Monash University has published a research study on interactions between drivers and cyclists in the ACT. They sent cyclists out wearing cameras and GPS trackers for several months and recorded what happened.
If you’ve ever ridden a bike on Australian roads, you won’t be surprised to hear that,
A total of 91 potentially unsafe cyclist-interactions were identified. In the majority of events (93.4%), the behaviour of the driver led to the event. The most common event type was left turn (37.3%) which involved a driver turning left across the path of the cyclist, drivers turning across cyclists’ path from the adjacent direction (32.9%). Unexpectedly opened vehicle doors accounted for 17.6% of cyclist-driver interactions. In the majority of all events, a crash was avoided due to the evasive actions taken by cyclists.
Anecdotally, my experience is that many Australian drivers are a liability around cyclists, whether through malice or sheer blithe incompetence. It’s something that policy makers have failed to address over several decades, and that’s shameful.
When you read through the recommendations and realise exactly how little is currently done to ensure adequate driver training relating to cyclists – for professional and ordinary drivers alike – it’s no wonder accidents and near-misses are so common.
I would like to know why cyclist advocacy groups have had so little success on these issues over the past couple of decades.