know the figures for relative risks of these activities, but there are + and - to each activity.
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby human909 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:46 am

I've been riding a total of 25 years but probably only real commuter riding for the last 6. No traffic incidents for me.

Maybe it's confidence, maybe it is arrogance. But I believe that my skills in riding, my awareness and my caution will mostly ensure that I stay incident free. Sure things can come out of the blue, but you need to make sure that you are ready for those things and give yourself the best opportunity NOT to avoid incidents.

On my first day visiting New York I hired a bike and had no issues mixing it up in crazy New York Traffic. I didn't know the roads or the city, but if you ride tall and be aware you will go a long way to staying safe.


(I did come off last week but that was on wet mud down a hill and my bike had slicks so I totally brought it on myself. :mrgreen: I had a good slide in the mud and ended up completely muddy. It was awesome! It had been too long since I last got really muddy! :D )

Rider123 wrote:Personally, i've done 4000km without any incidents (Except for a traffic light clip-stack :oops: , which was entirely my fault). However, i do 90% of my rides with a cycling group and we ride Sunday Mornings 7~11 am. Also, reside about 15km from the Melbourne CBD.

15km from the CBD is far worse conditions than the CBD. Traffic is faster and less tolerant.
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby Oxford » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:42 am

been riding now for like many around 35 years, off and on, but probably 25 of that 35 years seriously riding. I agree with IPs comment the more you ride the better you will be at avoiding most incidents. off course there are some that as much as you try to avoid, you cannot and that is why 8 weeks ago I suffered a spinal injury from an impatient driver. good news is that I am on the bike again but will probably never ride a drop bar bike. today's ride included bringing in a bike to leave at work so I can go for "safer" rides on shared pathways (pedestrians are softer than cars apparently). plus also investigating a safe route for my daughter who will be riding to/from uni' on a town bike. wifey is freaking out and given some of the pathway closures I had to find the safe way for her to be able to ride. so next weekend will be showing her this safe way and assuring wifey that everything is just fine.

so statistically speaking in reference to the heading yes and no. the more you do something the more exposed you are to an alternative outcome, however in cycling where you have the ability to alter the outcome through your own actions, you do reduce chance of the unfavourable statistical outcomes.
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby sogood » Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:01 am

Never been hit by a car. One over the bar in my lifetime, that was in my first phase of cycling enthusiasm some decades ago. No crashes for 32000km in the more recent past apart from a few stack falls when I moved to clipless.

Remember, it's like a coin flip probability question, with all things equal, the probability of a crash on the next ride is no different to the probability on the last ride.
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby master6 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:52 pm

Are we progressing toward any findings, as per OP?
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby Aushiker » Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:45 pm

G'day

51,332 km and one off ... my fault ... too fast in the wet into a roundabout.

One OTHB when I was a kid ... not watching where I was going and straight into the back of a parked car ... it hurt :)

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Is it only a matter of time?

Postby sogood » Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:53 pm

master6 wrote:Are we progressing toward any findings, as per OP?

The answer is... Depends. ;)
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby jules21 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:53 pm

Aushiker wrote:51,332 km and one off ... my fault ... too fast in the wet into a roundabout.

that's impressive :shock:

i cannot count the number of offs i've had. my partner says i'm a big kid :oops:
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby queequeg » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:55 pm

don't mean to be too negative but as this is a 'Cycling' forum, i thought i would pose the question of whether people have been hit by a car before.
Some quick background info such as how long have you been riding (kms, years), time and conditions you ride in and the number of incidents you have been involved in would help shed light on how 'safe', or 'unsafe' cycling in Australia is.


Well, there is a study going on at the moment called the "Safer Cycling Study" (UNSW), so you can always wait for the results of that to come out.

My own experience, I have been hit by a car once, and at the time I was cycling on a dedicated cycle path! I got t-boned by a car exiting a driveway at speed, failing to stop and check the pedestrian footpath (first), then continuing and failing to check either direction of the bi-directional dedicated cyclepath. Just plain dumbness on the part of the driver. How many kms I had done or how long I had been cycling were not factors. All it takes is one stupid driver not looking where they are going.
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby Nobody » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:15 pm

In about '84/85 I got deliberately side swiped by a 4WD at Terrigal (Central Coast, NSW). I knew it was deliberate as I heard "Get over!" just before I was hit by the passenger door. :shock:
Anyway, got pushed off the road. Managed to line up the driveways up off the road and back on the road (I was on a road bike) and so didn't crash. :D

I can't count the number of times I've been OTB off-road (at least twice last year alone :oops: ) but I can't remember ever crashing on the road while actually properly riding (as opposed to stunting/being silly etc).

These links may help answer the original question:
http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/risks.htm ?
http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetc ... hp.0901747
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby human909 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:41 pm

queequeg wrote:How many kms I had done or how long I had been cycling were not factors. All it takes is one stupid driver not looking where they are going.


I've faced plenty of stupid drivers that haven't been looking where they were going. But I haven't been hit because I have been observant, cautious and ready for anything.

If you dismiss it all as a game of chance then your are not helping yourself. Recognise that nearly all incidents ARE avoidable if YOU behave in the right way! Don't passively accept the dangers out there. Actively avoid them!


(I'm not trying to blame the victim here. I just saying there is things you can do to prevent accidents that are cause by others.)
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby adman » Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:15 am

I ride a motor cycle as well as a bicycle. My moto is ride as if you are invisible. It helps but doesn't ensure you wont be hit got clipped by an elderly woman exiting a driveway.. wobbled to a standstill in the middle of an intersection
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby rustychisel » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:43 am

human909 wrote:
I've faced plenty of stupid drivers that haven't been looking where they were going. But I haven't been hit because I have been observant, cautious and ready for anything.

If you dismiss it all as a game of chance then your are not helping yourself. Recognise that nearly all incidents ARE avoidable if YOU behave in the right way! Don't passively accept the dangers out there. Actively avoid them!


(I'm not trying to blame the victim here. I just saying there is things you can do to prevent accidents that are cause by others.)



Not sure if I totally agree with you on this, but mostly.

Be clear about your intentions, ride BIG, be assertive etc. I've been riding on roads for 40+ years and never been hit by another vehicle. All accidents have been entirely my fault or mechanicals, except the once when a fellow cyclist swerved into road bumps whilst I was on his wheel. Maybe a 50/50 deal.

1978 - riding to school - rear derailleur and chain disntegrated as I was sprinting through a busy intersection. Slid through the intersection, bloody but substantially unhurt
1979 - that bus I was drafting stopped a little too suddenly. Front wheel hit rear bumper at about 10kmh and the forks folded gracefully backward. No injuries.
1980 - riding to uni - front wheel tacoed in a pothole on Payneham Road - slid down the road from 50kmh to 0khm, looked up and saw a car bumper bar stopped less than a metre from my head. Blood, grazes, substantially unhurt
1980 - finished a hard effort to Morialta Falls carpark, leaned back, hands off bars. Alloy seatpost sheared, I landed on the remains and then bounced onto the back wheel, which collapsed. There was blood, pain, a visit or two to the doctor
1984 - riding to play soccer with friends - wet day, wet drain cover. Slid, tore up my chin pretty badly.
2000 - descending Montacute Road solo, took sweeping left too hot at about 50kmh, went wide, endoed over a rock, smashed helmet all through the rear, scrapes and bruises
2003 - new bike - hit paint line on wet morning, slip. Chipped humerus. Extremely painful
2004 - hit road bump at about 45kmh as above, broken collar bone etc
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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby Rider123 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:30 am

When you speaking of riding 'big' and assertively, what exactly do you mean?

I normally ride on 2-lane, 3-lane roads (i.e. Cantebury Rd) and when i do so i ride in the left-hand lane (obviously). However, i position myself so i am basically in line with the left wheel of a following car. I try to 'encourage' drivers indirectly to change lanes to get past me and so often is the case. Is that being too 'big' on the road or not 'big' enough?

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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby Aushiker » Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:33 am

Rider123 wrote:When you speaking of riding 'big' and assertively, what exactly do you mean?

I normally ride on 2-lane, 3-lane roads (i.e. Cantebury Rd) and when i do so i ride in the left-hand lane (obviously). However, i position myself so i am basically in line with the left wheel of a following car. I try to 'encourage' drivers indirectly to change lanes to get past me and so often is the case. Is that being too 'big' on the road or not 'big' enough?


My approach in the main is discussed here. On a single lane road I am generally about a metre out from the kerb. I also on all roads ride as a vehicle ....

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Re: Is it only a matter of time?

Postby trailgumby » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:01 pm

The Theory of BIG, or How to Claim Your Space On the Road:

http://www.tibsnjoan.co.uk/Big.html

+1 to sogood's comment on the probability of being hit, it does not accumulate over time.
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